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Buy Nothing Day?

So Nancy Zimmerman called me out on whether I had managed to not spend any money this past Friday,and I had to admit that I did in fact buy something on Black Friday (but it wasn’t anything big, I think it was groceries). I felt ashamed that I (i) didn’t know of the Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday and (ii) I cannot remember the last day I did not spend money, or buy something.

In my younger days at University I spent weeks where I attempted not to spend a dime (that is ten cents for you younger folks who may not know what the term means). Once I had purchased my needed groceries I would not spend for the entire week, if possible, and then reward myself with a breakfast at Smitty’s Pancake House in the Westmount Square Mall (it’s no longer there I am sad to say).

These days, if I can keep my spending below $50 for most days I think I am doing not too badly, but do I really need to spend that much money? That is a good question, let’s think about what I cannot ignore:

  • Mortgage Payments and utilities, I suppose I could ignore these, but then things would get a lot colder in my tent.
  • Groceries and food for my family, they might get a little irate on that one too
  • My major expense is (being a Canadian) Taxes and if you amortize my Income tax payments over each day, I spend well over $5 a day just on that (rough estimate), and I can’t not pay that one.
  • Luckily I don’t have any major medical expenses that must be dealt with.

Pretty much everything else can at least be postponed, if not completely removed from my spending habits, with varying degrees of pain to your lifestyle (of course).

What Can You Do?

Here is an interesting challenge to my readers: Can you go a day (or more) without spending any money at all? If you can leave me a comment outlining how this is possible, I will attempt to sift through them and make another post based on these comments.

Oh and Nancy can be found on Twitter at Money Coach as well.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I easily go half the month without spending money, I work at a northern mine site. I take $20 with me in case I want a pop or gum from the commissary but most of the time I get home without having spent it.

    But when I’m home I’m often running around with the family doing stuff and that generally involves spending money. The days that I don’t spend anything are rare. Those are mostly days when I just stay home, don’t go anywhere and relax.

  2. When my wife and I started dating she was shocked the number of clothes I had (more than most people). She challenged me that I could not buy clothes for a whole year. I did it and am more conscious of my choices.

  3. I get paid once a month and do a fairly large grocery shop at the beginning of the month. I brew my own morning coffee. I work 5 minutes away from my house so I go home for lunch every day. Most of my bills are due on the same day, plus two monthly mortgage payments. I probably go shopping once a week to get fresh items.

    So there are probably 18-20 days a month that I litereally don’t spend a dime on anything.

  4. As long as you are meeting your financial goals (mortgage payments, retirement savings, RESP, etc), I say spend the rest on things that will increase the quality of life for you and your family.

    Being frugal is neither right nor wrong.

    PS: I’m speaking as someone who spends less than 5% of after tax income on non-essential consumer goods. So I feel like maybe I should spend more. 🙂

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