Judith Levine, author of Not Buying It, and her partner, Paul, stopped shopping for an entire year in order to pay down their debt. "Seeing that credit card balance staying more or less the same every single month just drains you," Judith says. "I thought, 'For one year, I'm going to buy nothing but the barest necessities, and see what happens.'"
Judith and Paul cut themselves off—no eating out, no going to the movies, no buying books, CDs, clothes, lattes—nothing! By the end of the year, Judith was stunned to discover how much money she had saved—$13,000!
It wasn't just Judith's bank account that benefited from her new lifestyle. She rediscovered life's simple pleasures—long walks, library books and dining at home. Plus, she and Paul didn't have a single argument over money for the entire year. "I realized how much fun we could have and what a satisfying life I could have on a lot less," she says.