If you accept that a month can last 5 weeks. I’m a little late writing this up so am extending to cover the period from Christmas to today. My initial thoughts as to my spending are that I am actually pretty crap at not buying stuff. I appear to have got quite a lot of things this last month, but they seem to be mostly consumables, and in the most are not objects that sit around gathering dust, unused. Here goes:
Comics, both new and second hand from a friend.
A new zip for one of my (bought for 20 quid off a friend) boots – necessary as the boot was unuseable but otherwise in perfect condition. The decision was between throwing out a pair of very good, very comfortable and very warm boots, or getting the zip replaced. Granted the new zip cost me £24, and if the other one goes I’ll have spent £58. I could buy new boots for less than that but they wouldn’t be very good quality, they wouldn’t fit as well and it would just be wasteful. So I opted to get the zip replaced, and man was I glad about this when the snow started yesterday.
2 tickets for the Victoria and Albert museum. I’m going to see an exhibition of Russian court clothes, spanning two centuries. I’m very excited about this.
3 packets of bleach – 2 have been used, one is sitting there waiting till my hair grows and will be used to redo the roots.
Blue hair dye. Unused. This was a wasteful thing as I now have no intention to use it. In an attempt to rectify this situation I will give it to a friend.
Beer. Not so much beer as last month though (my liver cries hooray!).
A new mobile phone battery from an independent trader. This purchase turned out to be pointless as it ended up that my then current phone was buggered, and not the battery. This then led to me getting…..
A new phone and being thoroughly niged by the guy at 3mobile. My new phone isn’t as good as my old one and the camera is crappy. And the memory is miniscule. This will mean I will have to buy a memory card if I go on holiday because 40 photos is fuck all. Still, the phone was free.
£45 on a replacement filling. God I hate going to the dentist. This was to replace an old filling that fell out on new year’s day, and may have to have a crown attached to it at a later date. My teeth suck ass.
Lunches at work
Taxi ride home from a pub.
Diva magazine. This was interesting, (as per usual). It was the love issue and had an article about ‘the men we’d go straight for’. There followed a discussion about how and why some lesbians fancy men, how this was received within the community and how some individual lesbians felt about liking men. My initial thought was duh, you’re bisexual, stop hiding. However, that’s a bit flippant because the article was basically talking about the differences between being culturally Lesbian and your sexual orientation being lesbian, without actually stating it as so. Incidentally I’m going to be getting rid of my Diva magazines (from the last 2 or 3 years) if anyone wants them please email me at s_green24 at yahoo dot co dot uk.
2 books – Fontamara by Ignazio Silone and a women’s press one – A piece of mine by J California Cooper. Both second hand, one from a charity shop, one from a second hand bookshop in the City. The Fontamara one is very good.
A bra. I now have one that fits, hurrah.
A notepad. It’s gonna be my food diary that will encourage me to fit easily into bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding in March. I need the motivation.
Dental floss – to reduce the chances of further fillings. Yeah right.
A hair cut (been waiting 3 months for that)
Metal Hammer – a UK magazine about heavy metal. This shouldn’t have been allowed but I buckled because I got a free CD with it. After the success of last year’s free CD I was craving some new music and I have no idea where else to look to source new good metal. This CD was well worth getting as there are several bands on it I like – Deathstars, Lacuna Coil, Exodus (very very fast), Nevermore and The Hollow Earth Theory.
Buffy seasons 1 to 7 on DVD, from ebay, secondhand but unused – an unwanted Christmas present apparently. I have my doubts as to whether I’ll receive it as the seller seems rather clueless, we’ll see. I justified this by saying that it will free up so much shelf space – 7 seasons on VHS take up a lot of room. I will give the videos to a friend, who will watch them, and I know I’ll watch the DVDs.
So yeah, I think I’ve bought a lot of things. However, they are mostly useable, or reuseable, and none of it is junk as such – they won’t sit around and gather dust. I haven’t managed to save any more cash, but I have got to the end of the month with a few quid in my bank account, which is a bloody miracle I tell you.
I was wondering whether it was responsible in a recession to actively try to not buy things. Having said that, I’ve still got the same amount of cash going out, it’s just that it’s now spread over a full month, not the first 2.5 weeks of the month, which is making life easier for me, and it’s being spent on different things. Must reduce urge to collect.
I do still think I prefer buying from the independent stores rather than big chain shops or department stores. With new redundancies and companies going into administration every day I think it will be harder for the sole traders or SMEs to stay afloat, and they bring a welcome richness and variety to the retail landscape. I’m sick of city and town centres having the same old high street shops everywhere you go. The areas end up looking identikit and that really is soul destroying.
I don’t think I’m in any way morally superior for not buying so much junk, I feel better in myself, less sordid, but I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. I do think that this pledge of mine is forcing me to have a more in depth look at why I want to purchase items - what will I get out of them and what do I hope to achieve with owning it.