Sunday, 18 January 2015

The No Spend Challenge

Early this year I set myself the challenge of not shopping for two whole months. The rules, I decided, would dictate that I can spend money on the essentials - food, bills, gin - and money on activities - going out for coffee, gallery visits, seeing friends - but nothing on unessential, unimportant things that had no real correlation to my ability to function as a human being.

I've bought a lot of "things" lately. I moved into a new flat to live with a boy for the first time in my life, and we wanted to make our new place feel special and ours. Then followed hours and hours of online shopping, bidding on ebay and sourcing beautiful, sometimes purely decorative, objects that we felt in some way reflected us as a couple. This is normal behaviour I imagine, and something I hadn't done before, and it felt exciting and extravagant to buy these adult objects - a leather sofa from MADE, a double wardrobe instead of just a rail, a four slice toaster...

But when New Year arrived, and I looked around my lovely 1 bedroom flat, I realised that I had enough. More than enough. What would really make me happy would be to pause and appreciate all of my existing possessions, and rid myself of this incessant desire to buy more.

I have to say though, that I'm finding it hard. I have to remind myself on a daily basis of the challenge, and I think the internet with all of its juicy retail promises has a lot to do with it. But, so far, no more "things" have crept into my flat, and I'm hoping I can hold out until March.

Below is probably a contradiction to the above, but who doesn't like shopping lists and wish lists? Perhaps it might be therapeutic to display my current yearnings here, all of the beautiful things I am currently resisting, and yet appreciate them in all their inanimate beauty.

I must not buy. I must not buy. I must not buy. I must not buy. I must not buy....



1. Tom Dixon Candle from Heals
2. Fish Print by Katie Scott
3. Ikonic Tray from the SOMA gallery sal
4. Marbled Planter from Etsy
5. Vintage Boucherouite Rug from Etsy
6. Cable Knit Dog Jumper from NOTH (Quentin would look so handsome!)
7. Donna Wilson Flower Socks from SOMA

Am I only adding to the temptation?! Are any of you trying to cut down on shopping too?

9 comments:

  1. I have been trying to do the same thing over the last month. It is so hard though. I found what helps me is sorting out all the 'things' I don't need anymore and selling them or taking them to the charity shop. It's an equally rewarding feeling of buying something.

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    1. Thats a great idea Naomi, thank you. I guess I am still looking for a reward as satisfying as a purchase, hopefully a clear out will do the job!

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  2. I had similar feelings towards my wardrobe, carpets, books and stuff. It's clutter, and I know that when I have too much of it, I spend too much time cleaning because I need to move my stuff around first in order to clean. And we all know that artists like to have a tidy place before they get started with working. So, essentially my clutter is slowing me down and it's an everlasting cause for procrastination. Away with the clutter!

    Good luck,
    Monika

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    1. Haha so true - I am about to embark on a pre-work clean as we speak! The contrasting argument is that an artist needs to be surrounded by objects that inspire creativity - I don't think I could ever work in a bare room. But there needs to be a limit!

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  3. I hope you are married to this boy.

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  4. Is this your birthday list no 1 daughter?! I have succumbed already but they are good!

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    1. Mother! I'm sticking to this challenge through thick and thin (helps that my birthday is in the middle of it ;) )

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  5. Hahaha I've been doing exactly the same! I've just moved in with my boyfriend too, we share a room in a multiple occupancy house (so it's us and another couple) and I spent so long buying little things for our space and making it look homely. He said I was nesting but really I think I just love shopping.

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    1. Me too :) It's amazing how often I find myself browsing online shops. So soothing! We must find new, less financially draining hobbies!

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