A little before Christmas I went on a real spending bender. It probably wasn't terribly dire in the scheme of spending benders, but I was buying a lot of stuff, and our savings were suffering. Around the same time the compulsive late-spring cleaning urge hit me (it happens most years - after spring, but in early summer). The constant acquisition wasn't lining up with my attempts to clear out my wardrobe.
And it occurred to me, as I sorted out my desk drawer and unearthed some stationery I didn't even know that I had, that there's something kind of incredible and awful about owning so many Things that I could actually own Things I didn't even know about.
This spawned a very vague sounding resolution. That 2012 would be the Year of Less Stuff. Part of the reason is that I find it quite confronting to say people that I don't want to consume so much. But that's what it is. We've rejigged the budget so that my play money (disposable income) that is still luxurious by student standards, but is a mere 2/5ths of my old play money allowance.
I've tried sticking to a similar budget before and really struggled. So I'm joining in Frugal February (though this whole year is intended to be frugal) with enthusiasm. This time, so far, I've not had a problem. The difference has been that this time round every time I've had the "I want!" feeling, I've countered it with a real, genuine consideration of whether I "need" it, and whether I could just buy it another day. Pretty much always the answer is "no" and "yes."But it's always nice to know what other people are doing something similar. A community always makes things easier.