This morning I got a reminder e-mail about a pledge I signed to Go One Year Without Shopping. It means just that, go one [
This challenge was inspired by Judith Levine's Book "Not Buying It". As a social experiment she goes one year without buying anything but necessities. No new clothes, treats, or even entertainment. Released following former president Bush's plea for Americans to perform their patriotic duty and shopshopshop (to show the terrorists we've won, naturally!) this book tackles the tough questions.
Can the economy survive without shopping? Are Q-Tips a necessity? I can't wait to read the whole book.
Judith Levine doesn't lecture or take her one-year vow of shopping abstinence too seriously. Instead she says,
"Starting January 1, 2004, Paul and I will purchase only necessities for sustenance, health, and business. ... I won't preach the gospel of the Simple Life or dispense advice on how to live it. I have no illusion that forgoing this CD or that skirt is going to bring down consumer culture."
Although there was an understandable slip or two Judith miraculously sticks to her guns for a year.
With my thrifting addiction, a year without buying will burn my soul. If I honor my pledge (like I should) this may become more of a "junking" blog than a thrifting blog, where I eye the Craigslist's "Free" section vigilantly, watch for curbside treasures, and swoop in on the discarded furniture of friends and family like a bird of prey.
I'm sure that if I commit to this experiment cold turkey it'll beat me. I don't spend much, I don't go out to movies or concerts. But I do love to support local business and haunt a couple of my favorite cafes, restaurants and bars. I might have to pathetically make my goals as follows:
1. No retail purchases other than food and hygiene products (easy enough)
2. No concerts or movies (cheating, I'm not sacrificing anything here)
3. No buying "unnecessary" art prints & pieces (ouch, my soul)
4. No beer from bars (not sure if I can do this...)
5. No Thrift Store Purchases (NO! Can we just set a tiny budget?! Torture!)
As for not eating out, I don't know if this is possible for me. I work so much that it's incredibly hard to make time for cooking without sacrificing sleep or sanity. I don't do it often but I'm so busy that picking up food keeps me from staying up 'til 3AM cooking or becoming malnourished on cereal-dinner (So sick of cereal-dinner!).
You know what, I'm failing at this experiment already. But I want you to think about this too. How much could you live without? What can you cut, even for a month instead of one year?
This kind of thinking encourages more thoughtful purchases. You buy only what you need and love. And this is for the best, there's no room in your life for anything else.
Here's the challenge blog: A Year Without Shopping. It starts September 1, 2010. If I commit this gives me time to upgrade some broken furniture and purchase other "non-necessities".
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[Couch Update] The couch I blabbed about in yesterday's post is now mine! The owners kindly offered to deliver it to me tomorrow. It looks much better in person but has a fatal flaw, cat claw damage to its beautiful vintage upholstery. I'll ask for advice on how to repair it and post pictures in a future post. I appreciated all the feedback on it!
This post is linked to: Welcome Wednesday / Works for Me Wednesdays / Creative Therapy Session / Show and Tell / Penny Pinching Party / We Did it Wednesdays / Make it Yours Day / Whatever Goes Wednesday / Room to Inspire/ Women Who do it All / Hoo's Got Talent / We Can Do it Cheaper / Transformation Thursdays