Friday, February 18, 2011

Nothing new for a year...

On a 'quick' trip to the shops for groceries I would often return with a few extra little bags of little things. Nothing too expensive just little presents for the birthday box or crafty things for the girls or $2 shop bargains. Or I would come home with things, have buyers remorse and take them back the following week. It all seemed harmless, a bit of a waste of time but harmless.

Last week I went to the shops for the first time in awhile and I came back with only my groceries. I visited two other shops for items I needed but I did not verve off course. It was liberating! It felt good not to come home with clutter or guilt over my purchases.

What has changed I hear you ask? As of the 1st February I am attempting to buy nothing new for a year. MultipleMum spoke about not buying anything new for a year and I am going to try it out. So far so good.

The rules (directly from Compact the group that seems to be the originator of the idea and MutipleMum):

1. Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

2. Borrow or buy used.

There are a few exceptions using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
  • Food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments such as Viagra or Botox)
  • Necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
  • Socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental) - Pajamas for the children
  • Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) but you should support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)
  • Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items - Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification
  • Charitable contributions - a great source for gifts
  • Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. But if you have to, purchase from local businesses (i.e., not Bunnings)--and again, within reason
  • Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses
  • Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online.
  • DVD rentals and downloadable music files (non-material) -- freely shared and legal, please
(I am also giving us a pardon in December for a few weeks when my father is generously taking us on an overseas holiday - it is our first and last for awhile!)

A few weeks in and it is going well. Having said that I did buy a few things at the end of January, knowing what is ahead. Lets wait till a few months down the track when the present box is empty and I want a new pair of jeans.....


  1. I was going to post about this next week. I am struggling a bit this week. A few presents to organise etc. It certainly makes you re-think what you are purchasing and get a bit creative huh?

  2. Ive been thinking about doing this too, but don't think I could go for a year. I do go through no-spending spurts though. I'm trying to buy any clothes for myself secondhand this year. I did buy a cardigan new, only $9.95 though so at least I didn't spent lots of $$$ on it. But otherwise am shopping for op shop fashions in. 2011