Spending Experiment

Consumers on strike for 2012.

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Why blog?

I’m good at coming up with crazy ideas and schemes, but I’m by no means a finisher. I think this blog will help me sort out my ideas, make things right and proper, and also allow me to ask other people what they think. It’s also a good place to make funny comments about Geek Boy, and get in a bit of mummy-boasting too (though I promise that will be minimal) I’m hoping that writing things down, and being accountable to blog land will help us to keep at it and remain committed to our (somewhat wishy-washy) cause. I’m also going to talk about other stuff when I feel like it, but probably not Michael Gove, because he gets me very very angry and I need to take my super-strength tablets every time his highly-slappable face enters my consciousness.
Oh, and our “experiment” (had to call it that to get Geek Boy on board) doesn’t actually start until 1 Jan 2012, so until then I will be pontificating on all things, and probably doing a lot of shopping.

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…or more accurately, the no-spending experiment

So, what we are going to do (along with thousands of others on our bandwagon of frugality) is stop buying stuff, for a year, a whole goddamn 365 days of no shopping.  Geek Boy thinks this will be very easy – for him, maybe.  The only things he ever buys are Private Eye, “components” which have no relevance to my (or anyone elses’s life) and old tools from auctions with 50 years of ingrained sawdust on them.  So, he’s OK then.  Me, on the other hand, well I do like shopping.  A lot.  It is my main hobby <flushes red with embarrassment>, so it is probably a good thing that we are doing this…thing.  I want to reclaim the more cerebral side of my life, enjoy simple pleasures, not have to have a massive clearout every 3 months necessitating piling the pram up with binloads of clothes and crap I’ve never worn/used/or even liked.  It may just save us some money too. 

Last week Geek Boy spent £10K on a car, and we are planning to get a new bed for The Boy before Christmas.  Other than that, we can’t think of anything else we may need in the foreseeable future.  The sofa is desperate for replacing, but we are going to look at other options – Freecycle, kind friends maybe?

Having a 2-year-old means that shoes and clothes will need to be bought, but I shall do my darndest to source from the myriad of charity shops we have on our high street.  And there’s always the grandparents…

All those hours every week I spend on Amazon, just hoping to be tempted by some special offer, and then suckered in to the ‘if you liked this, then you might like this’ baloney.  All those newspapers and magazines piled up under the coffee table, the ones we never get around to reading and then dump blithely in the recycling.  Evil online stores sending me sparkly emails offering an extra 10% off if you enter the word “sucker” into the voucher box.  And the traipsing, yes traipsing, around the town centre every time I have some time to myself, in the hope of finding something that will make me feel good about myself, when really I already know that the things which make me feel good are love, loud music, eating cake and wearing my pyjamas all day – all of which can be enjoyed without buying ‘stuff’.

The rules are that we won’t buy anything that will take up space in our house – no clothes, no gadgets, no books or newspapers (eek), no colourful new cake tins with chickens on, no gadgets.  Supermarket shops will involve buying the essentials and not wandering over to the clothes/toys/books aisles just to see if there are any ‘bargains’ to be had. We have enough bloody bargains, and they are invariably brief visitors to our home.  It’s not so much about saving money (though that will be nice).  It’s more about making more space and time for our family. We don’t need more pretty stuff, we ARE the pretty stuff!

So, this then is our declaration of intent.  Our intention to go on strike as consumers of all things tat and focus on the real and the good.  Ooh, it may even be a journey into our very souls… 

Care to join us?

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