HOWTO: Buy Nothing

WikiHow has a guide to buying nothing, which is harder than it sounds, apparently. We just, you know, don’t buy it, but for those of you who need a little help…here are some tips.

Make gifts for people. Use your own skills (or learn a new skill) to make gifts that people will remember long after they’ve forgotten store-bought presents.

Avoid unnecessary upgrades. Yes, that new toaster has a little chime and can toast eight slices at once, but seriously, how often do you need eight slices of toast at once?

Ask yourself some questions. Will I use this every day? Will I use it enough for it to be worth buying? How many hours did I have to work to pay for this?

There are tons more tips in the WikiHow. You can do it! Er, not do it. —MEGHANN MARCO

How to Buy Nothing [WikiHow via Get Rich Slowly]

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  1. synergy says:

    The Anti-Consumerist! :D

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    HAHA, good one synergy.

    Suggestions like “Avoid unnecessary upgrades.” and “How many hours did I have to work to pay for this?” don’t bode well for the PS3.

  3. formergr says:

    While I think some of the suggestions are very good ones, the one about any purchase over $7 being something you should wait 7 days to buy, and first ask 7 people is ridiculous. Assuming they mean things beyond lunch, it would still result in all your friends hating you really, really quickly. Maybe that amount should be upped to $20 or something more reasonable…

  4. spanky says:

    I’m good at this! In fact, I kind of have to psychologically manipulate myself INTO buying things sometimes, so I don’t waste excess time and energy compensating for some marginal necessity I don’t have.

    I’d expand #14 to “Calculate your projected cost per use.” So figure out how frequently you expect to use something, what you can use it for, how long you can reasonably expect it to last, how break-prone it is, and whether you can fix it if it does break or wear out. There are LOTS of things on the market that are one-time cheap, but that don’t last beyond a few uses. Everything from shoddy WalMart clothes that fall apart in the washer, to cheesy, cripple-assed electronics. Once you’ve taken all the costs into account, including the time and expense of going to the store, sometimes, $3 t-shirts are prohibitively expensive.

  5. Meg Marco says:

    I thought that one was stupid, too. Same with not carrying around your credit cards. Then again, I don’t have a problem.

  6. Dustbunny says:

    Bah humbug. What fun is it to buy nothing?!? It’s positively un-American!

  7. SexCpotatoes says:

    I throw everything away after one use.

    Whoops, time to get a new computer (and girlfriend).

  8. kerry says:

    I tried making my christmas gifts last year, I baked cookies. I ended up spending a lot of time and money at the grocery store (upwards of $200) and still hadn’t made enough cookies to cover everyone. I would have been better off getting sub-$10 gifts (which is what I did this year). Also, I tried making my sister a gift by knitting her a pair of legwarmers. They cost about $60 in yarn and miscellaneous supplies (like elastic) and took about 12 hours to make. Didn’t save me a dime.