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I did it! I bought nothing today!

There was a teensy bit of cheating: I had pre-booked (long before I remembered what today was, honest) a coffee date and the other person bought my latte. Also, my cleaning person was scheduled today anyways. But I didn’t swipe my card through any machines today, nor did I fork over any cash. My wallet stayed tucked away all day long.
Readers: have you ever gone a day, deliberately, without spending money? Krystal, I know you have. And Esme, I think you do quite regularly right? Big Cajun Man, ever tried?

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. I will have “mostly” observed. I have zero qualms buying dinner from the Singaporean family 10 blocks from my house who work their butts off making delicious curries at extremely reasonable prices. I understand the idea of the day, but the day paints all transactions as if they’re equal in pursuit of a valid and important point, that I think can be made in other equally if not more valid ways.
    Karen´s last [type] ..We kept saying “when the cold ends”… It looks


    Nov 26, 2010
  2. I call foul unless you entirely stopped consuming. Otherwise, you’ve just shifted your buying patterns. Spending the same amount of money, just on a different day, doesn’t change anything. (I feel the same way about NOBODY BUY GAS DAY or whatever it’s called: the multinational companies won’t feel any pinch to the bottom line unless people find a way to not use gas that day.)
    Megan´s last [type] ..Aw- man


    Nov 26, 2010
  3. I often try to have 1-3 no-spend days each week. Of course big purchases like groceries and gas have to be bought regardless, but by consciously not spending money I find that I am saving money by not buying coffees, snacks, or impulse purchases. For those that think it’s pointless, well I can tell you that it works! 🙂

    Of course I am also on a self imposed 6 month shopping ban (no clothing/accessories or shoes). I have about a month left to go and am loving it!
    krystalatwork´s last [type] ..Flights booked!


    Nov 27, 2010
  4. brad

    This year was actually the first time in my life that I took advantage of Black Friday deals, but it was worth it for me: I saved $120 on some software and training videos that I’ve been planning to buy for months, but figured I’d wait until Black Friday to see if they were available for a discount.

    I’ve never been a fan of “buy nothing” day because buying nothing is not a sustainable habit; what’s more interesting to me is daily observance of frugality and a conscious approach to spending. So I felt like my Black Friday purchases were a success: I bought a couple of items that I had wanted to buy for months, and my patience was rewarded by the money I saved. And I did my purchases online, so I didn’t have to deal with crowds of shoppers.


    Nov 28, 2010
  5. Nancy Zimmerman

    Well, you’ve all given me pause, I have to say.
    Here’s what I think. On the whole, as a culture, I maintain we are over-consumers (I can’t be precise about what metrics I’d use to make that judgment call though). We have many days and many seasons which both explicitly (SALE! BUY NOW!) and implicitly (hallmark holidays) goad us into consuming. So for there to be one day – one! – that attempts to be explicit about “we have a choice here! we can choose to NOT spend, too!” is worthwhile imo. Does it, in itself, change the world? No more than the don’t-buy-gas day. But I do hope it gives us permission to give our head a shake and remind ourselves and our culture that we can jump off the spending train. (lousy metaphor. sorry).
    Nancy Zimmerman´s last [type] ..We kept saying “when the cold ends”… It looks


    Nov 28, 2010
  6. Funny you should say that, I was thinking about a post about that.

    When I was at University there would be entire weeks where I didn’t spend a dime, but now I cannot go a day without spending money on something, which is wild! I have to pay for parking at work (cash, no pass for me, I am on the waiting list), and I keep buying coffee at work too, so it is my own fault, but I will keep trying to have a day without spending.

    Do Bills count?
    Big Cajun Man´s last [type] ..Billing Costs Money too- ya know!


    Nov 29, 2010


  1. Canadian Personal Finance Blog » Blog Archive » Buy Nothing Day?

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