I Didn’t Buy Anything for One Hundred Days. Here’s What I Learned.
The real benefit is measured in hours, not dollars
I’m not sure where this minimalist urge came from. I’ve always been more of a maximalist, as one glance at my bag collection (54 at last count) or my coffee-maker constellation (six, more or less) or my leather-notebook ensemble (don’t ask). Enough, I decided. This must stop.
I know many people dismiss the efficacy of New Year’s resolutions, but I like them. They help me make vital course corrections. So, on January 1st I resolved to buy nothing. No bags, notebooks, coffee paraphernalia, clothes, electronics. Nothing. The only exceptions I made were for food and medicine, as well as gifts. Why deprive others because of my resolution, I figured?
I took this vow of nothing not for masochistic reasons or ecological ones, or out of some latent ascetic impulse. It was, rather, a nagging feeling that I was squandering my precious life energy on….crap. Not just the accumulation of crap but the curation of it, the hours spent searching not for any V90 dye-free coffee filter but the best V90 dye-free coffee filter. Always the best, always more. It was exhausting.
I’m proud to report: I did it. For the past one hundred days, I have bought nothing. Here is what I’ve learned:
1. Targeted Ads Made This Difficult At First
Apparently the digital gnomes that create targeted ads didn’t get the memo about my newfound minimalism. I was still bombarded with ads for bags, notebooks, coffee paraphernalia and various other products that I have trouble resisting. The digital gnomes were-persistent, and ruthless. The less I bought the more they bombarded me with ads, as if to say Come on Eric, we know you want to buy this contrast-stitching waxed canvas field bag. Just push the buy button, just….NO! I refused. One by one, I clicked on “Not interested in this and” and “This ad is not relevant” and even “This ad is offensive” until the gnomes finally relented and let me browse the Internet in peace.
2. I Don’t Miss Anything
I thought I’d pine for all my stillborn purchases. I did not. I can honestly say I don’t miss a single purchase…