Tuesday, January 3, 2012

No Spending January




I looked around my sweet little apartment on December 31 and all I could see was stuff. Not just my usual too many papers and magazines, but things. There were extra tote bags that I wasn't using, Christmas wrapping supplies and gifts that I wasn't sure where to put. Throughout the fall I've sold books, given away bags of clothes and thought what I had done had made some real headway in clearing clutter. But everywhere I looked I saw stuff. I realized that I couldn't make headway if I was bringing more things in. Out of this heap of stuff "No Spending January" was born.

The premise is simple. No matter how much I want something, no matter what a good buy it is and no matter that I've wanted said item forever I am not going to buy it. No more clutter can come in my apartment for the month of January. I can buy things to eat and drink. I can buy tickets for experiences. I can get my hair cut or pay for yoga classes, but I won't buy shampoo that the hairdresser recommends or new yoga clothes. I have shampoo and I have yoga clothes. As the sign says, "Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you should."

Three days have passed and I am doing fine. I've found I can just delete lots of email unread. I am not going to buy sweaters from Land's End or new sheets from Sear's. What I have will do for the month of January. I may even save my gift cards until February or March. It's not spending money, but I want to assess what I need and not shop because it's fun. I've added a corollary and I am avoiding buying any sweets to bring home. I can have a cookie or muffin when I'm out, but this avoids ice cream that's on sale and Christmas candy fifty per cent off. I'd love to be a slimmer me in my less cluttered apartment on February 1.

I am optimistic that on February 1, 2012 my apartment will be more organized. I will have arranged a pickup for the several bags of clothes that I have been keeping though they haven't been worn in years.  I will have discarded a large pile of magazines and at least six bags of paper. I will have cleaned out the refrigerator and the freezer and I may even have begun No Spending February. I will let you know. 

17 comments:

LDH said...

Love this idea! It is amazing how 'stuff' accumulates and not bringing more in is the first step in getting control.

Nice visiting, Buttercup :)

Maple Lane said...

Sounds like a good plan. We downsized in Feb. (last year) and we had to de-clutter also. I'm trying hard not to buy sweets, too. Hope you have a restful evening.

Kristen @ Change of Pace said...

Shopping is almost an addiction.... My husband and I both agreed that enough was enough. We donated a ton of our kids toys before Christmas and a bunch of clothes. It felt good and decluttered our house before the holidays.

Barbara F. said...

I need to adopt this attitude, too. I did hit the after Christmas sales on Dec. 28th, but haven't spent money the first three days. I have a party coming up soon so I will need a gift, etc. but nothing for the house! No no Nanette, not a thing til .......spring! xo

TARYTERRE said...

I LOVE this idea. I understand exactly what you mean. I have the same problem. My special obsession is books. I hoard them. My hubby got me a Kindle the year before last. But I still can't resist hardcover or paperbacks on sale. Going to try to get that under control this year. GOOD LUCK with your resolution. I'll be rooting for you.

Terra said...

This is a great idea and may cut back a little on clutter. I would like to get a handle on clearing out clutter too.

Neabear said...

Never thought about doing that for a whole month. Making me thing about doing that too. Or at least not spending as much. Maybe only what I need to finish started projects.

~Linnea

We are: clamco said...

Buttercup, Here are a couple of blogs you might want to check out:
http://halfdozendaily.blog.com/
and
http://notbuyinganything.blogspot.com/

Marie said...

We have really tried hard to cutback in our house. It's almost a necessity for us now as spiraling costs mean that we have little or no disposable income at all these days. It's quite frightening to think of! xxoo

Betty Rubble said...

What a great idea! This should be a daily update of progress!! I so should do the same. LOL.

Joanne said...

I like this idea. It's a nice way to regroup after December's whirlwind living, and spending :/

I'll be interested in reading reports of your observations along the way ...

Sharon said...

We've done this exact things off and on with great success. And the greatest feeling of all will be the true sense of freedom on Jan. 31 when experience that well-being that comes with a goal met. And here's a little secret. The concept can become addicting. The joy of experiences outweighs the momentary high of "stuff."

Theresa said...

Sounds like a great idea! I LOVE to shop but have decided that I really don't need ANYTHING:) I shopped a little bit in the after Christmas sales but kept my purchases to supplies that were depleted! Have a blessed day and I'll be cheering you on! HUGS!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I guess January is a month for everyone to de-clutter their lives. Most every blog I've read has has something to say about it. But yours is the first I've read about not spending. Here at my house lots has been tossed out in the first few days of the New Year. Before I retired I tried to get things like a new coat, boots etc that I'd be needing so I wouldn't have to buy anything for a long long time. It's worked too as now I pretty much only buy food that is needed and gifts for others. I knew that when I had to live on my retirement income, there would not be any extra for splurges for me. I hope your plan works for you! You'll have a new look there for a new year.

ain't for city gals said...

I honestly can't rememmber the last time I bought anything new..except to eat or drink it. Even for my dad's funeral..I went and looked but everything is just junk nowadays and I could hear my dad's voice in my head..."Just wear something you have Sheryl"! and I did and I looked very nice. No more buying for me for a very long time...except maybe running shoes!

Teacherfish said...

Oh happy New Year Buttercup!
Thanks for stopping by. I cleaned out closets on break- first I realized that I can stuff a lot of stuff into a little space. Second I realized I buy the same thing over and over- like I have gizzilions of the same black purse (we in NY say pocketbook but I changed it because you have a geographically diverse readership) every time I see one- I say "oh I like those bags!"

Lynda said...

Good for you!!! Rebuilding and cleaning our basement has opened our eyes to the same thing. My thing is if it isn't being used in a certain room - - - what's it doing there?!! Just curious - - - what do you do with your magazines? We can take ours to the public library. Fola - - Friends of the Library - - - have an area where donated books and magazines are sold. The money is then used to help purchase needed items - - - or extra things the budget doesn't allow.