Wants and needs are two different things. But in the throes of spending – whether it be purchasing that new TV, or replacing your house with the latest furniture, the two concepts can be pretty difficult to separate. This thinking causes many of us to buy more than we can afford, and we find ourselves struggling to pay back credit. Too many runs of this, and we end up defaulting on our repayments and a Credit Provider somewhere penalises us with bad credit that takes 5 years to shake off. Education and awareness is the key to changing this kind of behaviour – which is natural in all of us. That’s why when we came across October’s “Buy Nothing New Month” – we thought it was a great idea. We hope it helps you.

By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs and www.fixmybadcredit.com.au.

Could you last the rest of the month without buying anything new? That’s the concept for “Buy Nothing New Month” which runs until the end of October. The idea is to only buy necessities, and say a big NO to every other shopping expedition which could see you parting with your hard earned money during October.

Savingsguide.com.au ran a post on Tuesday on this topic ‘Buy Nothing New Month’ and we think it’s a terrific concept.

Buy Nothing New Month (BNNM) was created by the Sacred Heart Mission in a bid to encourage mindfulness about spending habits. The official BNNM website for has a real edge to it – it seems aimed at changing the minds of young people and building a better future. Savingsguide.com.au’s Toria Phillips writes “isn’t it nice to see more people getting on board as it become more socially acceptable, heck maybe even cool, to be a saver?”

Here’s more from BNNM about what the month is all about:

Buy Nothing New Month is the global movement for collective, conscientious consumption.

It’s a little idea, that started in Melbourne and is spreading to the Netherlands and USA.

In 2011, Sydney Morning Herald ran a poll asking “is Buy Nothing New Month a good idea?” Over 10,000 voted. 82% said “yes”

It’s a one month challenge to buy nothing new (with the exception of essentials like food, hygiene and medicines)

Buy Nothing New Month isn’t Buy Nothing New Never. Nor is it about going without.

It’s literally about taking one month off to really think, “Do I really need it?” If I do, “can I get it second-hand, borrow it or rent it? What are my alternatives? Can I borrow from a friend? Can I swap with my neighbor?”

It’s about thinking where our stuff comes from (finite resources) and where it goes when we’re done (often landfill) and what are the fantastic alternatives out there to extend the life of our ‘stuff’.

It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s moving from consumption-driven to community-driven.

It’s good for us, our wallets and our planet.

Hop on board!

Don’t worry that the month is almost out – take the last week or two to give it a go – or maybe run it into November if you can. For tips on how to do it – visit the BNNM website’s How to Page.

Back in September we wrote an article involving data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which showed one in seven Australians spend more than they earn – ‘Are you spending more than you earn? You’re not alone.’ These are alarming figures and it makes me realise that not enough Australians understand the power of credit. It is a great concept, but as long as we make it work for us. We should use it to enhance our lives so that we can spend time with the ones we love, or to really improve our quality of life. Not make ourselves slaves to it. All it does is end up becoming a monkey on our back when we are living with bad credit history.

This disease of consumerism also known as ‘Affluenza’ (when too much is never enough) is mentioned on the BNNM website, and it is an idea that some Australians have taken on board, and it has enabled them to change their ‘stinkin- thinkin’ about money.

Is this you?

“We all know this stuff but we forget. Or, more accurately, we choose to forget. We want what we want and we want it now. So, we cram that whining voice inside our head telling us to be frugal deep into our subconscious, buy the thing we like, and only release him later. Of course, by this stage it is invariably too late to undo the damage so we shrug our shoulders, say “oh well” and convince the whiny voice that we “forgot” and that it was really all beyond our control,” Savingsguide.com.au’s Toria Phillips muses.

If so, put that little voice on loudspeaker! Change your stinkin thinkin – and take the ideas of Buy Nothing New This Month and apply them in your life. This won’t guarantee that you do not make the occasional bad choice, and it won’t guarantee that you aren’t a victim of credit rating errors which lead to bad credit history. But it gives you a good sporting chance of keeping a clear credit file and having the real financial independence that everyone deserves.

For advice on how to restore your good name and have a clear credit file or help to dispute unfair credit listings, contact a Credit Repair Advisor on 1300 667 218 or visit our main site MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs for more information on what we do www.mycra.com.au.

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