How the ‘Buy Nothing’ Movement Can Improve Your Spending Habits
Four Ways the Popular Trend Can Benefit Your Budget
By Monika Ritchie
The Buy Nothing movement is a growing trend that can benefit your budget and improve your spending habits. Participants reduce their spending, consumption, and waste by sharing and borrowing items and services with others in their local communities. It may sound like just another fun trend or novelty, but the buy nothing movement also encourages positive spending (or not spending) habits that can benefit your budget. Healthy financial behaviours like avoiding needless purchases, minimal or ‘intentional’ spending, and creative frugality are encouraged, shared, and celebrated. Whether your budget needs a boost, or you just want some creative ways to improve your spending habits, here are four ways the buy nothing movement benefits your budget.
It Saves You Money by Improving Your Spending Habits
It may seem obvious that the ‘buy nothing’ movement will save you money; sharing and borrowing items instead of buying them new will of course be a boost to your budget, but that’s not the only way the buy nothing movement saves you money. The impact on your spending habits is also a key part of what helps increase your savings and improve your finances. For example, if you’re a person who enjoys shopping for fun or to pass time, participating in the buy nothing movement will help you limit your buying to the necessities only, and can help decrease how often you shop and therefore, how much you spend. This helps put shopping back in the category of an ordinary or mundane task as opposed to a fun or exciting time to spend money.
Less shopping temptation will help you stay focused on positive financial habits and increasing your savings. As an added bonus to your budget, the attitude of generosity and gratitude encouraged by the movement can go a long way to helping you feel content with what you already have. This in turn, can also make you less likely to make unnecessary purchases.
The Focus on ‘Intentional Spending’ Can Help Reduce Impulse Purchases
If you tend to spend money impulsively, the buy nothing movement’s focus on intentional spending can help you slow down and reduce impulse purchases, allowing you to focus on saving towards your long-term needs instead of spending on your immediate wants. Because participants of the buy nothing movement can often find the items they need within their community for free or for a trade, they’re less likely make impulse purchases based on emotions or social media.
The time it can take to find an item and contact the individual, as well as making a plan to pick up or drop off the item(s) is certainly a longer process than pointing and clicking online or tapping your card in a store, but it also ensures that you will stop and think about whether you really need the item or if it’s just a passing whim.
The Buy Nothing Movement Helps Reduce Financial (and Environmental) Waste
Participating in the buy nothing movement is a great way to help reduce financial and environmental waste. Sharing and reusing items as opposed to throwing them away is a sustainable and environmentally friendly benefit of the movement. By being mindful of the items you truly need and practicing some creative frugality when it comes to fixing them up, you can boost your budget and help the environment. Sharing, reusing, and repairing items, helps decrease waste and consumption and can lead to increased savings from being able to repurpose or repair the items instead of purchasing new ones.
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You Can Build Up Your Budget and Your Community
A large part of the buy nothing movement involves building relationships and connections within your local community. Not only is interacting with like-minded individuals great for your sense of well being and support, it’s also a great for your budget. Having an available source of items that you may need and can get for free or a trade is going to make a huge impact on your budget. As you get more familiar with your community’s buy nothing group, you may find yourself saving more and more as your spending habits improve and your budget bulks up.
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You Can Try Before You ‘Buy’ With a ‘Buy Nothing Day’
If joining an entire movement dedicated to buying nothing feels a little overwhelming, consider starting small with a ‘buy nothing’ day, weekend, or even a week. Once you start paying attention to the little things you’re spending your money on, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes to save up. Even just one day without spending any money can be a great eye-opener when it comes to your financial habits.
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Looking for More Ways to Spend Less and Save More? Reach Out to Us
The buy nothing movement can be a fun and easy way to challenge yourself to spend less and save more. If you’re looking for other creative ways to improve your budget and savings, reach out to us. Our friendly, accredited financial counsellors can help you find realistic, long-term, sustainable options to improve your finances, bulk up your budget, or simply improve your spending habits.