Bye Bye Buy…sort of

I thought I’d do a reckoning of my no-buying for a year. I’m afraid I’ve slipped a bit, but I am continuing my efforts to stick with it.

My purchase list so far:

Painting supplies – a tube of watercolor paint, a sketchbook, a masking pen (which din’t work), and a calligraphy pen as a replacement for the masking pen (which worked marginally better). As I am looking into selling my art professionally, I don’t feel too¬†bad about the purchases in this category, but I did neglect to include art supplies as an exception. So there it is.

A Hindi-English Dictionary. I know some Hindi, and it is my dream to someday become fluent in it, along with some other languages in that tree. I could have bought it as a digital version, but for reference, sometimes an actual paper book is much more useful.

A skillet. Sort of an impulse buy. We have some old cast aluminum cookware at home, but cooking eggs on it is a sticky mess. That being said, I could have avoided this purchase and worked with what was in the kitchen already.

A picture frame. Totally could have bought this used, but I wanted to put a picture of some nuns on my altar, and felt the picture deserved a new frame. Would they care? Probably not.

And I blew out both knees of my only pair of jeans, so I replaced them (the pair of jeans, not the knees).

Not a long list, and all of the purchases had some reasoning behind them. But my goal is to not buy anything outside of the previously mentioned exceptions for a year. So I will continue to keep at it.

I’m not beating myself up over what I’ve bought. My goal in doing this is to make it a learning process. When I notice the urge to buy something, where does the need truly exist? Does it exist? What rationale does the mind use to justify breaking my vow? Can I look into that and see it for what it is?

I’ve read of using a “Thirty Day List” in the book “Your Money or Your Life”. Pretty self-explanatory: if you want to buy something, you put it on a list. You wait 30 days. If you still want to buy it, go for it. In using this practice, I’ve usually found that I didn’t really need the item (and never did), and the desire for the object wanes or evaporates, vs the feeling of “I have to have this NOW” that I may feel at the moments before an impulse purchase.

So my goal in this project is sort of a “365 Day List”. A learning curve to watch impulse purchases, and also to save on limited funds. Some might say I’ve failed already, but my goal in this is the process, not an absolute. So I will continue to work on not buying, and watch the “I want” mind.

PS. Speaking of buying, a friend suggested I should write an entry on scams I’ve encountered in my travels, so I promise, that’s coming next!

Be well and peaceful