Today is Black Friday for crazy shopping in North America. To protest and counter that, people came up with Buy Nothing Day, but might well turn around to buy something throughout the weekend that now has extended to Cyber Monday. Buying nothing for one day but buying the same net amount later is like delayed hypocrisy. Buy Nothing Day has its merits, but it’s not practical for a lot of people who might be able to save money on something they really need. Buy Nothing Day is a lot more affordable for the wealthy than the less wealthy.
As an alternative to Buy Nothing Day, try what I thought of and practiced this year. It’s something much more practical that I call Net Negative Day. The principle is simple.
Give away more than you spend, as in donations rather than saving money on gifts for friends and family.
This isn’t about giving more in gifts to friends and family than to yourself. It’s about giving to charity, or a charitable cause, or random act of kindness to someone who could really use one. So spend whatever you want, but you’ll be limited by the requirement to give away more than you’ll spend.
It’s kind of like the best of both worlds.
It’s too bad I only thought about it late today as I was really hungry for some food and thought about Buy Nothing Day. I wasn’t going to buy myself anything material, but realized that buying food counted as something. So I thought up a compromise and got myself less than $5 worth of food, but went home and donated at least $15 worth of rarely or never used clothing once given to me by others. That’d be $15 of what I think the retail value at the thrift store where they’ll be resold would be, not their original value. That might be closer to $100.
I’ll remember Net Negative Day from now on and will practice it rather than Buy Nothing Day in future years as my practical protest to Black Friday.