Wednesday, July 16, 2008
not buying stuff
price tages by lythane on flickr
Just past the mid-year, I thought it might be time to check in on my "not buying stuff" pledge for 2008. I took this pledge because I really wanted to pay down my student loans, and in order to make the big giant monthly payments I wanted to make, it seemed important to trim a bit from the budget.
And also, I realize that I am deeply addicted to Stuff, and Buying Stuff, and Getting New Stuff, and a bit of abstinence wouldn't do me (or the planet) any harm. A bit rough on our consumer-driven ecomony, though... I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about all these banks collapsing. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
The main part of the pledge was not buying new clothes. I allowed myself all the thrift store purchases I could want, but nothing new. I took the Wardrobe Refashion 6-month pledge as an inducement, but seeing as how I haven't made a thing to wear, I don't know if I'm still in that club.
I also have tried really hard to limit my purchases of general stuff, mainly by not buying anything on impulse. If there's something that I run across and think I "need," I have been putting it off until I either forget about it, decide I don't need it anymore, or find a free/used/cheaper one someplace else. It seems to be keeping down the general buying.
Also, no credit card use. None. Nada. Zip. Cash only. Very important.
All the same, I am amazed at how much stuff I have bought this year, and at how many consumer items are rattling around in my brain urging me to break out the plastic and make them MINE. I tried to make up as complete a list as I could remember. Here goes:
things i've bought this year (new)
- a SAF t-shirt
- a pair of red sandals
- solar lights for the patio
- a recycled banner bag from holly aiken
- tomato plants
- a ladder
- a ceiling fan
- a giant 500-gallon water tank
- earrings from yecART.
things i really want but won't buy
- a labradoodle (not really a "thing," is it?!)
- a charcoal grill
- shoes of all sorts, especially some elegant grownup-looking mary janes
- an energy- & water-efficient washer & dryer
- a couch for the living room
stuff i will probably buy before the year is out
- a used iMac
- a gas grill, hopefully in good (used) condition
- a new bathroom exhaust fan
- too many christmas presents
- more yarn
things i plan to make in the (not-too-distant) future
- too many christmas presents
- half a dozen or so baby gifts (!)
- an outdoor potting table/garden storage cabinet
Ugh! You know, listing it all out like this is making the buying impulse easier to resist. I have been struggling most with not buying stuff for the house. For some reason, buying clothes has been easy to abandon (which really surprised me), but buying stuff for the house has not been -- maybe because household goods seem more like "basics" or necessities. A couch. A washing machine. So practical. But maybe not so much when you already have a perfectly good one...
Anyone know a good web tutorial for making your own couch?