Today is the last day of our buy nothing experiment…but not really…let me explain.
31 days gives you enough time to create new and (hopefully) better habits. 31 days for us has taught us to slow down and be more aware. In the moment. To stop and think about the deference between need and want.
For me this experiment was about reducing the potential waste entering the house. For my hubby it was about saving money. But what we’ve taken away from this is how engrained consumerism was/is in our lives. Our daughter said to me the other day that she missed the way things used to be. I asked her what she missed. She couldn’t pin point it exactly, but everything she mentioned centred around buying stuff. Then it hit me. Our kids are spoiled. And if I’m being totally honest, so are we. Not in the bratty, kick-you-in-the-shins-for-no-reason spoiled. They’re awesome kids. Respectful, kind hearted, hilarious, good kids. We didn’t give into every request. Christmas had always been very small. Birthdays…the same. But every time we went out (which was several times a month), they came home with a little toy, or piece of clothing, or new book. We never came home empty handed.
That was their life. I understand the frowny faces and disappointment when I now say no to new toys, clothes and books. We taught them to expect it. Now we’re trying to undo it and it’s going to take time. We’ve explained why we’ve made a change and they understand. Still doesn’t stop them from telling me all the things they’re going to buy when they are adults and out of the house. I know they will be that much better for this. At least I hope so, but there’s always therapy if I’m wrong.
So with all that being said…our month of buy nothing is getting extended to a year.
Every month Ray and I will assess our needs for the month and make the necessary concessions (cars need to be fixed, house needs renos, kids are going to camp, etc). After a year we’ll see where we are and if we want to continue or not.
I’m looking forward for what’s come. See how we grow and change as individuals and as a family.
I’ll be putting up our “rules” for April this weekend when Ray and I have fully flushed them out.