Monday, March 31, 2014

A Month with Less


Well folks we are one week into our month of buying nothing new beyond hygiene products and food. So far the experiment has been surprisingly easy, yet very educational. Last Monday we began our trek into somewhat new territory. I like to think that Eric and I are normally pretty mindful consumers. We are regular thrifters, we buy local when we can (not always a simple thing during a Wyoming winter). We really just don't buy all that much.

I actually started thinking about this project a few months ago after dropping Cordelia off at preschool. I made a quick run to Target to buy some toilet paper, and I left with things like bargain frames ($2!) and a small toy for each girl and then, oh maybe some vegan chocolate that Target carries (because I need to support target carrying more vegan things, wink). Anyway, while I was there I ran into so many other mothers with their kids, just wandering the aisles like I was. Initially I assumed that we were all just running errands, but I got to thinking about it...was it really running errands or was it something else? I truly only needed one thing, yet I left there with several things. Now, I am really not a big spender, but it got me thinking. How many times had I gone in for one item say, $10 and spotted a few other small items, maybe $5 more dollars? SO MANY TIMES! I then decided that it was time to just be a little more conscious about what I am buying and why I am buying it.

Don't get me wrong, it is great fun to buy things that aren't necessities, but I think it is easy to get into a weird habit where you don't ask yourself important questions like:
1)Do I need it?
2) Will I use it?
3)Do I love it?
I don't know about you, but when I am in some of these stores (I am looking at you Ikea and Target) it is easy to imagine a life that is beautiful and organized and stylish...but it really isn't that way, is it? I buy the cool serving tray or whatever and take it home. My house doesn't magically transform into a professionally styled place, nor do I want it to look like it was, yet I am easily suckered--I buy into the idea. It's just so easy to do without even noticing.

So now I am a week into my little project and I am finding myself fairly liberated. The biggest liberation is from the sale racks. I am a total sucker for a bargain, but for this month I am not buying---even from the sale racks and it feels so freeing! I was at the store buying groceries the other day and I passed by a big sale section. I just breezed by and it was wonderful! How many dollars did I save, probably just a few here and there, but think about how quickly this adds up! I am fairly certain that I will be a millionaire  thousandaire hundredaire by the end of the month!

The only thing I didn't factor into my plan was medicine. We had a sick baby this past week and I had to buy meds. So, let's add that to the equation for the rest of the month, if it should become an issue.

I am really loving this. I have spent a lot more time at home, not running errands that perhaps aren't so pressing as they may seem. All in all this is a good gig and I hope that you will join me!


Jes said...

Good luck! We're starting our own "spending less" month tomorrow, kind of following the "And Then We Saved" blog ideas. So looking forward to it!

Melodee said...

I have been on a stop-spending spree since the beginning of the year (except for consumables - e.g., food, health & beauty products). I have been on a quest to simplify and get rid of things, yet found myself still bringing more into my home. What I have found the most interesting over these past three months of not spending is how quickly I realized that I do have 'enough'.

Sarah Purdy said...

Great idea! I agree, Target is such a black hole of spending. I try to limit my time there because I always walked out shocked at how much I spent on things I didn't need.

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