Friday, 10 December 2010

Buying Nothing for a Year?

Every so often an idea, mad or otherwise grips me.  This one has been occupying more than its fair share of headspace for sometime now.   Should I  follow the laudable  example of others like Judith Levine and Samantha Weinburg and set myself the challenge of buying nothing beyond everyday essentials during 2011?

The decision hasn't been arrived at lightly.  It's an idea I find romantic and  after all, there are so many benefits to taking this stance - generating extra savings to be used for paying off the mortgage and increasing giving, exercising a stand against mass consumerism, practising impulse control and  fostering personal discipline to name a few. However, I won't hold you in suspense - the answer is NO! 

Firstly I'm not happy about foisting such a major financial decision on the rest of the Lovelygrey family and without their participation the venture would have a decidedly dumbed down ring about it. I'm also thinking about the positive benefits that thoughtful spending can confer on businesses that are in need of support in these hard economic times.  Finally, I've got to admit that there are some items  that might be considered luxuries I can't, nay, don't want to do without - shoes that don't cause stabbing pain to my feet within a short space of time and my laptop and phone cum organiser cum camera cum addtional brain storage space.  If these are beyond repair I'd be really lost!

So I'm formulating an alternative plan for 2011 that falls midway between the extremes denying myself and the family completely and a Viv  Nicholson Spend Spend Spend approach.  Here it is in its draft form.

  • Vigourously explore the possibility of all major purchases being secondhand including the swivel recliner chair that, I believe, is destined to change my life!
  • Increase my charitable donations by 50%
  • Buy no craft materials for the year unless they're required to finish an existing piece,  needed for my jewellery course or bought for Mama Lovelygrey (!).
  • Buy no ready made cakes, biscuits or the sneaky Haribo fizzy sweets that I secretly munch in the car.
  • There's no need for purchasing any more shop bought clothes other than shoes and underwear for a year. 
  • Plan all purchases over and above necessities to control  impulse buying.  Consider the origins and ethics of these when buying.
  • Avoid indulging in any new hobbies/interests unless they are free.  Similarly don't add any more personal care products to my regime.
  • Avoiding excessively packaged on food items.
As I think of further things, I'll add them to the list in red.   And next year I'll be reporting on how well or poorly I'm doing Here's hoping that my new regime may bring benefits, economic and otherwise to myself, my family and the wider community.

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