Monday, February 2, 2009

The Subcompact - Month One

About a month ago my husband and I decided to start on a little experiment to see how much we could reduce our consumption by limiting our purchases and focusing on used items for the things we really need. I just finished the first month, so I thought I would post a little update.

For the first part of the month, sticking to our plan was easy. We had just finished Christmas and were still busy putting away the new junk we had accumulated. Since winter only lasts about three weeks in Phoenix and my kids grew like weeds over the holiday break, I quickly found myself needing a few new things for Girlie's wardrobe. I decided to try a few consignment shops and the first trip was fabulous. I picked up cute Mini Boden, Gymboree, Gap, and even Garnett Hill pieces for next to nothing. Feeling optimistic, I went back a few times but subsequent trips were not as successful. I tried a few thrift stores too, but the selections were mostly a little worn and depressing. I still try to dress her like a little girl, so the Hannah Montana hoochie skirts weren't doing it for me. I will probably fill in the rest of her spring stuff with a little Gymboree and Target. I have found that the Gymboree stuff in particular lasts forever and I like buying a variety of things that mix and match easily. I'll keep trolling the consignment stores too, but we did say we were not going to limit ourselves entirely when it comes to the kids.

As for me, I have not purchased a single new or used thing for myself or my house this month. As I mentioned, it was easier at first. The stores were still a desolate wasteland of holiday rejects and rumpled items looking suspiciously returned. Recently, I had to pick up a few sundries at Target and found myself lovingly gazing at the new goodies. I spotted a fabulous spring scarf that would distract the eye from my squishy tummy, and a few of the guest designer dresses had me at hello, but I resisted. When it came time to celebrate my husband's birthday, I got him an appointment for a massage and some yummy candy, both consumables that won't junk up our house or fill our trash bins with too much waste. Best of all, he got a little time to relax and we stuck to our plan.

Most shocking is the amount of extra money we seem to have this month. I paid off a lingering credit card bill that was hovering just over $1000 and it feels good to be debt free. I am sure some of it can be attributed to the season, the power and water bills are probably their lowest of the year during these months because of our mild winters. But I know a large part of it is due to the hard line I have drawn for myself. In some ways, it is easier to say no entirely instead of maybe just a little.

I still have five months to go, but getting into the rhythm so far feels pretty good. Who knows? Maybe will even extend it for the entire year.

I know, I know, that's crazy talk...

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Congrats! Sounds like you're doing great.