Inspired by the Black Friday counter-movement Buy Nothing Day, I want to see if I can go a whole 12 months without spending on anything but bills and food
Black Friday is looming and while most people are gearing up to flex the plastic in the shopping bonanza, Im facing a year of buying nothing a whole 12 -month shopping ban.
Inspired by the Black Friday counter-movement Buy Nothing Day, which encourages you to embark on a 24 -hour shopping detox instead of rushing to the stores, I want to see if I can take it further and run a year without spending on anything but bills and food.
This entails no snacks out , no cinema trips , no vacations , no gig unless theyre free , no rounds down the saloon , no new clothes , no coffee you get the idea. It also entails I wont be able to buy train tickets or bus fares so my trusty bicycle is likely to be relied on to get from A to B.
And I wont be able to rely on family members or friends to pay for me either its a year of no spending , not scrounging.
Im not the first person to attempt this. There is a growing motion of people who are turning their back on consumerism and purchasing possessions in favour of buying experiences and travelling the world. In the US, the Minimalists have encouraged people been like living with less, while in Canada Cait Flanders who blogs at Blonde on a Budget transformed her finances with a shopping forbid. In the UK, Kath Kelly lived on only APS1 a day for a year in order to buy her brother a lavish bridal gift.
These people have encouraged me to look at what I eat and take control of my fund, as well as given me hope that a spending forbid wont mean a year sat indoors. They didnt live like hermits for a year, they discovered new ways to entertain themselves, pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and enhanced their lives.
So why do I want to follow in their footsteps? My spouse and I have already spent the past 18 months reducing the amount of items in our home after an epiphany at a storage unit that was housing boxes of stuff we didnt need. We devoted away and donated things we no longer used and sold items that had some value, use the money to overpay on our mortgage.
I realise that as we live in London were lucky to have a mortgage at all but that doesnt mean I want to be saddled with it for 25 years. Getting rid of it early is an appealing idea and to really make a dent in it I need to get a handle on my everyday spending habits.
While I know my half of the monthly bills equate to APS1, 000, Im not so good at maintaining tabs on where the rest of my fund goes.
Totalling up my spending on coffee over the past year left me with palpitations( not the ones induced by caffeine either) Ive spent more than APS4 00 on takeaway coffee alone. Random trips to the supermarkets for top-up stores and lunches totalled another APS1, 000 over the year despite doing a big food shop once a month.
My spending, along with everyone elses, is what is supposed to fuel the recovery in the UK, according to government figures UK consumers spend APS9 0bn a month, and we cant all just stop spending totally. If we did, business would go bust, people would lose their jobs and companies wouldnt be able to pay dividends to investors, but that doesnt mean we shouldnt topic what we are spending our fund on or whether we are living beyond our means.