Now before I even talk about how we don't Buy Things, let me be upfront about what we do buy: We buy stuff for fixing up the house, even stuff that we end up not using to fix up the house for months or more. We buy tools (well, ok, I buy tools, tool slut that I am) for which we don't have a significant or immediate need. And I have been known to treat myself to an occasional kitchen doo-dad (ranging from spoons to a kitchenaid stand mixer) or cookbook (always used). And we have a small Woot addiction but that's under control. No, really. Ok, so we are expecting the screaming Woot monkeys to arrive any day, but we can stop any time. Seriously.
But beyond that? We just don't spend money on things if we can use what we have or get it free. It's easier for me to describe what we DON'T buy:
- Clothes beyond absolute necessities. I finally forced Partner into buying a couple of pair of jeans recently, plus got us each about a dozen deeply discounted and much needed underpants at the Jockey outlet. We each generally buy two pairs of work shoes each year, but our on-our-feet jobs and my bad feet make those necessities. The concept of recreational clothes shopping is completely foreign to both of us, though if word got out about me I could seriously lose my Femme license. It's the law.
- New fancy electronics. To give you some perspective, all of our TVs require adapters to hook up a DVD. I did buy a low-end stereo/surround sound/whatever they call them now thingy last year when our amplifier, CD player and DVD player all crapped out on us at around the same time.
- Movies, music, not even books other than the occasional cookbook I mentioned already.
- Furniture - pretty much everything we have is old, second-hand, or from freecycle.
- Anything for the kids that's not absolutely necessary - again, with BabyGrand especially, freecycle has been our friend.
But with that being the case, how the hell do we HAVE so many things?!?
- Freecycle. Hey, gotta grab that toddler play kitchen and the big box of size 4T clothes while we can, even though she was only 20 months/16 months at the time we got those things. .
- Stuff we've had forever. And can't (yet) give away.
- Stuff with too much sentimental value or guilt associated with them. The four boxes in the attic of my mother's really boring china, for example.
- Stuff we're sure we'll be able to use again, like those three boxes of computer crap that I need to sort through in the attic.
- Stuff we're sure we'll be able to sell. If we just get around to taking pictures, and getting it listed. Which we're going to do, next week, honest.
- Antique tzochkes. I can't resist, especially kitchen
junkantiques that folks give me.
- Stuff we have lots of because of we can't find something so we have to buy another one.
We're still moving slow, but as I learn more, as the CSA season kicks into high gear, as I force myself to diversify in my garden and reconnect with peeling root veggies and dissecting my own chickens instead of reaching for bags of frozen kernels and frozen "tenders" for convenience, I believe that things will accelerate.