Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Image from we heart it

So, I'm not buying anything new this year. No visiting pretty home shops, clothes shops in shopping centres, boutiques in shopping strips, franchises in shopping arcades. I'm resisting buying anything new.

For a whole year.

This is because I want to lighten my global footprint. Promote conscientious consumption. Pay off some bills. Save for a house extension. Teach my kids that it's good to be happy with what we have. Live within our earning capacity. Teach myself self-restraint.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a spending addiction. Goodness knows, there just isn't enough money to go around when there are kids in the equation, a home mortgage, investments, and me having a part-time job. I'm the queen of purchasing 'the bargain', and tend to stock up at the end of the two major seasons - hot and cold.

Besides, we don't really need anything. But we sure want a lot. But that's where Buying Nothing New (BNN) comes in.

Okay, so I can't really count the first week of January. You see, I hadn't had a chance to buy the things I actually needed and couldn't live without for a whole year. So, there was a bit of a visit to Ikea after the New Year came in. Plus I needed some bathers and a laundry hamper (trust me, you cannot buy those things second-hand)*. Besides I had a gift voucher I needed to use.

Which gets me thinking, does it sort of undo the BNN mentality when you're 'stocking up'?  And what about gift vouchers that were given to me at Christmas time and will expire before this year is out? Oh, the quandries...

Anyhow, I'm now on a roll. In fact, it doesn't really feel like anything different to the usual, seeing we:
  1. Hardly ever eat out.
  2. Don't visit shopping centres very often.
  3. Make most of our special treats from scratch.

Christmas has the lads loaded up with clothes and summer needs like boogie boards, bathers and tshirts. A few of my friends (and I) have had our annual clothes cull and we've done a bit of swapsies in the clothes department (one girl's trash, another girl's treasure), and so my winter wardrobe is stocked.

But one of the biggest things that has changed for me is my incoming emails. Turns out I'm on a lot of mailing lists. And if I'm not buying any shoes, clothes, linen, or home stuff - then why bother with the emails? Besides, I don't wish to be tempted. It's scary how many things I was subscribed to. I didn't think it was much until I started unsubscribing. Wowsers. The past five years has me signed up to some serious junk mail. But I'm cleansing, and it feels good.

And this is the beginning. I'm sure I'll post about this again, just a few more times this year. But it's a good start and I'm positive it will lead us (and our bank balance) to a good place.

Have you tried Buying Nothing New? Do you think it's bad for me to spend my gift vouchers before they expire? Any suggestions if you've done this before?

*Things I bought in the first week of January included Ikea $60 (vase, jug, step ladder, hooks), Freedom $100 (laundry hamper), bathers $60.


  1. The way I see it Kim is your vouchers are a gift so why not put them to good use and spend them on yourself :)
    I have never been a big spender, my weakness lies in thrifting but on the odd occasion that I desperately needed something new last year while doing a similar challenge just had me thinking outside the square...though the one thing I was not prepared to compromise on was lingerie.

    I commend anyone who takes the initiative to try something like this...good luck, you can do this!


  2. I'm trying really really hard to do the same this year, Kym, but *did* buy some snow boots last week.

    ....cos I need them for the racquetting (snow shoeing) we're doing this weekend, so I figure that it's not really a fashion item and I should get some use out of them for several winters....

  3. oh good on you for doing this....i really admire your courage. We try and have a few months a year where we don't spend at all (except the necessary things to live)....it just keeps us in check, that really we need to think about what we need rather than want...I'm good at not buying new stuff for our house, I'd much rather re-invent, re-purpose and I always love a good rummage through hard rubbish or an opshop! Good luck and i can't wait to see your progress xx

  4. Faced with the thought of minimum wage maternity leave payments, and the aim to spend a year off work - I know, realistically that the BNN thing is probably a necessity for me. But then - a: I will have a new baby that will be growing fast, and
    b: I am already growing (belly first) out of my current wardrobe....
    If this were india the baby could wear less, and i could just wrap a sari looser...but it isn't... and that's just on the clothes front.

    So how do you do it? It's certainly an art i have yet to master. I think I will go for 'make it myself' instead.

  5. Use the vouchers, they were gifts, good luck for a whole year...I did it for a few months last year..all good, we all have way too much "stuff"

  6. I started unsubscribing from emails last week and I'm still going! New ones just keep coming! But it's so nice to have a lighter inbox.

  7. Great idea. It's amazing how much less we can really get by on.

  8. You are amazing Kymmie, I seriously love this approach you're taking. You have obviously thought it through so thoroughly. I think you can allow yourself purchases from gift vouchers. Get them spent and out of the way. Also a bit of stocking up doesn't hurt. Just start from now and see how you go. I have tried this once or twice before. First time, was saving for our deposit on our first home and I did SO WELL. Second time, was when I was pregnant with bubs number 1, didn't do as well, because there were so many things we needed. But being pregnant means not wanting to buy clothes, because I can't wear them anyway, so I was good in that department :o) Good luck beautiful gal xo

  9. I find this very very brave.

    Use the vouchers to buy gifts you need to get for others, that will solve the dilemma.

    I look forward to reading a lot about how this goes, so don't limit them too much.

  10. We are so similar. I hardly ever shop. I am happy with what I have and really don't need anything. Not sure I could go a whole year without buying anything at all but I am sure you're going to show us all that it can be done!

  11. This is so brave! I really applaud you...what a great lesson for your kids to learn at a young age. I cannot wait to hear about it throughout the year.

  12. Our family has dedicated January to buying nothing new, unless it is urgently required. Our rules are that underwear and bathers are necessities bought new. I love the feeling of freedom it has bought so far. So much easier just to remind the kids, BNN!
    I am going to put it to them that we continue for another month or two and see where it takes us.
    I have used vouchers for gifting to others so I still don't need to buy anything. We have also given boxes of crafty things (I have my own paper business) as gifts. We are all into not buying anything.
    Good luck, I look forward to the reports.

  13. I'm with you about the e-mail subscriptions. So tempting. I see them all the time & so I realized where my $ last year have gone (online shopping). I also have to do some Major changes in the budget & our spending habits this year. I've kept the BNN in mind since you first talked about it. It has helped me a lot so far to think twice before reaching for the wallet.

  14. Well done for taking on the challenge! I'm a bit like you: don't like shops, hardly ever eat out, rarely buy stuff anyway... but buying nothing new for a whole year is a stretch even for me. Good luck with it!

  15. My sis did this last year (and I think continues to do this). The gift vouchers are a gift for you to go mad with, so save them for down the track when you need a get out of jail card!

    Enjoy simplifying, Kymmie. I'm right there with you, on a much less grand scale! x

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Thank you for your thoughtful and positive words and taking the time to comment. Love Kymmie. xx