Let's face it: the United States' economy is shaky. Millions of Americans are unemployed, gas prices are poised to rise and the holiday season is upon us. You are probably being blasted with Black Friday ads and wondering how you're going to make an already tight budget stretch even more next week. Well, I have a solution for you: Buy Nothing Day.
On the day after Thanksgiving, you don't have to wake up before dawn and brave the raucous crowds to get a steal of a deal on the hottest new electronics. How about staying in bed a little longer and then waking up and enjoying a nice, home-cooked breakfast with your family? That sounds like an ideal Friday morning to me.
So what is Buy Nothing Day? It is simply a campaign started by AdBusters that encourages consumers to do the unthinkable: consume less. Do you really need that $399 42" HDTV? Do the kids need another video game? The obvious answer to this question is no. Now that you know what Buy Nothing Day is, it's time to understand the why. And they sum it up this way:
"With catastrophic climate change looming, we the rich 1 billion people on the planet have to consume less!"
This year AdBusters is asking the public to take Buy Nothing Day and expand it into an entire Buy Nothing Christmas. This may be a bit of a stretch for some of us, so the organization offers an alternative: the Buy Less Christmas. Vow to not buy as much stuff this Christmas and make sure that what you buy is from a local or independent business.
If you're not as concerned about the evils of over-consumption, then know that Buy Nothing Day and the expanded Buy Nothing Christmas are great for your budget. If you usually spend $500 on holiday gifts, consider putting that $500 away in a savings account. While you may not have a brand-new TV to watch, you won't have that post-holiday overspending guilt, either.