One of the popular things to do when it comes to reducing materialism is to engage in a “spending fast.” The idea is to stop spending money on unnecessary things for a month. But what if you took this idea and applied it to an entire year? Could you do it?
According to Forbes, two roommates did just that: They decided to spend a whole year not buying anything, and instead looked for creative ways to meet their needs.
Of course, the roommates had to buy some things. They paid rent on their apartment, and they couldn’t produce all of their own food. However, they reduced their consumption dramatically. They didn’t buy clothes, and they made it a point to walk or bike as many places as they could. They ate out less, and said no to friends who invited them to places like Las Vegas for a fun weekend.
At the end of the year, reports Forbes, together they had saved more than $55,000. They got rid of a number of the consumer items they had accumulated over the years, and developed a new lifestyle that focused more on living richly, rather than spending money.
The real question, of course, is whether or not you could do something like that. Would you be able to take on a challenge that required you to say no to destination weddings and having your hair cut at an expensive salon? Could you keep yourself from replacing the TV if it broke during your buy nothing year?
It’s an interesting exercise to consider, and one that might change your life — even if you only did it for three or four months.