We move in 2 days and I can't be more excited! We get our keys tomorrow night. All of our stuff is packed except toothbrushes and a few toys. Okay and shampoo but otherwise it's all in a box, in my living room. I am always surprised by the mound of boxes. I waiver between thinking there are so many and thinking we don't have much. I think I will always long for being happy with less.
Along those lines I thought I would give you an update on 2011 Nothing New. I have been mostly successful not buying anything new this year. Here are the things I can remember buying:
- A duplicate stuffed toy that is very special to Calder and we left in a friend's car that we wouldn't see for a bit.
- Socks for me in Spain
- A toy helicopter for Calder in Spain
- Flip flops in Chicago (necessitated by bloody heels from my boots and lots of walking)
- Party supplies (hats, balloons etc for Calder's birthday party)
- A lunch box for Calder and for his friend Grace. This is actually a little bit in the gray area because I had recently sold something on Craigslist so I could actually say the money went towards the boxes, but I did still buy them)
And I think that is it. Not bad for a whole year. You could even argue the socks were a hygiene item but really they're not. They are adorable socks that peek above my boots with little buttons on them. They aren't just traditional functioning socks. I'll take a picture once they are unpacked. They're cute. And I don't regret buying them one bit.
I am glad that I've done the Nothing New challenge. I have learned a lot and I feel pretty removed from consumerism. It's funny I don't know what I would buy if I could go to the store and buy whatever I want. I'm sure I could find something but there isn't anything I'm just dying to get on January 1.
Jason and I were talking recently about how much we've saved this year and most months we only saved about $100 compared to last year. A few months we did save a lot more but most of the months were right around $100. I was a little bummed about only saving $100 a month when it seems so hard to avoid buying anything. The money really adds up over the course of the year though. It is a lot of effort and I didn't do it just for the money, although that doesn't hurt. I really did it to try to be more green and less dependent on spending money for happiness. I feel like I accomplished both of these goals.
I would recommend the challenge to anyone. I feel like it took me at least 6 or 7 months to feel content with not buying anything and not feel the urge to buy. So, if a year seems like forever maybe you could commit to a shorter time. I think I needed the full year to avoid slipping back into old habits.