Monday, September 3, 2012

On failing (Pt 1)

A couple of months ago I decided to try and buy nothing new for two months. That time is up. So, how did I do? I bet you can guess.

Okay, so I didn't make it. I could get all whiny and say, 'but it was haaaard!' But you know what? It wasn't. I just caved occasionally and bought new things: Miss P desperately needed new shoes, there was a shoe sale on, so I bought new boots for myself as well (my current ones have holes in them but I could have waited another few weeks). There was a book I really wanted to be signed by the author (Theories of Everything). And a few other slip-ups. But the thing is I did change my mindset.

I stopped going to the shopping centre just for something to do. I'm not a big recreational shopper, but if you go to the shopping centre, you are going to buy something. Fact.

I stopped deciding on a whim that I really needed a new (insert whatever) right now and then going off to buy it. I looked at what we already had, what we could make, what we could use instead and really thought hard about what we really needed.

We bought second-hand clothes a few times when we needed things (I'm a complete convert to this) and began to see retail prices as hideously expensive and inflated (which they are).

And all of this meant that the few new things I did buy were appreciated so much more.

I'm not about to go on a spending spree now the two months are over because I think we've achieved a really good balance between buying new when absolutely needed (or for an occasional treat), buying second-hand when appropriate and being resourceful by using, adapting or fixing what we already have.

So that's that. Technically speaking, I failed at the challenge, but in practice, I think the effort has created a much healthier approach to spending and consuming.

Tomorrow, I'm going to write about my other fail...which, like this, is sort of a fail, but sort of not, if you know what I mean.