You've probably noticed it in the past few years – the tide is turning on Black Friday. Public perception of the shopping-centric vacation has deteriorated largely due to a growing aversion to consumption and concerns about the well-being of retail workers.
If you're on the fence about Black Friday, you might be interested in National Buy Nothing Day. We explain how it works and give ideas to celebrate.
What is Buy-Nothing-Day?
When Black Friday extended to Thanksgiving and beyond a few years ago, some retailers and consumers started protesting the changes. At this point, Buy Nothing Day began to gain broader recognition. Originally founded in 1992, Buy Nothing Day is exactly what it sounds like: a holiday celebrated by not spending any money, in both physical and online stores.
Consumers have different reasons to celebrate Buy Nothing Day, including environmental and ethical concerns. Others can also use Buy Nothing Day to avoid the emotional appeal of shopping on Black Friday.
How to celebrate Buy Nothing Day
Here are some ideas on how to incorporate Buy Nothing Day into your life this year:
The average person spends $ 273 per month on subscription services. When subscribing to various streaming and physical services, consider how many of them you actually use on a regular basis.
Go through your bank account and credit card statements to identify the recurring subscriptions. Then divide each subscription into three categories: use regularly, use sometimes, and use infrequently. Be honest about your consumption and enjoyment of these services. If you can't remember the last time you saw a movie on Hulu, the best thing to do is to cancel it.
Pro tip: The Mint app will automatically detect subscriptions to help you identify the ones you have and remind you of subscriptions you may have forgotten.
After you've canceled the subscriptions you rarely or never use, take a look at the subscriptions that you sometimes use. Can you cut these services down or find a way to consolidate them or spend less? Many subscriptions allow you to take a month or two off. Try this to test how much you actually miss the service.
Once you cancel or reduce your subscriptions, it's up to you what to do with the extra money. Some ideas include saving for a down payment, investing for retirement, or paying off debt. Set up automatic transfers or payments for the exact amount you've cut from your budget. That way, you can put the money saved into your highest financial priorities.
Clear out your house
If you're like most people, you probably have too much stuff in your house. Use Buy Nothing Day as an opportunity to open your space to Marie Kondo – it can even lead to unexpected benefits for your mental and physical health.
After clearing the clutter, you can donate the items to a charity, put them on the curb with a "free" sign, or sell them. Sites like Poshmark, eBay, Craigslist, and ThredUp are popular places to list your items so you can make extra cash from your clutter.
Another great option on National Buy Nothing Day is to get out and literally do something different. The hike you talked about? Get out there! The dog park that you keep saying you will take your pup with? Grab the ball and off you go! Or even relax for a lazy day at home. Namaste in. Whatever you choose, we hope you enjoy celebrating National Buy Nothing Day.
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Zina Kumok (152 posts)
Zina Kumok is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance. As a former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four, and everything in between. It has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth, and Time. Read how she paid off $ 28,000 in student loans at Conscious Coins in three years.