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    • Slowdown
    • By Slowdown 1st Dec 14, 6:02 AM
    • 450Posts
    • 6,075Thanks
    NOT BUYING IT! 2015 - A consumer holiday
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 14, 6:02 AM
    NOT BUYING IT! 2015 - A consumer holiday 1st Dec 14 at 6:02 AM
    I have a declaration to make.
    And now I'm hyperventilating. I have finally laid my cards on the table. And I mean for the whole of 2015!

    Calm, calm.

    I am a confused woman. On the one hand I rally against rampant capitalism. I hate the cabals and monopolies, I despair at the tricks and underhand approaches used by companies to make us buy. I fling my hands up in despair at the waste and destruction of our planet and yet....I buy it! I shop, I waste, I yearn and save and spend in a cycle that traps me in all the ways I hate, and worst of all, I am not true to my own feelings.

    Well, IT STOPS in 2015.

    I openly declared my intentions to my DH last night.
    "It must stop," I sputtered, "I m not doing this buying nonsense anymore," I exclaimed, "I'm purchasing the necessaries and nothing more. Your presents will be second hand, clothes will be second hand, no haircuts, no new shoes, no kitchen gadgets, no anything I don't need. I'M NOT BUYING IT!"
    This last bit was literally spat out in loud gasps.

    He looked at me and smiled. "That's good," he said. "I'm joining the Green Party!"

    And so preparation begins. The money spending stops as of Jan 1st. Only what we need will be spent. OS money saving will be top of my list. I will be drawing on the power of the penny punchers on this thread on a daily basis.

    I have one month to prepare myself and the family. I need to think about the rules, what is and is not allowed. I need to build in flexibility so I don't shoot myself in the foot. I need to get my head around the whole idea. And I need help. From you good folks.

    And on that note I'm off for a shower, where I shall ponder on the gravity of my words.

    Kind regards

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    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 16-12-2014 at 4:22 PM.
Page 3
    • mynellie
    • By mynellie 3rd Dec 14, 10:42 AM
    • 2,900 Posts
    • 167,959 Thanks
    Hi all thanks for this great thread slowdown please may I join as my hubby and I are already frugal and live on a limited budget but we are looking at hubby retiring early as he has never been the same since his cancer treatment 3 years ago and although he only works part time at moment he worked 34 years in a factory full time and now is a lollipop man he is struggling with the weather so is looking at finishing and we would then live off an even more limited budget but hopefully I can win any presents and also have a really good de clutter and maybe make some money into the bargain then carry on doing my surveys and keep the vouchers for big spends and only buy if something needs replacing after trying to mend it we have all we need in general and have no debt as house is paid for so hopefully we can get through 2015 without buying nothing other than essentials and paying the bills

    Nellie xx
    Hold on to the good people in your life , They are very hard to find

    My avatar is my Great-Aunt Lilian who I found on my family tree
    • I want a baby
    • By I want a baby 3rd Dec 14, 3:42 PM
    • 574 Posts
    • 5,600 Thanks
    I want a baby
    Yes yes yes!

    This is exactly what I have been thinking of doing for the last few weeks. To find it all written down and a supportive group is just fab.

    My current situation is that baby no 3 is due in march. It is so very much wanted and a heart rather than a head decision as it will be tight financially.

    We owe my in laws (interest free) approx 10600 which I would like to halve by the end of 2015. We also need to save the following:

    400 to cover my husband having a weeks paternity leave.
    100 as a contingency for extra fuel/parking etc as I will prob have extra 'unplanned' hospital stays during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy.
    70 for a new cot bed mattress to go in the 2nd hand cot.
    100 for the last bits we need for the baby and for my labour bag (true essentials only)
    65 for a new tyre for the car
    175 for new brake discs and pads for the car
    Plus I would like to increase our emergency fund from 800 to 1000!

    I intend to do much the same as many of you have mentioned. Make do and mend, buying as much 2nd hand as I can and just generally not spending.

    However I want to start the focus now.
    Christmas is budgeted for and I WILL stay within budget, hopefully under.
    I want to focus on food over the Christmas period, we have some lovely treats during this time and I want to try not to binge for the sake of it and also to use food wisely, remembering to wrap up things well after use, store them properly and freeze as many leftovers as possible. That way I can take comfort in the fact that there isn't loads of waste, we have some treat leftovers to see us through January and we have appreciated all we have.
    I am also going to start a 'want/need' list for things needed for each member of our home plus house/garden items. I will put things on there as I think of them, cross them off if I change my mind and then spend as long as possible trying to make them/source them free/buy them 2nd hand before buying them new as cheap as I can. I hope this focuses the mind and means I only buy the odd new item.

    Will be back again for more ideas and inspiration from you guys :-)

    IWAB x
    DFW diary - Surprise we are debt free
    Debt balance at 25/08/16 - 4445.24
    Very Ambitious Debt Free Date 24/12/2016
    • Broomstick
    • By Broomstick 3rd Dec 14, 4:00 PM
    • 1,483 Posts
    • 16,569 Thanks
    Thanks, Thriftwizard, I'd forgotten that I have a massive cream linen tablecloth that I was thinking of turning into a couple of shirts for me. It was being used as a curtain in our old house but isn't being used in the new one.

    Everyone's posts are reminding me about other things too. Last year, whenever I spent money on something that wasn't on my detailed spend list, I made a note in a document I kept on my computer with a very honest reason to myself as to why I had bought the item. It kept me accountable to myself about my decisions. In the three months I was doing it I actually only bought a handful of things over and above what was on my list and only one second hand book just because I fancied it.

    I also kept a list of things that I wanted, or thought I needed, to buy so that I could mull it over and not rush into purchasing. It also helped me to keep an eye open for freegle, cast-off or second-hand versions of if there was another way I could get them.

  • Tamara
    I like your thinking, Broomstick!
    I also keep a list of things we need/want with me all the time, so that I can keep an eye open for a bargain (or eventually decide not to buy it at all).
    • FLA27
    • By FLA27 3rd Dec 14, 4:37 PM
    • 296 Posts
    • 683 Thanks
    Hi All, I am very much in favour of this thread and I am glad I found it! I've just been turned down after a job interview so it's definitely a must for me to be frugal.

    My New Years Resolution (started already) is UNSUBSCRIBE. By this I mean, unsubscribe to all those spam emails telling me how urgent it is to buy now! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, The day after Cyber Monday, Advent offers, Only so many days to go emails. I am so sick of them, they are designed to make you feel bad for missing out despite the fact that I didn't need any of their stuff anyway!

    The other thing I need to do is stop checking 'deals' websites everyday. Can I join? I like to think I do really well with the consumerism problem but I'm not so sure....
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 3rd Dec 14, 7:09 PM
    • 8,741 Posts
    • 30,716 Thanks
    It would be an interesting challenge to keep a little notebook and write down the amount you are saving every time you look at a consumer item, are tempted to buy it then decide to keep your wallet closed. I suspect by the end of the year you will be surprised. And also pleasantly surprised if every month you bank your surplus cash in a savings account or perhaps use it to pay down your mortgage?
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 3rd Dec 14, 8:32 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,703 Thanks
    Ahoy there HMS Nobuy can I come aboard please.

    Like others I do try to follow a frugal lifestyle, but sometimes I do go a little mad!! So 2015 will be on a 'replace only' basis, I have a contingency fund for larger items and I budget each month for all other things from elec to car stuff. I don't normally get sucked into the advertising thing but I find all the reasons behind the adverts ref colour really interesting.

    So I will look out my sailors suit and deck shoes and hope we set sail for somewhere warm.

    • Butterfly Brain
    • By Butterfly Brain 3rd Dec 14, 8:34 PM
    • 8,736 Posts
    • 61,001 Thanks
    Butterfly Brain
    Can this include things like overpriced coffees in Starsucks and costalot for coffee.
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones that let in the light
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. Member #35 Butterfly Brain + OH - Foraging Fixers
    Not Buying it 2015!
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 3rd Dec 14, 9:10 PM
    • 2,699 Posts
    • 18,565 Thanks
    For the past few months I have felt very strange at home with all the stud around. I'm not saying I've become a strict minimalist as I would hate to live with nothing around but the excess clutter is making me feel claustrophobic. I have been slowly working though it all, making space, finding some air around me but need to do more. Luckily I break up a week on Thursday for Christmas so I have a week where DH is still at work and DS is at nursery for two and a half days so I Intend to make a massive dent in the stuff. Once it's out I don't want it cluttered with stuff again so this should get rid of any want to spend....not that I want to.

    One thing I may do is sort through my fabric stash and make myself some clothes for the coming year. I'm not a big clothes shopper but could do with some new stuff as it's starting to fall apart.

    I have been thinking of setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of all expenses next year and see how low I can go and how much can be saved.

    Thanks for the inspiration slowdown.
    My mini challenge: pay off MBNA by 31/08/18. 502/502 100% (paid off 30/06/18 - 2 months early )

    Pay of all debt by xmas 2019 #09 - 0/ 8471 %
    • Slowdown
    • By Slowdown 3rd Dec 14, 9:25 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 6,075 Thanks
    We potentially have a bigger crew than the cash strapped Royal Navy now! And I'm loving it.

    Welcome aboard thrifty sewers, Mrs Lollipops, mums to be and anyone else who fancies walking the plank of HMS NoBuy. Grab a lifebelt and jump on.

    Lots of useful suggestions pouring in already. I have opened up the Captain's log and started jotting down your ideas for future reference. A lot of them will come in handy when the seas get rough.

    Today I was pondering on the concept of "emulation". Our desire to emulate others is probably the route of much of our spending and what the corporations rely on to keep their tills ringing.

    We want to emulate the neighbour by extending the house like they have, our friends by wanting a different sofa because theirs matches their curtains, our workmates because they look so smart with their hair and nails done. And so it goes on.
    What I realised today was that the advertisers play on this big time, giving us imaginary friends on the telly to emulate. But boy do I do it to myself too! I truly set myself up in the envy department. And the main target of my emulation? My sister.

    My sister lives in a detached house in the county of Hertfordshire, which she has extended, decorated, extended, decorated, extended and decorated. One has to admit it's rather lovely, with acres of kitchen, four reception rooms, 5 bedrooms and four bathrooms. But at the end of the day....why? Six children? Nope. Live in parents? Nope. Twelve dogs, five cats and a guinea pig? Nope. So...why?

    I don't know. She has friends in high places with tons of money. She has always needed bigger and better, and whilst I could never keep up, I have emulated. I have desired and yearned and turned green from time to time. I love the girl to bits, I really, really do. But I also find her a too close for comfort advert for the buy, buy, buy culture.

    So this inspired my "Guiding Light" number 4: I will not try to emulate anyone, most of all those closest to me.

    We rarely try to emulate intelligence or skill, kindness or reticence. Perhaps a revaluation of what I should be admiring in others is needed. The saying that goes "We know the price of everything and the value of nothing" . Perhaps it can be turned on its head this year, so I end up knowing the price of only what I need, and the value of what is important.

    And with that I shall hop into my hammock and be rocked to sleep by the ripples of realisation.

    Kind regards
    Last edited by Slowdown; 03-12-2014 at 9:33 PM.
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 3rd Dec 14, 9:38 PM
    • 5,809 Posts
    • 40,355 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Two years ago almost to the day I started a blog (sadly very badly neglected at the moment) just with the intention of recording my decision to reduce my personal consumption.

    Here is a link to the post with the rules.

    Some have changed (e.g. I am now no longer tinting my hair - DH came to terms with it LOL, and I still struggle with reducing cheese in my diet, but for the most part I have loosely stuck to it, on and off.

    Recently, after a bit of a dip in commitment, I have picked myself ip and restarted my OS commitment, I write about my renewed OS lifestyle elsewhere in this forum, but I love wandering from thread to thread, picking up lovely ideas and reading about other OSers' experiences.
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Dee2
    • By Dee2 3rd Dec 14, 9:50 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 934 Thanks
    Very insightful post Slowdown. I know a lot of my spending is based on aspiration. I received the gift of a subscription to Country Living this year. I pour over it and drool at the interiors, often adding bits and pieces to my own home to give it that English modern country look. Its all stuff I don't need, it doesn't particularly make me any happier, any more anything other than more cluttered and less wealthy! And a 50's semi is never going to be a country home!
    We probably all have "triggers" that make us spend unnecessarily.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 4th Dec 14, 6:30 AM
    • 12,550 Posts
    • 241,610 Thanks
    Lovely thread, slowdown, you're really hit the zeitgeist in respect of what a lot of us are feeling.

    Re emulation, I've read a lot of books on consumerism and advertising (from the library ) and one thing which they pointed out really resonated with me.

    We humans are evolved to spend our time in smallish social groups, the ideal for a harmonious society being no greater than 150 people. Any more, and you get cliquism, social exclusion, conflict. Because our brains are hard-wired to think in little groups, when we're constantly exposed to another individual, like a celebrity all over the media, we start to think that we know them, that they're part of our social circle. That we have a real connection with them, instead of being voyeurs on a highly-edited version of their lives.

    So that what they have is sort-of what we could have. We don't think that their lifestyle is as unobtainable to us as a duchess's would have been to a scullery-maid, we think that we should have what they have, and if we can't afford it, aim for approximations, knock-offs etc. And become poorer trying to keep up.

    Although I'm a bit of a non-starter as a consumer, and self-educated about how they pull our strings, I still catch myself falling for this stuff from time to time.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

  • Tamara
    Grey Queen, that's a fascinating theory, and one that makes a lot of sense.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 4th Dec 14, 6:57 AM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 79,059 Thanks
    We owe my in laws (interest free) approx 10600 which I would like to halve by the end of 2015. :-)
    Originally posted by I want a baby
    we lent our dd and her dh a lump sum, a few months ago. They insisted on paying interest and I said they could pay back as and when, so they put an identical sum into our account every month. They were going to go to a bank but I am glad I persuaded them to come to us. At the end when they have paid everything then we will completely deduct the interest and put all the interest back into their bank account. We aren`t breathing a word of this as it is encouraging them to be responsible about their payments but they will get a nice surprise in 2 more years

    I suppose we are on the other side of the fence now but feel incredibly empathetic to you all.
    • ruby_eskimo
    • By ruby_eskimo 4th Dec 14, 8:17 AM
    • 2,255 Posts
    • 12,613 Thanks
    Hi All, I am very much in favour of this thread and I am glad I found it! I've just been turned down after a job interview so it's definitely a must for me to be frugal.

    My New Years Resolution (started already) is UNSUBSCRIBE. By this I mean, unsubscribe to all those spam emails telling me how urgent it is to buy now! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, The day after Cyber Monday, Advent offers, Only so many days to go emails. I am so sick of them, they are designed to make you feel bad for missing out despite the fact that I didn't need any of their stuff anyway!

    The other thing I need to do is stop checking 'deals' websites everyday. Can I join? I like to think I do really well with the consumerism problem but I'm not so sure....
    Originally posted by FLA27
    Oh gosh this is something I need to do as well! I did sign up to a few months ago, but the messages still appear in a separate folder so it wasn't really saving me any space in the long run. I also need to stay away from ebay, well the buying side of it anyway.
    Emergency Fund - 0 / 5,000 :: Decluttering - 12 / 1095
    :: VSP #13 - 18.49:: NSD 2019 - 17 / 200 Weight Loss: 43 / 58lbs January GC - 76.35/ 200
    Engaged 9th December 2010 Married 29th October 2015 Bought a House 13th January 2017
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 4th Dec 14, 8:45 AM
    • 5,809 Posts
    • 40,355 Thanks
    I have done just that, unsubscribed from a gazillion emails encouraging me to consume, sent them all to junk. Groupon and all the other cut price "bargain"sites, magazine offers, cosmetics companies, they all go to junk now. When I think of the money I spent on bargain massages and beauty treatments over the years I cringe.

    I could have done without a lot of it, most of it was disappointing anyway, the magazines are all drivel and they all say the same thing over and over again, buy this and you can't live without that and the ultimate must-have and the face-mush that will give back your youthful dewy looks, all down the junk pan!

    And I have given away a lot of the actual physical stuff, creams and face oils and whatnot, that I bought as a consequence of this drivel, to a friend who still loves all that junk. She is so grateful and keeps saying she does not know how to thank me, but I keep saying that it is I who should thank her, she is helping me decluttered and she gets stuff that I don't want. She is happy and I am happy.
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Broomstick
    • By Broomstick 4th Dec 14, 10:21 AM
    • 1,483 Posts
    • 16,569 Thanks
    I have found the question 'how simple can you make this?' one of the the keys to reducing my spending. It works for decluttering too.

    For example, I use one sort of each of the most simple set of toiletries that work for me, some branded, some unbranded, all as cheap as I can find. I'm happy with my choices and it helps that I no longer search around for something better so it saves time as well as money and clutter. Everyone is different but I think an awareness of why we make the choices we do does help simplify and reduce spending a lot.

    B x
    • alice-mary
    • By alice-mary 4th Dec 14, 10:51 AM
    • 244 Posts
    • 2,852 Thanks
    I would like to join you all too please! I have 3 events that I am looking forward to in 2015, well I am looking forward to 2 of them anyway, and I hope to be able to pay for them by avoiding spending on un-necessary items. One of my best friends is getting married in August (mid-week so cheaper accommodation ) and he is also having a stag-do in May.
    Now, as a girlie invited on a stag do I was a bit worried, but I was reassured by both the groom and the bride that it won't be anything outrageous. He just wants a couple of days away to Ireland, staying at another friend's home, with a small group of his best mates. so he can show us around an area that he is incredibly fond of, with good food, good drink and great company! It will also be midweek (half-term holiday) so how could I refuse (and why should I? I haven't been away for any kind of holiday for over 20 years).

    The 3rd event is my own 50th birthday I do not want a party or any special arrangement as most of my family do not get on with each other BUT I think my sister has other ideas and is planning something with my friends. I wouldn't "object" to that but I daren't ask as I would prefer no celebration at all and I feel that if I mention anything, I might be giving her ideas iyswim?

    Anyhow, I won't need to spend much for the stag do, (cheap midweek flight, free accommodation, no fancy outfits). The wedding will mean a decent outfit and 2 nights in a shared hotel room but again that is midweek so cheaper than normal.

    It would be great if I can avoid the commercial carp and save anything that I would normally fall for, so in effect, getting the stag do and the wedding for free

    I am really looking forward to this challenge and will keep you informed of my progress!

    Debts in March 2007:
    Loan 24,180 Argos Card 2000 C Card 2000 O/draft 2000 Mortgage 113,000
    Debts in Sept 2018:Loan 0 Sister 0
    Argos Card 0 C Card 0 O/draft 0
    Mortgage 107,000 (finally on a repayment mortgage )
    Getting there slowly .....
    • cherryblossomzel
    • By cherryblossomzel 4th Dec 14, 11:09 AM
    • 497 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    I'm subscribing to this thread. Such a good idea.

    I've been trying to "live lightly" for a few years now, sometimes with more success than other times. I do find myself slowly buying less and less, but there are certainly areas where I can do better. For me it's not just about the money, more that I don't want too much stuff in my life, and fortunately I've never been much one for "keeping up with the neighbours".

    I managed to avoid the Black Friday sales, but saw some of it on the news. Bewildering, really. When did it become OK to get into fist fights over TVs?
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