Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Not buying it: day # 8

Yesterday I completed week one of seven in my experiment and so far, so good.  With rather fortuitous timing, the post on Friday yielded up my yearly bank statement, a terrifying/brilliant (delete as appropriate) new idea from my bank.  It's an A4 booklet full of charts, diagrams and lists showing where, when and how I spent my money over the past 12 months.  Well, considering in 7 of those months I spent more than I paid in, this experiment is definitely long overdue.  The thing is, I earn a good salary, certainly compared to my days as a wage slave at Waterstones when my take-home pay was just over £600 a month.  But I've always been profligate with money and have always struggled with deferring a purchase, subscribing more to the Veruca Salt school of acquisition: I want it, and I want it now.  But looking at that yearly statement I realised that some months I was happily spending upwards of £500 (so about what my entire salary was a decade ago) on travel deals, Amazon sprees, eBay bargains and endless new dresses and cardigans.  Not good.

The past week has been something of a revelation.  Walking into the supermarket this afternoon, I turned right towards groceries instead of left towards clothing and in doing so managed to finish the shopping within 15 minutes.  Every marketing email from internet retailers goes straight into the 'Trash' file, freeing up at least 10 minutes of extra work time first thing in the morning.  And instead of whiling away my evenings on Asos or the Dotty Ps website I have been baking cakes, writing to friends and crafting like mad.  Would I want to extend this experiment past 7 weeks?  Hell no, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised at how easy I am finding it.

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