Do you make New Year Resolutions? I don't usually, though at this time of year I do tend to stop and think about what is important to me.
Just before the New Year I discovered this blog: Frugal in Tasmania and her decision to try to go 365 days without shopping got me thinking. Now it isn't 365 days completely without shopping, just not shopping for un-needed items - you know, 'stuff' - food, drink, essential clothing etc are all OK.
Now I am guilty of buying stuff I want but don't need, just like the next person, often spur of the moment, but I also get quite stressed by 'clutter' and am forever trying to clear the house of things grown out of or no longer (or never) needed in order to clear my mind. How much better not to acquire it in the first place! I also actually rather dislike shopping (aside from op-shopping), the crowds and decisions are a cause of stress.
|Too much STUFF! Though, aside from the alcohol (believe it or not), most of this gets fairly regular use. Still wish it were tidier though.|
So I think I might take a cue from Frugal in Tasmania and give this not shopping a try, though I am only going to aim for 6 months. I'm calling it the 'J to J shopping challenge'. Along with this I intend to continue to declutter.
So - what is on the 'Naughty List' and what is on the 'Nice List'? It seems important to have some idea (and write it down) at the start - so I can't cheat.
Food & drink - including coffee with friends, eating out & occasional take-away.
Replacements for worn out clothes, shoes and other regularly used items (if they can't be repaired).
Items necessary for repairs.
School and University books & supplies.
Photo books (I do one each year for the kids).
Children's birthday presents.
Basic toiletry items.
Cleaning supplies (consumables).
Vegetable seedlings & other plants for the garden.
Medicine & first-aid items.
Ornaments / Decorations.
Make-up (exception - replacement of used up items).
Books (except as required for school or uni).
Clothes (except replacements).
Fabric (yes, this is going to be hard, but I do really have plenty to be going on with).
Tools, including Garden tools (unless absolutely needed for an already planned project, or a repair, and where I can't borrow it from Dad).
Tupperware (even if it is from the op-shop).
Cake at the coffee shop.
Bicycle gear (except for repair & maintenance & to enable us to achieve our plan of independent cycle touring).
Can you think of anything else that I should add? Suggestions welcome.
I will also take another piece of inspiration from 'Frugal' and aim for more days where I don't spend any money than days on which I do. This should have the effect of making me more efficient in my shopping habits, which will in turn reduce the stress of having to go to the shops, the chance of being tempted to make unnecessary purchases, and give me more time for other things.
Intended (and hoped for) outcomes: Less 'stuff' cluttering up our home and our lives; lower stress levels; an increased consciousness about consumerism and needs vs wants; more money saved; less time spent exposed to commercial settings.
I'll try to keep a running record of how I am going here - just like Frugal (though I don't know that my writing style is as interesting to read) - starting with the first two days.
NY day - no spend (not too hard).
Today (2/1/14) - pre-planned spending mainly on items to take my boys for their first overnight hike: extra tent pegs; water bladders; micro fibre towels; water purification tabs; camping cutlery & crockery (this is actually a birthday present); plus iron on patches to repair a couple of pairs of jeans. And a coffee. Thankfully all of these items are on the 'Nice List' as they are replacements for irreparable items needed for an activity that the family participates in regularly, or to enable other items to be repaired. I also have to go and get petrol, vegetables and medicine on the way home.
Now, I've made the commitment in writing, anyone want to join me for moral support? Or just add the odd helpful tip or comment as I go along?
Here's to 2014!