Showing posts with label magazines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magazines. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Consumerism

The eagle eyed readers among you may well have noticed that after my grand declaration in January I haven’t actually posted all that many accounts of my spending. There’s two simple reasons for this, one is that I got bored with writing about it and the second is that I soon forgot to keep a spending diary. It has still been in my mind though, and despite not keeping track of everything I spent I *think* I can recall where my money has gone. Even if I’m not keeping myself accountable by publishing what I spend I really do need to continue keeping a spending diary, because for those last few months where I haven’t, my budgeting has gone to hell.
As of next payday I am resolved to go back to logging my outgoings. There’s no point starting this month because I haven’t got anything to have any outgoings on.

In some effort to keep to my word I shall attempt to now recall the stuff that I’ve spent my cash on, since my last post. This comes from my shoddy memory and the few things I’ve recorded:

Comics: A no brainer.

Books: Sadly, not all second hand. *shame*

2 dresses and a t-shirt: All from a charity shop and all on 3 different occasions.

The top I saw when I was out with the boyfriend and I rather liked it. It’s black and white stripey, a combination I’m rather keen on which is how it caught my eye, but the thing that clinched it was that it has rather long sleeves – half way between my shoulders and my elbow. This is pretty unusual and means it’s an ideal t-shirt for work because it covers my scars. Then once I’d bought it I realised I have another black and white stripey top, except that the original one is made out of wool and has a polo neck. Otherwise they are the same. Damn.

The first dress I bought simply because I liked it, thereby making it a frivolous and needless purchase. The second dress I bought because I’d just walked to work in the pouring rain and was soaked. I wanted to buy something dry to change into. Great, except what I bought turns out to be far too short for work but will go quite well as a long top over shorts.

A belt – A friend bought me a Batman belt buckle, because she’s awesome, so I had to buy a belt to put it on. This has turned out well because it will be used at a fancy dress party next week. I was going to go as Batwoman, now I’m going as Dinah. I’ve also bought a few accessories for the costume but those will be used again and again.

A memory stick for the phone: My phone is shit. I was lied to when I bought it and the camera and memory is appalling. So I bought a memory stick in order to be able to save more than 50 photos on the damn thing. This isn’t something I’ll get bored of though it may become defunct when I get a new phone that actually works.

The job paper: In order to get a new and better paid job.

Anti histamines: very necessary. Medication is allowed under my pledge. As are my rags in order that I don’t bleed over my clothes. Luxury items my arse.

Dry cleaning: Not a physical thing, but quite necessary.

Shoes from ebay: To wear to a wedding because I knew my day shoes would cripple me. So not strictly necessary but in my defence my feet have shrunk and now 3/4 of my shoes are too big for me. At least they were second hand.

CDs from ebay: Because music is good for my soul. And they were second hand.

Nail varnish and base coat: Bought for vanity reasons. I have no defence for this. *hangs head in shame*

Hair dye: Allowable because it’s not physical stuff that clutters up the house. I decided I was bored with being blonde so attempted, twice, to dye my hair pillar box red. It failed. I’m now a sort of horrible peachy colour. I think I shall solve this by getting it all cut off.

Diva magazine: This was always going to be allowable. I am now trying to dispose of my stack of back issues. Anybody interested? They’re free. I’ve got about 30 of them going back to 2003 I reckon.

Presents for people: Birthdays, housewarmings, weddings etc.

Furniture: Definitely allowed. It was brand new stuff because we needed it, it didn’t replace old furniture (we had none beforehand) and will definitely be a keeper. It’s lovely. I feel so mature. Both pieces were brought from an independent shop in the city, who has kitted out most of our house actually. I’m a little scared we might look like a show room.

Non physical stuff includes taxi journeys, train tickets, beer, food and gig tickets.

So, this exercise has taught me that unless I keep a note of everything I spend I rapidly run out of money. Also that I’m so good at not buying stuff as I rather arrogantly thought I was. I can think of several occasions where I’ve gone shopping, then remembered I’m not meant to be buying things, and left the shop. But that may also have been to do with the fact I don’t like much stuff in the shops. Hardly a moral victory.

This ‘lil exercise did prompt me to look at how much I spend on my comics each month. I’ve worked out that next month I will be buying 25 individual issues, which will come to approximately £55. Before the price hike to $3.99 for some titles it was about £50 a month. I was surprised by how little it’s gone up, but I reckon the small increase is due to having most titles on standing order, which gets me a 10% discount on them and that the $3.99 ones aren’t that much more expensive than the $2.99 ones, what with the exchange rate. I think I pay £2.69 or £2 per issue (I have no idea if this is comparable to other shops in the UK). I should check that next Thursday, mostly I don’t look at the cost I just hand over my card and assume I’m not paying more than a tenner a week. Although this is no longer true because of the price hike.

I have decided that I won’t be buying the Red Tornado or Doom Patrol books. Lack of shelf space and an urge to not spend so much is the reason behind this.

Oh, and due to lack of money I now won't be going to the Phil Jiminez signing on Friday. Shit the bed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Things I has bought this month

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.
Train tickets.
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.
Conditioner
Anti histamines
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.