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Buy Nothing New Month is Here

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buy nothing new month invites you to become a more conscious consumer

It’s October (already?) which means the weather is warning up and... it's Buy Nothing New Month again. 

If you have ever wished you had more money (umm hello, who doesn’t?) and wondered where the money you have goes, then this month long awareness campaign is an excellent opportunity to reassess your purchasing habits and take stock of exactly how much you spend on unnecessary stuff. It’s also a chance for you begin a new savings strategy, with the intention to save every cent you would normally spend on items you don’t actually need. 

Buy Nothing New Month began in Melbourne in 2010 and is now a global movement. The initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of reducing consumption and is an invitation to commit to making zero non-essential purchases for the entire month.

Think you’re already very frugal and conscious about your spending? Awesome. But you might be surprised to find yourself at least once during the month of October, ’adding to cart’ online, or lining up at Kmart or Myer with something you don’t need or could perhaps source second hand or borrow.

We’ve been programmed by society and the media to feel like we need to buy stuff frequently in order to feel fulfilled. So our perception of needs vs wants is a tad warped. As intelligent humans we are also very good at talking ourselves into things. “But i really think that dress will be perfect for my trip overseas next year and it’s on special…”. or “a second (or third) pair of sneakers is really essential, because what if one pair is dirty or wet and I need to go for a run?”.

So How Do You Buy Nothing New?

The idea behind Buy Nothing New Month is to shift your focus on what you don’t have to valuing what you already have as well as investigating alternative ways to acquire what you do want or need (outside of a shopping mall or online shopping cart). Groceries and home essentials are not included in the month long restriction, neither are a new pair of shoes if the ones you are wearing happen to fall apart. It’s not ‘go without month’, it’s simply an opportunity to have a greater awareness around your own spending habits.

Curb Your Consumerism 

Here are some questions provided by the Buy Nothing New website you can start asking yourself as you reach for your credit card, or hover above the ‘buy now’ button.

Before handing over your hard earned cash, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • What is its lifecycle? (will it last me a few days/months/years/forever?)
  • What went into making it (time, labour, resources)
  • What are the alternatives? 
  • Where did it come from? (overseas? mass produced?  handmade? locally sourced?)
  • How did it get here? (
  • What is its environmental and social impact? (is it recyclable, resellable? is it fair trade? has it been made in sweat shops?)
  • Who benefits from the purchase? (corporation, small business, local business?)
  • What will it do for me? 
  • What's in it?
  • Who made it?
  • Can I buy this second hand or borrow it instead?

Buy Nothing New Month invites you to become a more conscious consumer by raising your awareness of what you buy, it’s origins, how you intend to use it and whether it is essential. If you put aside the money normally wasted on impulse buys into a savings account  (where you can work toward something big you really do need) you will begin to see tangible results and enjoy fabulous rewards from your changed habits as well as having more time, money and energy to focus on the important things in life.  

Alison Gallagher is a freelance writer, resourcefulness expert and entrepreneur. She has been featured in various publications including Stellar Magazine, Australian Health and Fitness Magazine, and Cleo Magazine. Alison is particularly passionate about sharing practical tips on how to live simply, sustainably and seasonally.