Friday, March 27, 2009

Think before you buy

I thought I'd explain a little bit about my non-buying challenge, to make it real and stop me forgetting I'm doing it. And because some of you are wondering what it's all about (Hello Julie!)
It all started with the spending hiatus at Simple Lovely. Although I never signed up officially, I thought it was a great idea and decided to try it. It also ties in nicely with the new, "post South America me", the one who promised never to forget what's important, and to live a simple life full of fun and love, but with few things.
The exception to this is, of course, basic items like food and toiletries and books. I have a lot of books and I'm NOT getting rid of those, books are friends, I've said it before, and you just don't get rid of friends, even when you know them very well (specially when you do know them very well!).
But I did decide not to spend so much on things that I normally buy on a whim and that provide instant, but not lasting, gratification, namely, clothes and magazines. Surprisingly, non buying clothes has proved very, very easy. As long as I don't get close to the high street I'm fine, I don't even think about it. Not buying magazines, on the other hand, has proved so much more difficult. Borders is my happy place, you see, and Borders is full of all kind of magazines. I'm not doing so bad, I've bought a couple of magazines in the last couple of months, as opposed to 10 (but I did buy this one), but I have to try harder.
I have noticed others things that I was spending my money on, specially take away food, or eating out, and I'm now making a conscious effort not to spend so much on those.
The key to this is that I'm not really forbidding myself to buy stuff, I'm just trying to think more carefully about what I buy and why.
If you'd like to do something similar, this video would definitely convince you.


  1. thank you for this. your timing is good, as i've been mentally preparing myself for a month of austerity during april. i was wondering what it was you were "allowed" to buy and although i fear groceries is one of my money pits, i'm glad to hear i can still buy them (i was looking at my pantry shelves and thinking we could get along for awhile, but i'd miss milk in my tea quite quickly). i'll have to work up the courage to watch the video. :-)

    i think i'd be with you on the clothing thing as long as i stay away from it. same with craft stores. they are another weakness. and yarn shops. oh, there are so many...but the spirit is willing.

  2. ok, i just watched the video (i somehow couldn't bring myself to do it before). although very american in its view, it's good. especially the bits about how manipulated we are to consume. i think you may be right, it might not be so hard to jump off the consumer train if i watch this every day (for a little while) to remind myself and beef up my willpower.

    but i'm not giving up my iPod. :-) i just won't buy a new one anytime soon.


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