Australians have one of the world’s highest rates of disposable income, and know how to spend. In 2012, Australian households spent $14.1 billion on alcohol, $1.1 billion on tea and coffee, $8 billion on beauty, $19 billion on recreational items, $9.5 billion on gadgets, $5.1 billion on fashion, $10.5 billion on personal care and even $780 million on pet pampering.
Now, imagine instead if you bought nothing beyond the barest essentials. No online shopping, no visiting malls, no checking out sales – nothing at all.
Single mother Sash Milne, 28, who has a two-year-old daughter, Bo, vowed in January that this is exactly what she would do: buy nothing new for one year. She has succeeded so far. “It’s something I have always thought about,” she says. “I lived in a remote Indonesian village for three years where I didn’t buy much at all. It amazed me how quickly I got sucked back into the consumer machine when I returned to Australia … I forgot how awful it can make you feel about yourself. I forgot how easy it was to feel that buying something was actually going to make you feel better.”
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