If you’re new around here, make sure you visit my Nothing New Archives to learn more about the challenges and victories we’ve experienced during our resolution to buy nothing new in 2013!
Half-way Through the Resolution to Buy Nothing New in 2013!
In June, we sold our flat-screen TV and Nintendo Wii. All part of de-cluttering our lives and detaching from screens. We do have an iPad but there are no games on it so the only time the boys use it is when they’re sick or if it’s dangerously hot outside and we’re cooped up in the house for hours. Even then, we are very selective of which cartoons they can watch and usually opt for the old ones (i.e. Road Runner).
I am still shocked at how horrified other moms are when they find out we don’t have a TV or a game console. Like I’m some sort of superhero, mad villain, or both. I can tell from their responses that they know they shouldn’t be letting their kids get so much screen time (which vilifies me because it proves to that guilt-racked conscious of hers that it can be done) and yet I also see how helpless she feels for not knowing how to survive such an existence (making me some sort of superhero for being able to cook dinner without quarantining my kids to the TV).
NEWSFLASH: Your kids will survive without the lastest and greatest games, trinkets, and gizmos. They will be able to get a job using computers when they’re older even without mastering every iPad app as a baby. They can be trained to sit quietly through a meal in a restaurant without plugging them into a device and ignoring them completely.
But I digress…
June’s secondhand purchases included:
A batch of fun evening and summer shirts for me from thredUP.com: all for under $50 and free shipping!
Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson: saved $5 by buying used on Amazon
Pretty pendant earrings — a bit of hydrogen peroxide and they’re good as new: $2
Rockstar pumps from Nine West: $7.99 at Goodwill (hollllaaaa!)
The Most Expensive Plastic…Ever
Our son needed a retainer to help fix his drastic overbite (and let me tell you, it’s a good thing we’re buying nothing new because someone’s got a great racket going with these little pieces of plastic — are those suckers lined with GOLD??).
I created a reward chart where Jack gets a sticker for every hour he wears it and since this kid is super motivated by stuff (yes, one of the reasons we’re doing this entire challenge!), I found a batch of secondhand My Little Pony figurines which he can redeem 20 stickers for one pony.
Yes, you read that right. The kid that taught himself to ollie a skateboard in three weeks, can produce 120 different artillery sounds from his mouth alone, and practices chin-ups on his bunk bed also adores My Little Pony. He created a “Pony Club” for our family (say hello to yours truly, Rarity), lectured us on “the importance of friendship”, and explained in great detail each pony’s “cutie mark” (F to the Y to the I: I’m now going to call your tramp stamp a “cutie mark”).
Road Trip Gear
Our significant purchases this month were to add to our camping gear. With plans to take a major road trip in 2015, we have a hit list of equipment to get before the trip.
First on the list: a compass. What kind of 4×4 truck doesn’t come with a built-in compass?! The Nissan Xterra, apparently. So I bounced over to Amazon and found a marine compass that was considered “used” due to its beat up box (saving 10% off retail) and attached it to our dash with adhesive Velcro.
Next up: a fridge for our truck.
If there is one smell that haunts me from my childhood, it’s that pungent nostril-offending odor that seeped out of the cooler after one too many days in the car (as if the smell of six unwashed people wasn’t enough!). That food+plastic+lack of oxygen combination would permeate the entire minivan every time someone dared to open the cooler for a snack. I shudder at the thought.
So forget about buying ice. Forget about lukewarm beer and shelf-stable canned food on the last day of camping. I’ve got a perfectly chilly 3˚ celsius waiting for me in my trunk. These beasts are nearly impossible to find secondhand but we managed to find one that had been opened and the retail box destroyed, netting us a huge 35% discount! We camped like rockstars all June long.
So there you have it. One more month of buying nothing new and feeling quite happy about it! A few times this past month I had to walk through Target and found myself drooling over the new kitchen decor, feeling a twinge of regret for this whole resolution. But as I walked out of the store with nothing but necessities, I quickly snapped back to reality and realized that none of those shiny new things would have made my life any better. In fact, buying them would have left me taking one step FURTHER from our financial goals and just to rub some expensive salt in the proverbial wound, all those nice little trinkets would have eventually found themselves being sold at a garage sale (for a fraction of the original cost) or given away for free. Any enjoyment I would have had from using them would be fleeting and temporary but the peace I get in knowing I’m not spending money foolishly is something that doesn’t seem to go away.
Natasha Drisdelle (aka Domestica) is a mom of twins, baby-weight survivor, and health & fitness blogger who lives in California’s Silicon Valley. She posted her before-and-after pics on the immortal internet as living proof that morphing into a gelatinous baby-growing-factory doesn’t have to mean your bikini days are over. You can find her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, cutting through the myths and guilt that keep women from realizing true health.