Friday, February 27, 2009

::buy nothing::

Because this is the year of BIG commitments (see my new Road to the Marathon update on my left side-bar) I've also decided that 2009 is the year of Buy Nothing. (That sound you just heard? Was David choking on his lunch. Don't worry, he'll be fine.)

Ok, to be honest I have already purchased a couple of things in 2009 (What?! We went to Hawaii! I needed stuff.) BUT I purchased only ONE thing for myself while there. Now that is amazing, no?

Anyway, here's the thing: I have gotten myself into a mess by buying stuff....lots of stuff. And it makes me sick and it keeps me awake at night and I just need to STOP. Because how much stuff does a person need? I think most people, if they are honest with themselves, have some sort of dirty little secret, some sort of vice that makes them feel good (no matter how temporarily)...something that fills the "hole" that each of us seems to have. Some people smoke, some drink to much, some over eat, some shop too much....some have 14 babies! But at some point in one's life, we have to face our demons to get to the bottom of it, especially if our habit/vice is unhealthy. And, let's face it, most of them are.
Sure, there are many things worse than shopping, as mentioned above. But do I NEED another skirt or pair of clogs or cardigan or sundress? No. I may WANT them, but I certainly don't need them. Every day we hear on the news about people losing their jobs and not being able to feed their families, having to move in with relatives or worse, onto the streets....and it makes me feel literally sick that I have this compulsion, this sense of entitlement to buy things simply because they are "cute". When did I become this person??

And so, I have decided that I will not purchase anything for myself for the rest of this year. I have a large closet full of great shoes and clothes and I have the skills to make more. I am done feeding the "consumer-beast". Done.

The exceptions are underwear and running shoes. It's crucial to trade in your old running shoes when they are worn, so I will need another (possibly two) pair before the marathon in October. Because worn-out running shoes mean knee, hip and back problems.

So as soon as that new Boden or J.Crew or Anthropologie or Athleta catalogue comes into my house? It's going straight into the trash. Because if I even OPEN them to browse, I will find some adorable coat or skirt or dress or whatever that I simply can not live without. So I will not even look.

I've already started: yesterday I realized that I NEED a day-planner of sorts, some little calendar to keep in my purse to keep track of my life. The old Kate would have gotten on to find something cool and hand-crafted. And I did, out of habit. I even found an adorable one half-off for just $11. I was so ready to hit that "purchase" button...and then I stopped myself. I remembered that I had a perfectly fine, brand new little planner book sitting on my desk. It had been sent by one of our contractors and had their name on it....not cute at all BUT, hey, I am creative and if there's one thing I have plenty of, it's fabric. So I went home and got busy and viola:

Cute, practical and FREE. Now that's what I'm talking about.


Dee said...

That's a big atta girl ! And your day planner is girly, cute, and definatey YOU ! And it was free. yeaaaaa
I like it, you could make more. Go out to contractors, get more freebies and ---- ta da. A new way to make money.
OK, I'm being a bit goofy but it is cute. I'm PROUD of you for your resolve not to buy. I've cut back too. I quit watching QVC. For me that's big. and it works.

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Well, keep us posted on how that works. Sounds like a tough one!!!

Jodi said...

You can do it, yes you can!
You can do it, you're the man!

Go Kate, beat spending!

I don't know why, but after reading that post I just felt like a cheerleader!

Whosyergurl said...

A whole year? I have to say, I admire you...that is going out on a limb, for me. I do well with little goals like "this week or this weekend."
The truth of the matter is, we could all do with less CRAP. And, most of the time I'm content with "just looking."

robyn said...

This is awesome. Good luck!

(You can just send your Boden and Anthro catalogs to me, if it makes you feel better.)

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Our ecomony is going to suffer even worse if you keep up with this foolishness. I for one vow to stimulate our economy by spending as much as possible on completely useless crap that I don't need. And when this country is back on it's feet, you can say Thank you to me!

kate said...

Lala, I appreciate you takin' one for the team. :)

Cheryl, I know...a year is a looong time. But I must practice discipline. I must.

Robyn, something tells me you're already getting your fair share of catalogs. :)

Maggie said...

After moving two times in three years, it became really clear to me that we had too much crap. It multiplies and fills the house and makes me feel crabby. So I started recycling every catalogue that came in the mail and working out or reading at lunch instead of leaving the office, which inevitably led to shopping. It's made a difference. I've certainly bought things, but I've made an effort to be more conscious about doing so - it's been a decent start towards accumulating less stuff. I totally support your goal!

Fancy Schmancy said...

Good for you. I'm going to de-clutter and have a tag sale this spring. I'm just sick of all the "stuff"!

David said...

I would be glad to help Kate get rid of her crap! Just let me know a good time LOML :-)