Blog, Minimalism


“I’m not buying anything next year”. 
“Next year? I’m not going to buy anything new”. 
“…….You’re what?” 
“It’s an experiment, I’m not going to buy any new things for all of next year” 
“Er…huh…what? You’re not going to what?” 

And so begin many of my recent conversations. Conversations where people have asked me if I’m visiting the sales, if I’m planning to buy anything soon, if I’ve saved enough up to blow it all in the first few days of the tentative New Year. It’s surprising how much of our everyday conversation revolves around buying. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before. I suppose removing yourself from the buying cycle gives you a different perspective from which to to view our words.

The thing is, which surprises me, is that people…well, they just don’t get it. And not in the way that they disagree, oh no. They actually seem to have difficulty comprehending it. In our western world, not buying stuff does not compute.

And so what usually happens is I try to explain, then begin to falter at the blank looks, the raised eyebrows, the vacant stare showing the barriers are up and this is something strange, unknown…something odd. If I’m lucky, someone will take an interest but confidently assure me it’s impossible. When I mention I’ve done it before and loved it, there’s just one universal response..”oh…right” and the person backs off, running back to a world where people buy things like clothes and shoes and cd’s and perfumes and everything is all okay and normal again.

I’ve realised that yes, this is personal and exciting to me. But, just like minimalism, it’s a personal quest. Truthfully, in our society, it is a bit odd not to buy stuff.

And so, if someone asks, I’ll gladly talk to them about it. I’ll point them to blogs that inspire me, people to follow, ideas to think about. I’ll get their ideas on living a lower impact life. And online, I’ll continue to engage with and be inspired by like-minded people, following their journeys, reading their words, trying their ideas.

Instead of explaining to people who don’t really care, I’m excited to meet people who are on the same journey of minimalism, of simplicity, or consuming less for a more meaningful life. And I’m interested to see if people really notice that I’m not buying. It’ll be exciting to see if it’s really possible to buy nothing and still live day to day without ‘normal consumers’ noticing. To beg the question, do we really need to buy more stuff to fit in?

Has the socially driven idea of ‘fitting in’ got more leeway than I thought? I guess there’s no better way to find out than next year…




3 thoughts on ““Huh?”

  1. I am not buying clothes for 2015. The few people I have told so far give me a strange look, and then immediately start justifying why they buy clothes!! My husband thinks I am a little nuts, but I am interested to see if I can do it. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you 🙂

    1. Hi Di, I find other people’s responses so interesting! Your experience is so funny, I wonder why people feel they have to justify themselves?! I think it’s great that you’re not buying any new clothes, I found it made me more creative in my outfits and also removed any pressure of what to wear for an event. If there’s a limited choice it’s easier to make a decision!
      Hope it all goes well for you, keep me updated!
      Sal 🙂

  2. I probably won’t have to justify anything to anyone, well, I hope not! But I will be watching my spending in those same areas as you – I think my aim will be to continue to develop good habits all round though I can definitely see the attraction of the specific no-buy project! Having family and friends in the UK I can also see how much harder it is to do this in your society than where I live in Switzerland, where the mentality is often still quite old-fashioned (as in reticent and very quality-conscious) if you’re over 40 (like me!)!!
    Backing you all the way 🙂

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