So I’m a little bit late to hop on the bandwagon with this one, being halfway through the month and all, but there’s a movement that is now getting more and more attention: Buy Nothing New Month. October has been unofficially declared Buy Nothing New Month (BNNM) and the idea’s been gaining quite a lot of excitement. Take a look at BuyNothingNew.com.au.
Saving money is not that hard
The thing about saving money is, and my editor may kill me for saying this, there’s actually not that much I can tell you that you probably don’t already know yourself. Gasp! Oh, yes, we may have a few tips you haven’t heard of and perhaps know of some resources you hadn’t found, but you don’t need a masters degree to know that you should spend less than you earn.
We all know this stuff but we forget. Or, more accurately, we choose to forget. We want what we want and we want it now. So, we cram that whining voice inside our head telling us to be frugal deep into our subconscious, buy the thing we like, and only release him later. Of course, by this stage it is invariably too late to undo the damage so we shrug our shoulders, say “oh well” and convince the whiny voice that we “forgot” and that it was really all beyond our control.
It makes saving money inspiring
As a rule, buying something feels markedly better than not buying something. And that is where programmes like BNNM come in to it; they inspire us. They renew our enthusiasm and rekindle the passion we felt when we originally drafted our budgets so that for a little while, not buying something feels fantastic. Remember how keen you were on New Year’s Day? Armed with resolutions to stop shopping for good and to pay off that debt once and for all? That feeling of determination actually feels better than buying something… but only until you see something you want and then, without the constant reinforcing messages, you crumble and resolve that you will start saving next week instead.
New Year only comes, funnily enough, once a year and it really doesn’t last for very long so BNNM is a great way to get excited about saving all over again.
Becoming mindful of spending
The concept was originally created by the Sacred Heart Mission in a bid to encourage mindfulness about spending habits and get us asking questions like: “Do I really need it?” If I do, “can I get it second-hand, borrow it or rent it? What are my alternatives? Can I borrow from a friend? Can I swap with my neighbour?” Questions we should, if we were clever, be asking ourselves about every single purchase, but somehow “forget”.
During the month, we are permitted to buy new things, but only if they are essential. This is good because frankly, I didn’t fancy the notion of buying used food… ew. If however, the front of your top drawer falls off (this happened to me!) you do not have leave to go buy a new chest of drawers. Rather, you will harness all your high school wood-working skills and repair that drawer.
Are you going to need some new stuff to do that? Then that’s ok. To a point. Glue and dowel are fine, a gleaming new Ryobi power drill not so much.
What can you do?
Now if you’re a Savings Guide enthusiast, no doubt you already live by these rules already but isn’t it nice to see more people getting on board as it become more socially acceptable, heck maybe even cool, to be a saver? And even if you don’t learn any hot new savings tips, sometimes all you really need is a little reminder of the ones you already knew to get you all worked up about saving money all over again.