Money story: My no-shopping experiment

This guest post from Kamie is the first in the newly-revived “money stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all stages of financial maturity. Today, Kamie shares her resolution to break her shopping habit in 2018.

Two weeks ago, just before Christmas, I found a New York Times article about somebody who went a year without shopping.

“Why would anyone do that?” I thought to myself — but I kept reading. The author had some compelling reasons for her experiment:

  • It made her more mindful of her “wants”.
  • It forced her to use things she already owned.
  • It helped her appreciate the things she had — and the things she was given.
  • And, surprisingly, it freed up tons of her time.

I read the article, thought it was interesting, and went on with my day. Later that evening, though, I started thinking about the article again. I thought about how much I shop and how much time and effort I put into it. Could I possibly go a year with no shopping?

Shopping

My Background

You see, I worked in high-end retail for a very long time. I went to school for fashion merchandising and was in retail management as soon as I graduated. Everything in my life revolved around fashion and shopping! Working at Nordstrom was my greatest success and worst punishment both at the same time.

As you can see, I learned to shop with the best of them. And shopping became an outlet for me.

Today, I'm 44 with two teenage boys, an amazing husband, and two dogs. I work for our family business, so I'm not exposed to the retail environment on a constant basis. But I still shop — a lot!

Honestly, I love shopping. Shopping makes me happy. It's fun to have new pretty things, whether it's clothes, shoes, accessories (for me or the house), makeup, furniture, or even a new car. You know: anything.

Now, let me tell you, our family isn't rich by any means. We have to budget just like everyone else. Sometimes it sucks. But we're trying to teach our boys (and each other) what it means to save money, even if we're not the best at it.

In reading the New York Times article, I could relate to much of what the author said. Shopping made her happy too, but she decided there were enough benefits to a year without shopping that she wanted to give it a try. I decided that maybe I wanted to give it a try.

When I told my husband about the idea, he looked at me and smiled. He told me that he'd be incredibly proud of me if I could actually do a year without shopping. Because he and I are very competitive, we love to challenge each other. I gave it some more thought and realized that this was a challenge I wanted to accept.

I keep asking myself, “Can I really do this? It's going to be so hard!”

But my answer to myself — for myself — is, “Yes, I can do this.”

My Plan

ShopNext, I had to come up with a plan. I'm a huge planner. I love to make lists and then cross things off one at a time. It makes me feel accomplished.

First, I had to decide when I was going to actually start this crazy challenge. Since the new year was fast approaching, January 1st seemed sensible. I could make the challenge a New Year's resolution. This sounded great — until I realized that this would give me an opportunity to go on one last shopping spree. That seemed counter-productive — the complete opposite of what this challenge is supposed to be about.

Instead, I decided to start on December 26th, the day after Christmas.

J.D.'s note: This is a smart move on Kamie's part. As a guy who has done tons of these sorts of things in the past, I've learned that as convenient as it might seem to start on a specific day — January 1st, your birthday, your anniversary, whatever — waiting often leads to failure. You have one last blow-out before the big start, then that makes you feel lousy and you don't follow through on your commitment. Once you decide to take on a challenge, it's much better to start immediately rather than wait for a specific date. Any time I've been successful at getting fit, writing more, or cutting back on alcohol, it's because I've started now — not tomorrow.

Now that I had the when, I needed a plan to keep myself committed to this challenge for an entire year. How can I keep myself preoccupied so that I'm not tempted to shop every day?

To start, I had to decide what qualifies as shopping. This was hard. Until you do something like this, you don't realize how many things you purchase every day.

I made four lists.

First, I made a list of things that are not necessities or that I have to much of already. These include:

  • Clothing, accessories, makeup, shoes.
  • Electronics and gadgets, including phones.
  • Furniture and home accessories. (This one is tough. Don't laugh, but I love to buy candles!)
  • Starbucks. Normally, I spend a lot at Starbucks. But for this experiment, I've promised myself not to go to Starbucks unless I'm traveling for work. (Honestly, I'm not sure how I'll do on this one.)

Next, I had made a list of stores I had to keep away from. Much like J.D. wouldn't allow himself to go into comic book stores when he was getting out of debt, in order to succeed at this challenge I need to keep away from:

  • Department stores
  • Boutiques
  • Malls
  • “One-stop shopping” stores. I should only go to actual grocery stores so that I'm not sidetracked by other shopping opportunities.

I also made a list of things to do for when I get the shopping bug. Instead of shopping, I can:

  • Exercise: go to the gym, go for a run, do sit-ups.
  • Clean the house.
  • Organize a cupboard — or four.
  • Reorganize my clothes closet.
  • Call a friend.
  • Bake or cook.
  • Remind myself why I'm undertaking this challenge. Maybe write down what I'm thinking and feeling.

Finally, I sat down to make a list of things that I can buy, which was much more difficult. There are obvious things that are okay, such as groceries and toiletries. Plus, gas and maintenance on vehicles. Once I started trying to think of things that were necessary, I realized just how much stuff I don't need. I guess that's a good thing.

My Start

After making my plan, I put it into action.

I started with my email. I don't know about you, but I get tons of messages from stores, membership clubs, and other forms of advertising. All of this email is designed to entice me to spend more.

It took some time, but I went through each message and unsubscribed from the mailing list. Honestly, I felt sad unsubscribing to email from certain companies that I love. But I realized that if I didn't do this, I'd just be tempted to shop.

Next, I cancelled my subscription boxes. I'll confess that I had a few. They're so fun to get in the mail! It broke my heart to cancel the FabFitFun box, which was my favorite. I love the feeling when it arrives and I get to open each item individually and fall in love. This might sound silly to some, but if you love to shop, you understand. As much as I hated to cancel FabFitFun, it had to be done. (J.D.'s note: After I visited the FabFitFun page to grab a link, I started being served their ads everywhere I went on the web. You've been warned.)

By the time I finished my quest to sever ties with stores and subscriptions, I was exhausted. I was emotionally drained from not shopping. How does that even happen?

I found myself wandering around, trying to figure out things to do when I wasn’t working. Shopping used to be a hobby for me, an escape, a way to fill the time. Eventually, I found productive ways to use my free time.

Productive Use of Free Time

One of the things I did was clean out our cupboards and drawers. As I did this, I realized just how much stuff we obtain over time. By the third day, I had three garbage bags full of junk and garbage. I also found items that were brand new that had never been used. I realize that is not okay, but that's how it is.

For some of these things, I created a “present box”. This is a box with all of these things I have never used but are actually pretty cool. I can give them as gifts in the future. (I guess this sounds like re-gifting, but I actually purchased these items a while back for myself.) This helps me in a couple of ways:

  • First, I'm getting rid of unused clutter.
  • Second, I won't have to violate my “no shopping” goal by buying gifts.

I hope to have every drawer cleaned out by spring or earlier!

Next, I had to figure out what to do when I was out of the house. As I said, normally I would go shopping. Instead, I've been substituting the gym.

I'll admit, the gym is an added expense, but I already have an existing membership, so why not use it? If you were doing a no-shopping experiment, this might violate your definition “shopping”. For myself, I've decided this is within my rules. Going to the gym has proven to be a very logical and healthy decision. It gives me somewhere to put my extra energy and get out of the house at the same time. I'm loving the exercise. It’s a great way to stay focused!

But here's the big question: Have I purchased anything?

Conquering Coffee

Unfortunately, people make mistakes. Yes, I goofed up. I bought a song off iTunes. No big deal, right? Wrong! I realized right after I had done it that it wasn't a necessity. It was a habit! You don’t realize just how many little habits you have when you are trying to be achieve something. [J.D.'s note: I have an iTunes habit too. It's something I'm working on.]

I was really bummed when I realized that buying songs from iTunes would violate my “no shopping” rule. I love to get new music! To fight this, I took time to make some new playlists out of the music I already have. This way, it sounds new to me! (Secretly, I’m crossing my fingers that my husband will buy music and I can steal it because we have a joint account! Is that cheating?)

As I mentioned in my first installment, one big issue I'll have this year is Starbucks. Normally, I spend a lot at Starbucks. And I'll confess that I've bought coffee there a couple of times this year. I have cut down a lot, no doubt, and I'm trying to steer clear…but it's difficult.

To fight my Starbucks habit, I've started taking coffee with me from home in the morning. I've also made sure that I have everything I need to make coffee and tea at work.

These changes have had some unexpected side effects. Not only am I saving money, but I'm also saving time, especially since I'm no longer driving to Starbucks on my breaks. Plus, I've started bring my lunch to work too. I'm saving time and money two ways with this plan.

I don't think I've licked my Starbucks habit yet, but I'm making progress.

Revising My Rules

Next, I decided to update my list of what I can purchase. When doing something like this, you have to decide what's important and a necessity for you. Everyone is different. Something that's necessary to me might not be necessary for you. Over the past month, I've had to re-evaluate my own definitions.

For example, I added hair products and face creams to my list of acceptable items — but only when I run out completely. (No shopping for the sake of shopping!) Healthy hair and skin are important to me, a part of basic hygiene. I don't think buying personal care products counts as “shopping” as long as you're not over-indulging.

This is a fine line, right? I really had to think about this one and break it down in my mind. But I've found that setting limits on when and how often I can purchase items has helped immensely.

When Free Isn't Free

I had my next realization while watching TV one night.

A commercial came on with two women who were talking about earning cash back from shopping. “That makes sense,” I thought. “It's like getting a gift with your purchase. You're getting something for free.”

Then it hit me. It's like my husband is always trying to tell me: “If you're spending more money in order to get something for free, then it's not free. You've just spent another $50.”

The same thing was happening in the commercial. The women were spending more money to get more money back…but it was only like two percent. “Why would they do that?” I thought. “It makes no sense.”

But the most exciting thing that's happened since I started this no-shopping experiment is the support I've received from my family and friends. (Full disclosure: J.D. is my brother-in-law.)

In fact, my mom is now doing this challenge with me! Having somebody to do this with actually makes it fun. I don't feel like I'm on my own, struggling with the ups and downs.

The first few weeks of this have been interesting. Despite a couple of slips, I'm determined to keep going. I'm learning to be logical about how to accomplish my goals. Plus, I'm saving money and time too! But the best thing is having my mom and husband on board. We'll see how it goes from here…

Have you ever participated in a no-spend challenge? What rules did you give yourself? How long did it last? How well did you do? Do you have any advice for others who might want to try this?

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Vivian
Vivian
2 years ago

That’s a great idea! Good luck Kamie. I don’t know that I would be able to do it across the board like you’re doing. I already don’t “go” shopping because I do most of it online and then only when I need stuff. But I’m betting I could probably cut out a lot more if I look at what I “need”!

P.S. Kamie may not be a “professional” writer, but I found this entry just fine, and conversational.

P.P.S. To JD, I just found your blog over the holidays and love it. Thanks for sharing it.

BusyMom
BusyMom
2 years ago

That was interesting. My usual filter is, “do I really need this?” And usually, that suffices. However, there are certain websites that I visit occasionally to see what the current deals are, and I am tempted to get those items. So these days, I am making it a point not to go to those sites.

dh
dh
2 years ago

Kamie, thank you for writing and sharing this wonderful article! I think a big part of the problem with women over-shopping comes from the fact that they have too many damn options when it comes to clothes, whereas men have much fewer choices in the clothing/fashion department. I think the key is for women to dress more like men — but, you know, with a feminine twist! Here are a couple of visual examples of what I’m talking about: And as far as staying warm in the winter, I really like this minimalist, unisex guide from Snarky Nomad: https://snarkynomad.com/ultralight-winter-travel-gear-packing-list/ Anyway,… Read more »

Jan
Jan
2 years ago
Reply to  dh

dh- Amazon is my hubby’s friend. For many years he kept his shopping under the radar, well under $100 a month. In the last year Amazon delivers almost daily (yes, Amazon does deliver on Saturdays and Sundays). He used to tease me about my $3. coffees. Now I hear, “it was on sale!”WAY too often. He worked long and hard to earn the money, am I denying his pleasure by pointing out the problem?

dh
dh
2 years ago
Reply to  Jan

See if you can get him excited about minimalism! It’s such a fun thing, almost like a game! Zen Habits is a great resource, and then some years ago, Leo did a side project called mnmlist, which is wonderful, too:

http://mnmlist.com/archives/

dh
dh
2 years ago
Reply to  dh

In fact, I should have linked to Leo’s great video on wardrobe simplification, which is pretty unisex:

http://zenhabits.s3.amazonaws.com/Ultralight%20Video%20-%20Packing%20Video.mp4

Anne
Anne
2 years ago
Reply to  Jan

To me the no shopping thing falls into two categories. The main one is that someone has decided they have other things to do with their funds and their time. That is simply a refocusing of goals. But I’m retired and have met all financial goals and still have “burn” money each month. So I shop too much. So I would say your husband’s Amazon habit would depend on if that money is needed elsewhere.

Karellen
Karellen
2 years ago

Uh, what do you even eat if you don’t go shopping for a year? Do you live off dumpster diving and food banks? That seems like kind of a big thing not to address.

Karellen
Karellen
2 years ago
Reply to  Karellen

Sorry, after re-reading for about the 5th time, I noticed the two references to “groceries”. I totally missed them on the first read through, and searched for “food”, “eat” and “restaurant” to look for food-related clauses. (The UK tends not to use the word “grocery” to refer to food. I mean, Brits understand the word, but it wouldn’t typically be the first choice of word to use in everyday speech.)

Doh!

Amy
Amy
2 years ago
Reply to  Karellen

That is interesting….what word do you use instead of groceries?

Rachael
Rachael
2 years ago

I love this article and the whole experiment! I’ve done two week stints before when my spending needs reigning in and it’s always a struggle and a humbling experience. (I do food as well since it’s only 2 weeks and it forces me to use what’s in my pantry). Is there a blog somewhere we can follow along with her experiment, or is it all going to be on GRS? I’d love to follow her progress. I’m sure regular update will help keep me mindful of my own spending!

J.D. Roth
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Rachael

Although I didn’t mention it in my intro, Kamie is my sister-in-law. 😉

So, my hope is that she’ll share updates with us every month or every quarter.

Kamie Roth
Kamie Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  Rachael

Thank you for your comment! I really like the food idea too. Maybe I will try to work it in once I get used to this!!
Thanks
Kamie

Taryn
Taryn
2 years ago

Our family is preparing for a year of no extra spending (in order to pay off a student loan), so personally I would like to hear updates from Kamie and how her challenge is going.

Raven_144
Raven_144
2 years ago

I’m so excited to read this article. I’m also doing a no-shopping year inspired by the same NYT article. I spent a few days researching (reading other no-shopping articles and watching Ted Talks), put together a plan and sent it to a friend for review, and then revised it a few times. I started my plan January 1st, and sure enough, that’s when my favorite purse store slashed prices on everything. I’d been eyeing a bag for 4 months and didn’t put it into the plan as an allowable expense. I’m still a bit gutted about it, but 7 days… Read more »

T'pol
T'pol
2 years ago

This was a great post and I am looking forward to hopefully at least monthly updates. I am pretty good with money but there are times I lose control. Bravo Kamie!

cofrog
cofrog
2 years ago

Kamie-

A little helpful tip- going to the library can often feel like shopping, only it’s free. Often if I find myself wanting to shop out of boredom, I go the library, even if I was just there the day before. Just browsing and picking up a magazine or movie or book makes me feel like I’ve shopped, even though I spent $0.

Can’t wait to hear how you do! Good luck!

Amy
Amy
2 years ago
Reply to  cofrog

I like that idea of going to the library because it feels like shopping! In that case, you would be taking something home with you. Brilliant.

Sandy
Sandy
2 years ago
Reply to  Amy

This is exactly what I do. When I feel I “need” to go shopping — I head to the library. I’m around people, books, music, computers, and sometimes they have events going on. I go to the library at least twice a week. I can’t even begin to tell you how much money it saves me.

Merre
Merre
2 years ago

I am Kamie’s mom and I am so proud of her shopping has always been part of our life I am seeing her determined to succeed in this and support her completely it also helps me to stop and think about what I purchase

David
David
2 years ago

Hi Kamie,
Great start and keep up the good work. I find that I am more successful when I track my activities regularly whether it be diet, spending or savings. maybe this can help you!

Kamie Roth
Kamie Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  David

Thank you! And keeping track is key…Im finding that out very quickly!

Tina in NJ
Tina in NJ
2 years ago

I’d love to hear from Kamie’s husband, especially if he’s doing the challenge as well. Would he be JD’s brother? I don’t know if this is a competition between the two of them or not, but another viewpoint is always interesting.

J.D. Roth
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Tina in NJ

Yes, Kamie’s husband is my youngest brother. I’ve shared his (and Kamie’s) story in various ways at GRS in the past, sometimes under disguised names and situations. When I started Money Boss in October 2015, I also recorded an hour-long interview with him in anticipation of starting a Money Boss podcast. (That never happened, obviously.) Maybe I’ll listen through it and share an edited version. Lately, I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to interview both of my brothers about our situation growing up. Next month is “relationship month” at GRS. Maybe I’ll see if I can make it happen… Read more »

Kamie Roth
Kamie Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  Tina in NJ

That is a great idea…I will ask him! We are very competitive:)

elaine
elaine
2 years ago

Living in Hong Kong, kind of hard not to do any shopping. But trying to cut down already.

Lady Dividend
Lady Dividend
2 years ago

Very inspiring Kamie! I think I’m going to take a one month mini no shopping ban as a result of reading this post.

Don’t feel too badly about the subscriptions. I did that last year. When you eventually go back to the retailers sites the subscription lists and deals are still waiting for you. However I love knowing now that every email I get in is one I want, and I can take the time to read them rather than ignore them all. Good luck with the challenge!

Accidental FIRE
Accidental FIRE
2 years ago

Good luck with it! I made 2017 a full year of “no purchasing outdoor gear”. For someone like me who spends huge amounts of time in the outdoors cycling, climbing, running, camping, kayaking etc, it was a challenge. Those things require gear and equipment, an lots of it. But I managed. It was a very liberating year of making due with what I already have!

Eileen
Eileen
2 years ago

I’m going to do that this year as well. I’ve always been a camper, but I took up backpacking a few years ago. Haven’t done a ton of trips, but enough to keep wanting to accumulate additional (or lighter) gear. Those REI garage sales are the devil, lol. So I will NOT go to anymore of the garage sales and I won’t be buying any additional gear. (I’m still on the hunt for the elusive light but comfy backpacking sleeping pad, but I can make due with the ones I have for now.)

alana
alana
2 years ago

I’m doing a no spend challenge this year as well. I usually give myself an annual spending target and balance pricey months with leaner months to ensure I hit my annual target. This year however I want to max out my pre and post tax retirement accounts. With my tax refund that’s quite doable but my goal this year is to do that from my monthly salary alone, use my tax refund for other goals. With an average salary and no salary increase last year that’s going to be challenging. Never really gave myself a extreme challenge before so decided… Read more »

Jan
Jan
2 years ago

No shopping has been my lifestyle for the past couple of years. It gives me great pleasure when I actually wear something out and have to throw it away. A couple of months ago I wore out a leather belt I had had for many years. I still can feel the big smile in myself for having actually worn something out! I can also think of the jeans that I had to toss because they had finally ripped so badly I couldn’t even wear them in the garden any longer!

Eileen
Eileen
2 years ago

Good job Kamie! I’ve toyed with that idea a bit (though I’m really not that big of a shopper). I am trying not to spend anything in January on “shopping” or “dining out”. But I should have bought that $30 immersion blender stick before the month began (I’m sure it would help with my cooking at home, lol). My job is a BEAR in January so I’ve used it in the past to just hunker down, keep my head down , and literally plan nothing (except meals). It’s not so hard because I work from home (though a corporate job)… Read more »

Peggy
Peggy
2 years ago

Hi Kamie! I really enjoyed reading about your 2018 challenge. Not looking for good deals on websites will certainly free up time. Also, it will make us use what we have in our closets. My grandpa, who was born in 1882, had his entire wardrobe hanging on one hook. While it is certainly a different time now, it makes me think how wasteful of time and money we all can be sometimes. Your goal for 2018 is very admirable! I may just join this “new movement”!

KATHLEEN A BENNETT
KATHLEEN A BENNETT
2 years ago

Great, thoughtful piece. My husband and I are serious about beefing up our emergency fund this year. It’s motivating to make a contribution to that equal to what I save by telling myself I don’t need X. For example, do I really need a pedicure? How about I take the polish off my nails, clip them, clean them and buff them? $30 into the emergency fund. How about we stay home and watch Netflix instead of going out to the movies? $25 into the fund. I’m also doing Dry January, so am putting $25 per week into the fund each… Read more »

Theodora
Theodora
2 years ago

Kamie, great job, love your story and impressed with your writing. Big challenge, good luck. ?

Mel
Mel
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experience! I am on a very tight budget already and while I don’t do a no shopping rule and do only allow myself to spend money via my profit selling my old stuff on eBay. For instance, I ran out of packing tape and envelopes so I bought those with the proceeds from selling a bracelet. Anyway, thanks again!

Raven_144
Raven_144
2 years ago

I’m also two months into my no-shopping year and am really happy to read this update! I left skin and hair products in my “allowable” purchases category, but like you made sure that I only bought them within reason. Same with makeup – I can replace products I use regularly, but stuff that I use on a whim will have to wait. This also means no nail polish. I’m a bit nervous about this one. I have maybe 10-15 bottles of various shades, but at least three of them are on their last legs and I’m not sure the rest… Read more »

dh
dh
2 years ago

I genuinely don’t understand why anyone would EVER buy music from Itunes or anywhere else when any song you can think of is available for free on Youtube! You can find whatever you want to listen to on Youtube, then play it through a good sound system. I haven’t had to buy a single piece of music in like a decade. And I’m being serious — can someone explain to me why you actually *pay* for music in this day and age???

jp
jp
2 years ago
Reply to  dh

I completely second this…your library usually has free downloads of music as well – download from their website, or go in and get a cd. Our library allows 3 downloads per week per account. the hubs and i each have an account, so that’s 6 downloads per week (if you have kids, that’s 3x more).

JC Webber III
JC Webber III
2 years ago
Reply to  dh

How about so musicians can earn a living and keep making new music?

dh
dh
2 years ago
Reply to  JC Webber III

Musicians earn money from Youtube.

Allen S
Allen S
2 years ago

The Starbucks habit has me too. And I don’t need the sugar. I am stopping that habit today too. Thank you for the inspiration:)

Petra
Petra
2 years ago

Hi Kamie,

Good luck on your quest. It’s a really good one to become more aware of your behavior. Are you tracking how much more you’re saving, compared to before?

lisa
lisa
2 years ago

I stopped buying clothing 2+ years ago when I changed jobs. Hopefully, my size doesn’t change. It has helped tremendously. I do have items that were purchased and never used, as well. Those are going to the community garage sale in the Summer. Craigslist and ebay don’t work for me. I’ve been working on eating from the pantry and not buying more food. I have a Starbucks gift card and once it’s done, it’s done. I’ll drink my tea from home and buy hot chocolate at $3 a box instead of Starbucks. My downfall is-get this- car fragrance and laundry… Read more »

Lady Dividend
Lady Dividend
2 years ago

Good job so far! The iTunes song might technically be in breach, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The thing I most liked about my shopping ban was creative ways of getting things done. I borrowed a lot of things from my parents (I still do)!

It sounds like since you’ve figured out all your habit substitutions, you’ll be able to keep going on this. Good luck!

Rebecca
Rebecca
2 years ago

We do something similar as a family in January. We don’t eat out or “shop” as a way to get our budget back on track after Christmas. Yes, I budget for gifts and save for what we spend. But it’s a busy time of year with kids playing sports and there is always some unexpected something going on. Since we also line item budget eating out, its a nice cushion to soften any overspending during the holidays.

lmoot
lmoot
2 years ago

Good for you for working to break the habit. Shopping as a pastime is almost compulsive in our culture. The only thing I don’t understand regarding the personal hygiene stuff is if you use it regularly, why not buy it in bulk or when it’s on sale, vs waiting until it’s almost done? Personally I find most creams out there to be bs…at least for my skin. For nearly 10 years, my face care regimen costs about $25/ year. The only thing I use on my face is aspirin for exfoliating ($5 bottle lasts a year), vitamin capsules for eye… Read more »

Denise
Denise
2 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

Absolutely agree. I’m in England and use a one litre bottle of Dermol, as both facewash and moisturiser. I veer between normal skin and eczema and it excels for both.

Cait Flanders did a two-year buy nothing project and her learnings and challenges were very interesting to read about too.

lindy
lindy
2 years ago

I love it when people realize that “free isn’t free.” My father always told me growing up that “people can go broke saving money” and that has stuck with me/influenced my shopping my entire life. Sounds like you are doing great so far and I also look forward to the next update!

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