Monday, February 11, 2008

Living more compactly - two years later

Just shy of two years ago I wrote about the Compact, the ambitious group folks who vow to not buy anything new for a year, save a few personal items, food and toiletries. And as of February 1st, I'm trying it for a month.

Luckily, I have the support and camaraderie of two of my co-workers, and of course, Kevin, who is always a big proponent of not buying things (He's not officially signing up for the Compact pact, since he is normally pretty frugal. Except for this month, which happens to be his birthday month. He has purchased just the essentials, like two Kendo swords and a Go board).

So, why now? With the possibility of private school in our future, Kevin and I are on a new lower spending program, with a decreased personal monthly spending budget and more accountability. And just like any kind of diet, I'm always eager to see results.

Well, our monthly spending in January was roughly 1/2 of our monthly average from 2007! And that even included some fancy Joe's Jeans for $60 from my favorite new site, Regents Secret (let me know if you want 'in', as you have to be invited to take part) and a couple accessories for my iPhone.

Also, we're constantly going through our stuff and getting rid of it. Clothes, books, you name it. It it always seems like once I clear out stuff, like books, I break down and purchase more, which kind of defeats the purpose of clearing stuff out in the first place.

I've been doing pretty well so far. I borrowed a ton of snow gear for our ski trip. And I purchased some audio books for my iPhone to listen to on the long drive, but, these are okay since they're not physical goods.

I broke down over the weekend and purchased new laces for my 17-year old snow boots (I only had one shoelace for some odd reason). However, I think my $8.58 purchase doesn't count against me, as shoes and socks are two of the things you can purchase new.

I want to make a pin board for Lucas, so I will either scrounge for some used cork board and material, or wait until March for my big shopping spree ;) Or maybe I'll have so much fun not buying anything new that I'll keep it up for a while longer.

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