Here is a little guide about buying nothing.

  • Practice reverse snobbery. Express contempt for those who buy things mindlessly.
  • Go window shopping, but do not buy. Try on a bunch of sweaters. Make a stack of stuff you want, but leave without buying.
  • Get satisfaction from money saved, not money spent.
  • Become a scrounger. Useful stuff is everywhere once you start looking. Take pride in being a recycler.
  • Look for barter opportunities.
  • Consider having a “buy nothing Christmas” (or other holiday).

Some comments: While shopping without buying can be immensely satisfying, it’s also very dangerous. I’ve never practiced this art intentionally, but have done so many times inadvertently since developing my frugal habits. My weakness is books. Many times I’ve stopped by a book store, accumulated a pile, and then realized that I don’t need to purchase a single thing. This is a Good Thing. However, I’m not sure I’d ever allow myself to intentionally attempt this; it sounds like a recipe for failure.

Two methods that I do like are “get satisfaction from money saved” and “become a scrounger”. Both are easy. Both of fulfilling. I find it particularly enjoyable to scrounge an old piece of wood, for example, and convert it into a shelf. Or to build a wardrobe from cheap clothing. (On the other hand, I’m not exactly a fashionista.)

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.