2012 Challenges: January-Buy Less

Resolutions seem destined to fail, or more appropriate for politics. So this year I’ve decided to do challenges instead. I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and she set up different goals for herself on a monthly basis. I really like that idea. I figure that I can do anything for a month, and that’s long enough to see if it’s something that I want to implement in my life full time.

For January I decided to not purchase anything other than necessities. Not only did we spend a whooping amount on our new backyard, the furnace and the holidays, but I refuse to believe that I need more stuff simply because I have a bit of an Amazon/Zappos addiction (Amazon Prime makes it almost too easy!) Plus, we’re coming off the holidays where we received many thoughtful gifts, for which I’m still trying to find homes.

This means no thoughtless purchases for myself or Porter. Not even for bitty things like sponges or specialty soaps. I do plan on purchasing balloons for Porter’s first birthday party, and have to admit that I did buy a calendar. It was a thoughtless purchase, which is why a challenge like this seems important. Making thoughtless acquisitions leads to clutter and wasted money. I’ve become a master at thoughtless buying and I’m starting to feel like a consumer sheep, being bamboozled by shiny new trinkets.

For Porter’s birthday, since it falls a couple weeks after Christmas, I’ve also decided that rather than gifts he should get experiences. He may not like this in the future, but until he can tell me otherwise, that’s how I’m going to play it. This year he’s getting a Zoo Boise membership (okay I’m getting it, but he’s free with an adult.)

I’m excited about this challenge and curious to see what our bank account will look like after the month is over. It’s also exciting to not be contributing overtly to the “consumer culture” that I believe has gotten out of control over the last couple decades. Even though many folks are shouting BUY BUY BUY, and saying that it will save the economy, it just doesn’t seem like that’s the only way to make change. The Center For A New American Dream website is interesting and has some good ideas on the subject. While they’ve associated with the whole Occupy Movement, I believe their ideas are greater and bigger than just the 99%. Their video about a Plentitude Economy is very intriguing to me, here it is so you can be in the loop too. What do you think?

Did you make any resolutions for the new year? What do you do to save money or cut back on stuff? I’ll let you know how this challenge turns out at the end of the month, and by then I’ll have February’s challenge ready to go. It’s belated now, but

Happy 2012!

His favorite place to play is next to front door. It’s seriously freezing there, but whatever.

Guaranteed best pictures…the moment he realizes he has a bowl full of raspberries.

He was thrilled to stick them in his mouth 2-3 at time. Good thing they’re mushy.

Mmmmmm.

Despite the cool winter weather, mittens are no good.
His newest use for teeth is pulling the mittens off as quickly as possible.

One mitten.

Two mittens!

So excited to be walking next to mom, not in front of her in the stroller.

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