The Compact


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… 😉


9 thoughts on “The Compact

  1. That’s a fantastic ideas and it sounds like a low stress way to manage your belongings.
    Since getting rid of things using the Konmari method I now only purchase things if I feel they will bring me joy. It’s been eye opening and made purchases easy

    1. I haven’t read the Marie Kondo book but have been trying to guide my purchases (and my decluttering) using the William Morris quote (paraphrased) about having nothing in your home that you don’t find beautiful OR useful. Maybe I’ll add joy to the parameters!

      1. I am having a hard time finding comments (Ok I lied, I can’t find the comment section ) Anyway I am reading and hope your plan works. I just want to get rid of some of the crap that is keeping me from enjoying life!

      2. I couldn’t find the comments at first, either! I really like my updated look, but the comment thing is irritating. I may change it again.

        Yes, I feel weighed down by crap and so often allow it to rule me instead of the other way around. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, so I think this will be more helpful to me than trying to only buy so much of this or that. We’ll see!

      3. Ok. I think I have a more user-friendly theme going on now. Apologies if you happened to stop by while I was changing things around!

  2. I wish you the best of luck in your journey! And I guess an early “happy birthday” is in order!

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