4 - 2008

Buy Nothing Update: Living Life

As I continue with the Buy Nothing Challenge, I’m enjoying the challenge to my mindset.

On the one hand, I’ve several times this week had the urge to go out for coffee. I’ve instead made coffee and chai at home. I am looking at my desire to go buy stuff for entertainment – as a break from my sometimes tedious life of taking my child to school and returning home, alone, to work.

I’ve avoided buying new clothes and buying gratuitous treats at Costco yesterday while waiting for our eye doctor appointment. I didn’t buy a new case of diet soda at Costco (an occasional treat at home … last one purchased in September), but I do like a treat once in a while, so I bought a case of sparkling water (all recyclable at least!) to mix with juice or drink plain.

It’s difficult to balance buying with the desire for diversion, the need to be healthier, the desire to look somewhat up to date with clothes, the desire to improve my house, either aesthetically or organizationally.

If you click on the link above and read the comments at Crunchy Chicken’s site, some of the comments alarm me.

I will pre-confess that I promised two of my girls that they could get new bedsheets for their birthdays this month. The sheets that they have are about 8 years old and pretty threadbare and we have no spare sheets in case of nighttime accidents.

Am I a spendthrift to think that replacing threadbare sheets as a birthday gift is just about a “need”? Or this:

I’m in except my poor 11-year old son has outgrown his shoes and is only wearing snowboots everywhere (still appropriate here in snowing-today Minnesota but I’m sick of hearing him clod around in them) so we may be buying one pair of shoes for him in the next day or two.

Don’t kids need shoes?

She also has outlawed “salon services,” and I beg an exception. I get a $30 haircut every couple of months. I’m supporting my hairstylist’s work (and her progress through college) – I don’t see how that’s bad. I’m going to assume she means those who are hooked on highlights, coloring, eyebrow or nether-region waxing, manicures, pedicures, etc.

This kind of thing is interesting. The gist of it is to help us examine how we live and see if/how we can be satisfied with a less consuming lifestyle. It’s all well and good … and then again, it’s an opportunity to compete for who can live most austerely, who can be most virtuous … and on the other hand, who can feel the guiltiest about their dreadful slips, confessed on the site, like buying a bed for the guest room, patio furniture, tools, a TV to replace the one whose sound has vanished.

What do you think about buying nothing?

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