Resisting the urge to spend.

resistingtheurgePIN IT

I’m not your “average” consumer. I routinely look for second hand bargains, I’m big on recycled furniture and I love a good roadside collection. I already buy most of our clothes second hand… so it’s pretty safe to say one of my favourite shopping expeditions is a good old fashioned car boot sale. Bo and I went up to the city this weekend to work a stall at my sisters local swap meet. Trying to sell some of our old stuff and make a bit of cash. Usually this would be the ideal time for me to go on the bargain hunt… because, you never know what you might find.

Instead it was 40 degrees at 9am and we were stuck in a sweaty, sticky underground carpark… after a 5am wake up. We made less than $20 each, after our expenses. Bo slept, sweaty and irritable in the boot of the car while disinterested shoppers balked at my apparently not low enough prices on my old stuff… It was less than pleasant. At one stage I took Bo for a walk around to attempt to entertain her, there isn’t much to do at a car boot sale than browse the stalls. So that’s exactly what we did. I saw lots of different things that I would have liked, a cast iron Japanese tea pot, a cute pair of shoes, a set of old terracotta pots for the garden, and a whole stall of funky clothes manned by a girl just my size. I could have easily spent $50 on great deals, instead I bought nothing, bar a $5 jar of locally farmed organic honey (which is fine, because food is allowed, of course)… I probably wouldn’t have even bought at all if Bo hadn’t stuck her entire hand INSIDE it already.

There was something strangely liberating about knowing that there was nothing I needed… no matter how good a bargain it was.

And something a little sad about walking away from that little teapot.

Could I have justified that teapot to myself? Sure. I do a lot of food photography. Styling is important. I don’t have a lot of good styling props. So I could probably write it off as a “work expense”… but I also know that’s bullshit… and it wasn’t for work and it was just a pretty little thing that I wanted. I already have to much stuff that I don’t use and I certainly don’t need. So I walked away.

And my arm got tired from all the patting myself on the back.

A friend of mine runs a lovely little store online called Gypsy and the Dreamer. Yesterday I was mindlessly flicking through facebook while stuck at a friends house underneath a sleeping baby… a post popped up with this gorgeous pair of Indian silk pants for a bargain. Just the site of them took my back to India and reminded me of all of the pants (and quilts, oh the quilts) I wish I had bought when I was there… They were a bargain at a twenty with postage. Support a friends business. Buy something unique and beautiful that I know I would wear constantly. I could justify it to myself, couldn’t I?.. Resist the urge to spend. Don’t buy anything new.

So I scrolled away. Knowing that those gorgeous silk pants will be someone elses… and that’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK.

Far out… for someone who is not much of a traditional consumer… I’m beginning to realise that I consume mindlessly a lot more than I am aware of. This might be more challenging than I thought.

I wonder if that teapot will still be there next year? Moreso, I wonder if I’ll still want it…


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  • January 15, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    Julie - I think it is similar to people who go on a diet. They are constantly thinking of food. Rather than think about how you are not buying, think about the money you are saving and the lifestyle change you are making.ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    Julie - Hello! Earlier today I read an interesting and useful, at least for me, discussion of purchasing objects here:
    I think the entry is titled ‘need it or love it.’ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2014 - 2:11 pm

    Naomi @ (Not) Just A Mummy - You are amazing Sash! Although I try and be careful with money, especially since becoming a work at home mama, I am a sucker for a sale and always fall into the ‘it’s actually SAVING me money’ trap. Can’t wait to see how the project continues to unfold!ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2014 - 10:04 pm

    Erin - This last year I can count on my two hands the items we consumed other than food. It feels pretty damn good, although our lack of consuming was due to lack of choice. Now that things are opened up in our budget just a tad, I find myself day dreaming of all the things I think I may have missed out on over the year. Silly really, and yours posts are such great reminders! We are planning for a big move cross country in 2 weeks and we are expecting another baby in May. I made up a ton of excuses why it wouldn’t be a good year to join in on this project:) That worried me and made me realize I want to do it! Thank you for your inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • January 17, 2014 - 8:44 pm

      Sash - Thank you for yours! x And congratulations on the impending arrival!! That’s the most exciting thing of all. xReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2014 - 7:17 am

    Peggy - I am the opposite. I can’t stand buying things (other than food related stuff) and am always looking for a reason NOT to purchase something. It does sometimes become a small issue, for instance when I only have two tshirts that are decent enough to wear in public and one pair of shorts. But I just hate shopping.

    I think I am going to find this ‘nothing new’ thing not only enlightening, but very comforting. 🙂ReplyCancel

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