The Dannemiller family decided to make a radical change in their shopping habits for a year. The Dannemillers said they needed a "vacation from consumerism" and time to reconnect as a family. Therefore, they made a pact not to purchase anything but food, gas, and "experiences" for a whole year. Despite the drastic change, the parents say they never informed their children about the new plan. Instead, they waited to see if they even noticed. Surprisingly to many, the kids say they didn't notice anything different about the year other than getting to spend more time with family and friends.
The Daily Mail reports that Tennessee couple Scott and Gabby Dannemiller felt as though they were focusing too much on what they purchased or owned and wanted to refocus their efforts on family time. Therefore, they decided to drastically alter their spending habits by only purchasing items that could be fully used in a year. This meant no new toys, clothing, home decor items, or electronics for the entire year. The family instead spent their extra money on "experiences" they could enjoy together.
According to the Tennessean, the immediate reaction from individuals hearing about the "vacation from consumerism" is, "how much did they save?" However, Scott Dannemiller says saving money wasn't the point of the break from purchases. In fact, the Dannemillers say they don't know how much they have saved, only that they were more easily able to put money into their savings and into charity work than in the past. They also noted that money was spent on family experiences such as going to the zoo, traveling with family or friends, and going to dinner together.
Scott and Gabby opted not to tell their children about the challenge. Instead, they wanted to see if their two children, seven-year-old Jake and five-year-old Audrey, would even notice. To the surprise of many, the kids didn't seem to notice they weren't receiving as many material gifts. In fact, when asked about the year and what may have been different, the kids simply said they felt like they spent more time with their family and friends.
Scott says that he did "cheat" four times during the year. They purchased Jake a sport's bottle and new pair of shoes for sports and purchased Audrey new swim fins she was promised for completing swim classes. The family also purchased a new vacuum cleaner. Despite their four purchases, Scott said the experience was a nice break and that it was well worth the effort to reconnect as a family.
What do you think about Scott and Gabby Dannemiller's year of "no spending?"
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