The book “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy” came into my hands at just the right time. The author tells a story through words and art of her year of painting, rather than buying, the things she coveted. There’s much wisdom and humor on consumerism and living with less to be gleaned from these pages. I had been feeling worn out by my own self-imposed restriction of buying nothing new this year and this book picked me up, made me laugh, and renewed my dedication to opting-out of consumerism.
You may remember that I committed to buy nothing new in 2016 with some allowed exceptions. A few people have asked me how it’s going, in which I’d say, pretty splendid. Outside of food and household consumables, the only new purchases I’ve made are three pairs of shoes for my teenage children that were for a birthday and a school related event. No doubt I could have bought the kids used shoes, but sometimes it’s best not to force my own aspirations onto others. My secondhand purchases have been few, but when I have a need to fill, the challenge has been fun. Continue reading
With a few exceptions, I’m buying nothing new in 2016. It’s a pledge I’ve made, but even more so, it’s a way of life I’ve adopted. I’ve been on the slow path of voluntary simplicity ever since I read Your Money or Your Life nearly two decades ago, but as each year passes I become more dedicated to the lifestyle, both for the freedom it gives me and the kindness it shows our planet.
It’s a new year and one that I’m particularly excited about. I’m pledging to buy nothing new for the entire year, with a few exceptions that I’ll share below. I made the same pledge last year with some, but not complete success. I did finish the year feeling empowered and excited to recommit in 2016. Truthfully, I can’t imagine ever going back to consuming like I once did. I may not always be guided by a set of rules of what I can and cannot consume, but what I’ve learned from following the principles of a “buy nothing new” year has been life changing.