The major hurdles are complete, as I’m about to complete “The 7-Day Buy Nothing Challenge.” In this sixth day of abstaining from credit, debit, and cash, an ease set in. There’s only one more day left. I can see the finish line, and I’m looking forward to crossing it.
Throughout this experiment, I’ve learned that food storage and preparation are the largest concerns. Shopping malls, credit cards, and convenience stores weren’t really difficult to stay away from when compared to questions about my next meal. Lasting, diverse provisions are an important variable for future challenges.
My foods have quickly disappeared. Cupboards are now vacant caves. Getting creative is a necessity.
Becoming A “Prepper”
There’s a particular breed of survivalist junkies that calls themselves, “Preppers.” These people imagine apocalyptic, tragic, disaster scenarios to prepare and prevent loss of life. Sometimes it can lead to underground bomb shelters, years of dried, preserved foods, and FEMA-like trainings.
The Amish are an example of this lifestyle. Usually, they grow their own foods, build furniture, travel eco-friendly (horse and carriage or walking), and prep for difficult days. This intense preparation pays when economic downturns occur and/or emergencies swallow up traditional food and money sources.
Living this way, with whatever’s left in the pantry, has enlightened me. In the future, I know that there are things I should be doing to better prepare for a lights out, no spending period of time. From more frozen/canned fruits and veggies to sealed packages of chips and breads, all of these will be incorporated to better prepare and save money.
Windfalls And Belt-Tightening
Yesterday, I spoke about being invited and treated to a meal. Some called it cheating. Maybe it’s true that being treated to a meal is a circumvention to the Buy Nothing Challenge. But, I’m hesitant to say this is a failure or mistake.
Life is full of belt-tightening and windfall periods. There are a variety of political reasons for economic distress and growth. These polar events have long been correlated with boom and bust cycles that we experience.
I’m a firm believer that a no-spend week can simultaneously exist with a surprise opportunity or offer.
Learning To Make Do
When I was in high school, I went on a canoe trip across the northern border into Ontario, Canada. The small group of us lived out of hefty backpacks and paddled our way across expansive lakes. I had the time of my life and learned to love getting by.
Food options were limited on this journey, but it never detracted from the pleasure of paddling along beautiful landscapes and working together to travel tens of miles. Seven days passed then, as seven days will pass now. Each time I jump into these treks, I feel more capable and realize the simple joys.
Day 6: $0 spent.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report and follow along!