A Week Without Spending Money

So your response may be, “come on, no way!” or “why not!” or “easy in theory, difficult in practice.” On your mind is a busy to-do list for next week with supposedly very necessary purchases and all the consequent objections that come with each…great! After last week’s topic regarding living without waste, this week’s subject is living without money. Let’s see what awaits us outside our comfort zones.

A week without spending money, no, even a day without spending requires a close inspection of what exactly we’re purchasing. Let’s leave out rent, home/car/school installments, bills, and other similar monthly costs. Where does our money go to every day? Especially in big cities, something as small as travel costs can become a big expense. Food and drink is also a category where we put down a lot of money (at home and outside). Social life includes the previous two categories as well as the extra costs of entertainment, making it another regular expense. And then there are those expenses we can’t foresee: an appliance that needs repair, an unplanned health issue, an unexpected birthday, a wedding invitation…

Despite all these things, can believing in the possibility of a few days without spending any money not be within the area of deprivation, stinginess, or irritability, but in fact an experiment in creativity for us? Or what can we do so that it is an experiment in creativity? Will those people, who go for a solid food-shopping spree the day before, notice how little they actually need when their cupboards are full? In fact, isn’t there enough food hiding in the corners of our refrigerators and freezers that could perhaps sustain us for days? Can’t we present our near and dear guests with food and drinks made from ingredients we already have in the house, with various films, and sometimes even games that only require pen and paper? How would it make us feel to take along our own coffee/tea instead of buying it, reading things online rather than purchasing magazines, or just taking a breath rather than delving into the online world? What kind of shrewd ideas will come to us when we decide to meet with our friends or lover and have an amazing time without spending a dime? From which friend can we borrow a formal dress for that mandatory event? With which parents can we do a babysitting swap, so that we can spend a few hours doing what we want?

Mapping out our relationship with money is not as difficult as we believe. It’s enough to take money out of our lives. Perhaps for one day, three days, or one week. For those who want to try, I can’t guarantee that it will be easy. I just want to remember that the greatest cuisines came from the poorest and most over-populated peoples, and that the biggest inventions were the masterpieces of shortcoming and scarcity. If we want to test out and develop our creativity, why not cut out money, the world’s easiest remedy?



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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