Not Buying It

Not Buying It! The end :)

By on April 2, 2017

This is the last week of my 90-Day “Not Buying It” Challenge.  Inspired by Judith Levine’s book Not Buying It.

You can read my previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12.

Here are my rules for the 90 days:
* No shopping except food and essential items
* No new books, clothes, or music
* No eating in restaurants or buying take-out
* Try to use up food items that are already in the house
* I’m still allowed to pay for dance and yoga

That’s it!! Done!!  I finished my 90 days!  And due to my frugal ways, and some unexpected sources of extra money, I was able to pay off all my debt: my credit card ($4,000), my car loan ($1,500), and even my student loan ($3,000)!!  Well, I still have a mortgage, for the next 20 years!  But overall this was a really great experience.  And I stayed strong, with only a few minor cheats.

It’s been hard to find the time to finish this blog post, because I’m already full swing into my next challenge!! It’s a 30 Days, 30 Bags/Items Decluttering Challenge! It runs for the month of April, and you can read about it here.

There is something that both these challenges have in common.  Greed.  In Buddhist Psychology there are three personality types, “Greedy”, “Aversive”, and “Delusional”.  We have have aspects of all three, but usually one is the most dominant.  Imagine there is a party, the Greedy type will walk in and immediately spot all the things that they like, it’s the energy of wanting “Oh, I love the color they painted the living room! I’d love to get a couch like that.  Look at all those desserts! Oh look, who’s here, I’m going to go talk to her!”  The Aversive type will walk in and immediately notice the things that they don’t like, it’s the energy of pushing things away, “Oh wow, it’s loud in here.  Ugh, why did they arrange the furniture that way?  This room is too small for this many people.”  The delusional type walks in, but their mind is someplace else entirely, “Oh look, they’re serving Indian food, I’d like to go to India someday, maybe I’ll find a yoga ashram, I like yoga…”

Well, I fall firmly in the “Greedy” personality type!  Each type has it’s strengths and weaknesses.  The good side of being “greedy” is we tend towards the positive.  Personally I think liking stuff is a lot more fun than disliking stuff, or not even noticing stuff.  The negative is ending up with too much stuff!!

Okay, let’s back up.  Here was my week:

Day 85:  I cooked up some carrot soup for the week.  And a batch of red lentil curry, and turmeric rice.  It’s all low fat, and not nearly as delicious as it could be if I added a lot of oil : ) I’ve lost four pounds, still have a few to go.  And still eating a lot of Shirataki noodles!

carrot soup


Day 86:  I joined a gym!!  So yeah, I spent some money.  Maybe, I’m kind of ready for this to be over.  But I got a really good deal, $199 for six months, almost half off the regular price.  And I really like the gym, so there is much more of a chance I’ll actually go.  I tried using the free one at work, but I kind of hate it there. Tonight I went to a spinning class, my first ever.  It was pretty fun!  A lot more fun than stationary bike, at home, all alone.

Day 87:  Went to the gym again : )

I have two store gift cards that they sent to me for my birthday.  $10 for Kohls, and $10 for Victoria Secret.  I could walk into the store and get something for free.  But it hardly seems worth the trip for just a pair of socks or underwear, or whatever I could get for less than $10.  Plus, what if I see lots of other things I want, but can’t buy!  Just sounds like a bad idea.

Day 88: I go to my Popping dance class.  It’s actually pretty fun, and I don’t suck nearly as badly I would have thought.  I’m still impatient to get back to House dance when my knee heals, but this is fun for now.

Day 89: I go to the gym again.  I’m on a roll!!  Just do thirty minutes on the bike, and I run into two friends!!  They bike next to me and we chat.  Yay!

My dance studio has a Karaoke night, and it is hilarious!!!  I’m not brave enough to sing, but I laugh non-stop in the audience.  Damn, I love this place!!  And the singing is followed by dancing, of course.

Day 90:  Last day!!!  Third night in a row at the studio.  Tonight is Open Mic.  I’ve been going there for a year, and the people there are like family, but I’ve never been brave enough to get into the dance circle, or to get up at Open Mic.  Well, tonight I do it!!   I get up and tell some stories about my travels and serendipity.  It’s really fun.  I’m a tiny bit nervous at first, but it quickly feels more like talking to friends than performing.  I’m so glad I did it.

After the Open Mic, everyone goes out to dinner, yes, dinner, at about 1am.  Hey, it’s 1am! That means it’s April 1st!!!  At first I think, I’m not really hungry, I don’t need to eat anything, I’ll just get some water.  I look at the menu.  I think, it will be too complicated to split the bill with everyone, much easier if I just don’t get anything.  I’m actually afraid to spend money!!  Finally I order a taco.  And then another one.  And some chips and salsa…

Here I am, out with my friends, celebrating life, and spending money!!

spending money




Cambridge, MA

From nine to five, I am a Senior Program Officer at a small non-profit working in International Public Health. In the rest of my hours I am a yoga and meditation teacher, a health enthusiast, an aspiring vegan, an amateur photographer, and most importantly, a mother of two.

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