The ground rules

Since I’m not the first person to think of this no new purchases plan there are plenty of blogs and website to check out showing how other people managed. One blog that I’m enjoying reading is No New is Good News, the author made the same resolution for 2010 then logged her daily achievements and struggles. She put some planning into the resolution before the actual start date so she went and made several purchases before the Jan 1 deadline. I didn’t think to do that so I’ll have to live with what I have. I think my underwear will hold out just fine and I got about 20 pairs of socks for Xmas so I’m good there too.

She also put together a set of ground rules that I think are a good place to start. And since there is no need to reinvent the wheel I’ll be following most of her rules with just a little tweaking. Here is a brief summary of the rules (if interested follow the link to read more about the ideas behind the rules.) My notes are in purple:

Okay to buy in 2010:
-food and drink for home
-toothpaste, soap, shampoo etc.
-eating out when it is part of a social gathering
-coffee out-only as part of social gathering (not for convenience) I love this rule, I didn’t know how to fit in my trips to Caribou, so as long as I’m meeting a friend then its ok, but if I’ve just got a craving for a coffee then I need to make it at home.

-health expenses as needed (i.e.: glasses, meds, chiropractor)
-esthetics-specifically hair removal. I do have to interface with the world, and if you’ve seen my eyebrows, you’ll understand. But pedicures are on me. Ugh. This is funny, we seem to have the same issues so I’ll stick with her rule here too. Hair removal is ok but other indulgences are out for the year. The only exception will be during my April trip to Las Vegas. We have plans for visiting a different spa everyday and even I don’t have that much hair that needs to be removed.

-travel-I can travel, but no souvenirs! I agree, plus I hate souvenirs, just more clutter

-live shows and performances etc. (experiences are good, remember!) I agree, experiences are good and are not adding to the abundance of stuff that ends up in landfills or clutters up my house. Good thing too because I already have tickets for 2 ballets this spring.

-fabric and yarn within reason for make-it-myself projects, but try to find recycled first. I’m still not sure how I’m going to handle this rule, I am really enjoying sewing right now but I’m not enjoying how much my projects often cost me to make. So I think I’m going to stick with getting supplies at the thrift store and just try to be more creative.

Now on to my more specific rules:

Home Improvement purchases are allowed since we’re in the midst of a renovation. But I will still try to find vintage/ used items whenever possible.

While Dan is on board with my plan he has not committed himself to no purchases. So I will be the quiet voice of reason when he suggests there is something we should buy but for the most part he really doesn’t buy things unless he needs it for work. He will be buying seeds for the garden soon but I think that falls under the food category.

Two more items that I had plans to buy this year are bikes for Thomas and me (and Beth since we’ll be sharing a bike,) I was supposed to get a bike for Mothers Day about 3 years ago but due to my inability to commit I still haven’t gone and picked one out. Thomas really wants us to start riding on the bike path that follows the river, so I’ll have to figure out how we’re going to handle that. Before Xmas we did look at some of the used bike stores around the city and they were surprisingly expensive (like more than the new bike I wanted at Target.)

Also Beth needs new dance shoes, we did actually buy some in Dec but they weren’t the right size so we had to send them back, since hers have worn out and since she wears such a large size I think we will need to order her new shoes but that may have to be rolled into her b-day present (and possibly from a g-ma since her Xmas/ b-day/ graduation gift was covered by the laptop we gave her at Xmas.)

I think that’s about it for now but if any other thorny issues come up you’ll be the first to hear about it.


2 thoughts on “The ground rules

  1. I’m very happy about the coffee rule. I think you can find used bikes, just not the expensive resale shops around here.
    It seems like it might have been cheating to stockpile before you started. It’s like gorging yourself before you go on a diet, so you add extra pounds that you have to lose.

  2. Hey! Good for you for trying this. Best of luck and I look forward to hearing about your progress. It’s been a really excellent experience that I highly recommend. It makes you think about ‘stuff’ differently and is a great way to save money/pay down debt etc.
    cheers and happy new year!

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