Three months into my no spend year and totally thinking, why did I decide this was a good idea? My flat shoes I wear to walk to and from work are falling apart, my everyday handbag is on its last legs and I really want to buy nice new clothes for spring/summer. But, I have still not bought anything (well, that’s a lie, I have bought 4 things, but I will explain that later!!). But, when I get over my “I want to buy all the stuff” phases I am still happy I made this decision. It is really making me take a step back and think about my spending and what I actually need to make me happy, and who knew it is actually not all the stuff! Really I just wanted to let you all know how I am going and to give you a bit of an insight as to how the last 3 months have been.
Things I didn’t buy
My work is on George Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh. Every single day I walk past a shop with something in it which I want. Whether that is something for my house, for me or even things I would love to buy for friends and family. It has really made me think twice about just how powerful and effective these shop window displays are. At uni I studied the psychology of selling and how to suck customers in. Yet somehow, I am still surprised at just how good shops are at making you want to buy. This morning it was a cute pair of sandals as I was thinking of warmer mornings and summer holidays. Even just buying something summer related would be a treat to make me think the winter may end soon. So basically, my point is, there are still lots of things I have wanted to buy in the last 3 months. I have also noticed a pattern forming. I am less a clothes buyer and more a home furnishings purchaser. Although obviously I want clothes too! I definitely feel noticing this pattern will help me next year when I start to spend again to think twice about the things I am sucked into!
Things I borrowed
To be honest, I expected to have borrowed a lot more and have a full community spirit going by now. But I haven’t. I have only borrowed one thing, a poncho for my Inca Trail walk. I am actually a bit disappointed by this. On a number of occasions I have wanted to ask Facebook friends if they had something I needed lying about at home unused, but am actually a bit scared it will come across like I am a scrounger. Really I just have to get over this I guess. One thing I am desperate to try and procure is a composter, I really want to start composting but really don’t want to break my rules and buy new. Everywhere I go I see them abandoned in peoples gardens so am sure someone must have one at the end of the garden left by a previous owner or renter, but I am still too scared to ask! Over the year I really hope to borrow more and embrace this as an option. We all have things which we can lend or swap which other people need. So if anyone has a composter, get in touch haha!!
Things I bought
I didn’t buy anything until I went on holiday. Well that is almost true, I didn’t buy anything. After asking my sister if she owned a camelback I could use for the Inca trail, despite the initial answer being “no” suddenly one came into being. So technically that should go on the things I bought list. And also a big thanks to my sister for bending my rules as I would have probably died without it. Then when we got on holiday I realised I was never going back to Easter Island or the Inca Trail again, so I bought a couple of souvenirs. I bought a little Moai made from the same volcano the bigs ones are for my house and a traditional blanket in Peru. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to make these purchases before I did, and I do not regret my decision. Memories are important and these things will make my home full of them. Lastly there was just a straight up purchase, two in fact. One was a sun hat after I realised I would die of heat stroke if I did not cover my head on the Inca Trail. I really should have borrowed one from someone back home before I left so this is a straight up fail on my no spend year. Having said that, I now have a hat which I will need and use again when I am walking in hot countries, or even in the Scottish hills. The final purchase was a bag in Cusco before doing the trail as the person who booked it for us forgot to book us a porter. We had no option but to buy another bag so I could physically get my things up the hill as I could not carry the two backpacks I had myself. We ended up buying a dry bag which could be attached to my other backpack. I am really annoyed I had to make this purchase, especially as it was through no fault of my own. BUT it will come in handy as it is very practical for taking camping which is something we intend on doing with the dogs.
Despite my moaning, it has been a good 3 months and this is still something I am very happy I decided to do. That said, things are falling apart and I am going to have to find replacements in charity shops. I am half excited by the thought of trying something new, but equally dreading it as I am very fussy. I may find nothing and be stuck with just my walking boots for the rest of the year. But hey ho, it is only shoes. The other thing which I am gaining is, very cheesily, a real appreciation for what I have. This was further compounded by my experiences in both Chile and Peru. I am so lucky for everything I have and am loving concentrating more on being than spending. Anyone fancy joining me for the next 9 months, you know you want to 🙂