Wednesday, 19 May 2010


The topic today has given me a tenuous excuse to use one of my favourite images 'Boy on Mount Fuji' by Katsushika Hokusai, a print that has pride of place in my bedroom. I am enraptured by the tranquility  that this painting instills. But enough of my arty meanderings.

I am fortunate to have enough money to buy pretty much anything I want. Happily, though my tastes are quite simple. I am not a Louboutin shoe buying fanatic and although, after riding in colleagues' cars I currently have a quite a severe case of Audi lust, I am not tempted to blow my cash on a depreciating piece of metal. Books, clothes, tools and craft materials are my weakness and while most individual items are not experience the accumulative cost can mount up.

For a couple of years now I have been strict about updating my wardrobe. I draw up a list of what I'd like in spring or autumn together with a budget for each piece. Then I go shopping (or send fabric to Mama Lovelygrey!). The pleasure gained from a sudden influx of new stuff to try on is far greater than the drip drip effect obtained from constant impulse buying at lunchtime. My purchasing is more considered and over time I've substantially cut what I spend on clothes because I already have what I need.

Since Christmas I've extended this principle to other stuff I buy. I'm only allowed to buy things if they're on a pre-prepared list, even if I've run out of something on a craft project I'm doing. It has to wait. Then on pay day I can go shopping. This delayed gratification gives me time to think about whether I really needed the thing I thought I desired so much. For example, yesterday I deleted a book I thought I 'needed' from my Amazon wishlist and scanned a few of its pages from a library copy instead. Or I might improvise with what I've got already.  And sometimes a longer wait might even bring bigger dividends.  I've waited for my ski boots for a couple of months now so I might as well extend the delay and make the purchase in mid summer when they're at rock bottom prices.  Who knows the store assistants might even have more time to be attentive about the foot problem that I have that means that hiring is not really an option?

Of course, a sneaky purchase gets through like the new jeans last week or the occasional tube of  glue.  But then, sometimes it's good to experience how nice being naughty  is!

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