A group of people in SF decided to try go a year without shopping. Jan 3, 2007 marked a year and it was reported here. The group found it very liberating to be anti-consumerism that they are discussing repeating the trial again for 2007. They did however exempt food, toiletries, and other essentials. This new crazy has caught on in other cities around the world, where people have taken it to extremes by dumper diving and sleeping homeless.
Could you do it? I'm pretty sure I could probably do it. We rarely shop and I can count the number of times I've been to a mall this year on one hand (1 at Christmas). I've never gone into a Pier 1, haven't shopped Pottery Barn, and pretty despise shopping. If I go it's usually for a specific purpose, like a birthday gift, something broke, or the one time I went to the mall was for Christmas shopping.
I am perusing my CC statements actually to see what stores I frequented this year. None. I have gone to Walmart and Target on average once every two months, I go more often to Petco/Petsmart. And I do go to Costco every other week. But other than that, I think my greatest consumption is Border's Bookstore, but I rarely buy books, I just sit there and have a coffee because I feel so cheap sitting there reading all day.
I haven't shopped for clothes this past year, although we did buy new laptops because ours broke. However I did go 5 months without one till I found the one I wanted at the right price. All in all, I think I could do the challenge, but I won't. Why?
Because my one luxury was my vacation this year to Asia. I couldn't give up taking a vacation, which buys into consumerism. I didn't over spend and paid cash, but it still would have to go. Plus not eating out once for a whole year would be a challenge. I would lose what little social contact we have out here.
Could you do it? Could you spend absolutely no money this year?