The Economics of: Buying nothing new January 2016
As you know, the Sasquatch family has taken on a "not buying anything new" challenge for the year 2016. I wanted to check in to let you know how this challenge has been going. It actually hasn't been as much of a challenge as we initially thought. For the most part, we have been able to find what we need by briefly borrowing it from a friend or at a thrift store. We have also become used to not buying as much as we try to follow a zero waste lifestyle. The greatest challenge we have faced to date has been purchasing gifts for other people for events such as wedding showers, baby showers, and birthdays. We don’t want to impose our crazy challenge on others so we have had to be creative with gifts. I will leave it to Mama Sasquatch to go into more detail on this and other tips on buying nothing new in a future post.
My interest in this challenge has been breaking down the numbers for our first month of buying nothing new. In January, we bought 5 items outside of food (see chart above). Buying new would have cost us a total of $490. Buying used or creating these gifts from scratch made our total cost $15. The most expensive item on this list was a skylight cover quoted at $300, which we simply didn’t buy, that was a big saving. Using our theoretical savings formula from the cellphone data post. If we just made a 1-time payment of $475, invested it at 5% for 40 years, we would have $3511.19 which is 7 times our initial investment! A side note about this January total, Mama Sas and I disagree in including the window cover as a part of savings because not buying this cover was simply and oversight before Jan 1st. Christmas busyness came and went and we completely forgot to order this cover to save us from roasting this summer since our sunlight lets in so much heat. We agreed to wait to purchase this in the future and endure one more summer of roasting so we can follow our no-buy 2016 rules. I, however, think it’s important to include because it has been a choice to not purchase it in the year 2016.
The fun part is if you saved this much every month by not buying new stuff and saved $475 every month for 40 years. You would have $722,986.65. Holy Sasquatch, not buying new is saving you nearly 1 million dollars! Now, I know January had a biggish purchase that we didn’t make of $300, so this may have skewed the numbers, but I will be tracking this every month for the year and I will be averaging out the months to see just how much not buying new saves us. Oh and in case you are wondering…. $722,986.65 is nearly 13 years of retirement for Mama Sas and me. That’s crazy, right? Small dollars here and there add up quickly!