Tuesday, January 24, 2012

YOU CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF WHAT YOU DON'T NEED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY

Image from we heart it

So, I'm not buying anything new this year. No visiting pretty home shops, clothes shops in shopping centres, boutiques in shopping strips, franchises in shopping arcades. I'm resisting buying anything new.

For a whole year.

This is because I want to lighten my global footprint. Promote conscientious consumption. Pay off some bills. Save for a house extension. Teach my kids that it's good to be happy with what we have. Live within our earning capacity. Teach myself self-restraint.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a spending addiction. Goodness knows, there just isn't enough money to go around when there are kids in the equation, a home mortgage, investments, and me having a part-time job. I'm the queen of purchasing 'the bargain', and tend to stock up at the end of the two major seasons - hot and cold.

Besides, we don't really need anything. But we sure want a lot. But that's where Buying Nothing New (BNN) comes in.

Okay, so I can't really count the first week of January. You see, I hadn't had a chance to buy the things I actually needed and couldn't live without for a whole year. So, there was a bit of a visit to Ikea after the New Year came in. Plus I needed some bathers and a laundry hamper (trust me, you cannot buy those things second-hand)*. Besides I had a gift voucher I needed to use.

Which gets me thinking, does it sort of undo the BNN mentality when you're 'stocking up'?  And what about gift vouchers that were given to me at Christmas time and will expire before this year is out? Oh, the quandries...

Anyhow, I'm now on a roll. In fact, it doesn't really feel like anything different to the usual, seeing we:
  1. Hardly ever eat out.
  2. Don't visit shopping centres very often.
  3. Make most of our special treats from scratch.

Christmas has the lads loaded up with clothes and summer needs like boogie boards, bathers and tshirts. A few of my friends (and I) have had our annual clothes cull and we've done a bit of swapsies in the clothes department (one girl's trash, another girl's treasure), and so my winter wardrobe is stocked.

But one of the biggest things that has changed for me is my incoming emails. Turns out I'm on a lot of mailing lists. And if I'm not buying any shoes, clothes, linen, or home stuff - then why bother with the emails? Besides, I don't wish to be tempted. It's scary how many things I was subscribed to. I didn't think it was much until I started unsubscribing. Wowsers. The past five years has me signed up to some serious junk mail. But I'm cleansing, and it feels good.

And this is the beginning. I'm sure I'll post about this again, just a few more times this year. But it's a good start and I'm positive it will lead us (and our bank balance) to a good place.

Have you tried Buying Nothing New? Do you think it's bad for me to spend my gift vouchers before they expire? Any suggestions if you've done this before?

*Things I bought in the first week of January included Ikea $60 (vase, jug, step ladder, hooks), Freedom $100 (laundry hamper), bathers $60.