Four days of frugal living are complete! Amidst the sweltering heat of the Midwest summer and dwindling food supplies, I continue to spend $0 per day. My Mint.com account continues to show zero transactions and my monthly budget is quite happy with me. I’m well on my way to completing, “The 7-Day Buy Nothing Challenge.”
Throughout the day I participated in medical research studies and wrote for a variety of online sites. I took a free, local bus and walked everywhere. Ironically, I found $0.50 while walking. It pays to be frugal.
Coffee Shop Temptation
I popped over to a local coffee shop with my girlfriend. She was eager to enjoy an iced coffee on this sweltering day. I tagged along for the ride, but soon wondered what I’d do once I got there.
It’s genuinely awkward walking into a business and not buying something. There are scripts that people seem to follow – engrained in our society. Once you enter a place of business, you follow a line to a counter and hand over a payment. Instead, I grabbed a cozy spot to work, write, and talk.
I was tempted to bargain with the cashier to get a coffee or pastry. Funny how quickly my mind jumped to negotiation and convincing. In the end, I bought nothing and felt better for it.
I chose an open, colorful picture to begin this article because that’s what truly matters. Meaning isn’t found within a shopping mall or theme park. It isn’t in the impulse purchase or empty calories. The important moments surround us.
These have been the most productive writing and reading days I’ve ever had. A variety of articles will be published this week and next, and I’ve truly enjoyed the creativity that has resulted. Somehow, by not rushing to spend, I found more time to reflect and write. I want this more often.
Risky Relapse, Spend
Many commenters on Reddit have criticized me for not buying food or other staple necessities while on this spending cleanse. For the most part, I completely agree that I wouldn’t be able to maintain this lifestyle much longer without some resupply. But, I really did want to get down to zero – true zero.
While not a complete lifestyle shift, the Buy Nothing Challenge is/was meant to be a brief experiment, foray to learn where my money was going; more importantly, where it shouldn’t go. Some people have argued that this significant purge can result in a relapse to heavy spending upon completion.
I can’t predict my feelings after the adventure, but I’ll keep you posted if these nefarious effects kick in.
Day 4: $0 spent.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report and follow along!