One of the girls at work had a no-spend year in 2015, partly to break her habits, partly to save some serious money for a house deposit. I’d been thinking about doing the same, but recognising that I have an overseas trip and a half marathon already in the calendar for 2017, I think spending NO money would be optimistic, if not shortsighted.
I went for a run today, yay me; (I’m now sitting here in my endorphin smugness – feeling great), but on the way back home I figured most of the challenge out. If I limit my purchases to one item a month, twelve ‘things’ across the year, be those ‘things’ a new set of runners, or a new pair of jeans if a pair wears out, I’d still have to think long and hard about what I was buying. Which is the point of this exercise, I can’t just whizz out and get something as I might need something else more urgently later in the month. Although I’m still thinking through that if I don’t buy something in a calendar month, do I carry that thing over? Or kiss it goodbye? Decisions, decisions.
Some parameters I agreed upon with myself on my trot out this afternoon:
What I won’t buy
- Books, even on kindle – I’ve got a perfectly good library at my disposal, literally at the back door of where I work.
- Audiobooks, even on audible – see above! There are also a bevy of podcasts available for free should I need a spoken word fix.
- Music, even on iTunes – see above! I’ve also got heaps of music in iTunes and on CDs I don’t listen to. I seem to have the same four or five albums on repeat.
- Apps for the phone / iPad / Mac – If I need something, (unlikely) I’ll have a look at what is hiding in the cloud that I’ve already paid for. Or go without.
- New stationery – my name is Maddie and I’m a stationery addict. I have a 2017 diary, I have empty notebooks, I have full pens, I can do this. I have slight palpitations over this one. [As a side note, I wrote this after buying a new A4 pad for work this morning. Whoops.]
What I will carry on purchasing as required i.e. not part of the twelve ‘things’
- Contact lenses – I cannot run in my glasses, I’ve tried.
- Netflix – I am addicted to Bob Ross. He’s my salvation, my balm after a hard day, all three of us enjoy watching the painter man. I also get far more pleasure finding documentaries on there that are well made, educational and interesting than attempting to find anything to watch on the terrestrial TV in Australia; which if it’s not ‘reality’ TV, is false-news-scaremongering reportage or sport.
- Supporting my Patreons. Osher Günsberg, Amanda Palmer and Jack Monroe if you’re wondering.
- Osteopath appointments – I fly a desk for a living. All the stretching and exercise in the world will not undo 40+ hours a week sitting down. I need support to keep healthy and upright.
- Late entrant, bras.
Any other suggestions? I’m happy to take answers on a postcard on anything you’d like to offer up. I’ll blog each month about how I’m getting on. I can tell you’re thrilled.