I just wanted to give you all an update on my 2010 Newlessness challenge.
I MADE IT!!
I MADE IT!!
365 Days of denying myself anything new is over! It took me about 5 days to find something I wanted to buy... it seems the experienced has turned me frugal. I can't say that it's a bad thing and I've learned so much from the experience. My advice to everyone reading is to try it for yourself. But, just in case you aren't up for the challenge (chickens), here is what I've learned:
1. I need a whole lot less than I think I need - Not making new purchases makes you realize what items are necessity, what items you really want, and what items you can do without. I can't tell you how many times I've bought something that I had no need for and it took me this experience to realize it.
2. Buying used can save you some MONEY. Okay, so I was expecting to save money by not making new purchases, and I've always been a bit of a bargain hunter. However, I didn't realize all the money you can save by buying used items. Over this year, ebay and craigslist have become my best friends!
3. There is a world of Barterers out there! You wouldn't believe how many people are willing to barter. There is a trading team on Etsy that you can trade handmade items with and I've stumbled upon barterquest.com for trading locally. I've also traded with local shop owners! You wouldn't believe who is willing to barter until you ask!
4. Awareness about waste. You wouldn't believe how much waste we would avoid if people bought more items used or skimmed down on buying new. Take wrapping paper, for example. If everyone in America wrapped just 3 presents with everyday items we all have laying around the house, we would save enough wrapping paper to cover 48,000 football fields! It's as simple as using newspaper funnies, coffee filters, brown kraft paper, fabric, etc.. to wrap a few gifts. And what a unique gift it would be!?
5. How to make cool clothes. Of course, you didn't think I would go a whole year without trying to make something did you? I've learned how to make a few fun items to wear such as a maxi dress, leggings, formal dress (that was fun), and even panties (hey, well... that's one thing you don't want to buy used..). The best part, is that everything I made fit just perfectly.
6. Newlessness is CONTAGIOUS. I have a few friends that are now inspired to go newlessness this year. What started as a shop-a-holic's protest, has turned into (hopefully) a practical awareness epidemic that inspires people to be content with what they have and mindful about what they need.
Thanks for everyone who was supportive this year and to all my readers who followed along. Stay tuned for my 2011 challenge... :)