Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading The Non-Consumer Advocate. The Non-Consumer Advocate is a long-running frugality blog written by Katy Wolk-Stanley. I joined the Facebook page a couple of months ago when I was looking for inspiration to keep going in my quest to declutter my home. For whatever reason I hadn’t too deeply investigated the blog. Probably because the last couple of months really were very busy and what time I did have for blog reading and faffing about online was devoted to known quantities, not new things. Anyway. I started reading this blog for real when my finals were over and as I was traveling. It was a perfect antidote to the mindless spending that can crop up during trips, usually as a result of poor planning and, frankly, the boredom of being in the car for long periods of time. I’ve not gotten all the way back to the beginning, but I have read through to 2012, I think.
This blog resonates with me for a number of reasons, although the primary one is probably that Wolk-Stanley and I seem to have very similar idealogical outlooks and that is refreshing to me. We also almost share a birthday, and that is fun. Those reasons aside, one of the biggest draws for me is The Compact; in 2007 Wolk-Stanley took a vow to buy nothing new and for the most part has been maintaining that goal ever since. I want to do this. I am so TIRED of stuff, of the needless junk that I accumulate in the name of treating myself or because of some hair-brained idea that I never take to fruition or because it was given to me/I inherited it and now can’t make the final step to let it go. I’d heard of The Compact before, actually, and even made a half-hearted effort to join in, but like many other abandoned goals I tried to do everything all at once. So not only was I going to join The Compact, I was also going to reduce my reliance on electricity by 90% and figure out ways to cut back on the amount of carbon I release into the atmosphere via traveling and only buy locally sourced, organic food and so on and so forth. No wonder I burned out. In many ways I have come so far in terms of what I bring home and/or purchase. But I can do so much better and, frankly, right now I’d rather the money I’d spend on things be diverted to savings and/or debt. I’m also not going to try to turn myself into some kind of off-grid wunderkind either, which should make things a bit more achievable this time around! So….here it is, my pledge to The Compact:
I, Laura Lynne, pledge to buy nothing* new in 2017. If I need or want something, I will first consider
- Do I truly need this? What value will it add to my life?
- Can I approximate this thing’s purpose by making do with something I already own?
- Can I make this item myself?
- Can I borrow this item?
- If I truly need to purchase this item, I will look for a used version or try to barter (beg, steal…**) before considering purchasing new.
*Exceptions are consumables, items for home repair (although if possible I will look for used options), and I’m dedicating a small budget toward e-books as several authors I like and support do not publish traditionally AND even those that do are not available through the library. Supporting authors is important to me.
**Just kidding… 😉