#shopstop13 · 2013 Challenges · February

Non-consumer February…

Hahahahahahahaha! The joke of the year I think! I am obviously so deep into the consumerism that one month to take a break was way harder than I thought it would be. It might also be that my heart wasn’t really in it, I guess I like my consumer lifestyle, which might also be why I have a need for a job that can keep me with my so much-loved lifestyle.

I will say that I managed to stay within budget during February, despite tightening the rains due to non-consumerism and still splurging on a new jacket and some visits to McDonald’s (I can’t believe I did that to be honest), so I must have done something right!

You do take a step back and think about buying something one more time, and I hope that behaviour will stay with me, and the whole living on a budget thing will be on-going for the whole year!

My future little projects will not be about money I think, that is getting boring!

#shopstop13

It was an accident!

This afternoon my mother and me visited a local mall, the purpose was to have a picture of dad in a rather old-fashioned format made into a jpg as well as enjoy some luxurious coffee time. Unfortunately there are other venues at this mall, including a bookstore and a designer outlet-half price on sales price-kind of store! Thus two things happened;

One, I realized that the latest book in a series of books that I follow was now available and thus purchasable. I think that in my long rant about what consumerism really is, I found it excusable to still purchase books.Book

Secondly, I consumed! In the designer outlet-half price on sales price store there was this classic black jacket with the pretty brand of Filippa K. It’s one of those jackets that never really go out of style and it just happened to fit me perfectly and as I said, half price on sales price (that was 40%)! How can I not go for it?Jacket

I have to admit right here and now; I am a sucker that are totally drawn into the crazy world of consumerism!

#shopstop13 · Life on a budget

What is consumerism?

In February I will, inspired by a Swedish journalist (tweeting with #shopstop13), not over-consume. I have to say that determining what is consumerism and what isn’t is harder than expected.

One of my 7 things to do for 2013 is living on a budget, and I can say that this far in January I haven’t done a very good job at it. The main reason for this is that my budget is off, I have underestimated in some places and overestimated in some, and some stuff just isn’t in there at all. Looking at what it is that I have bought this far, I realize that I have a task to determine what to allow myself during the month of February.Spending January this far

What I have done this far is to cancel my Gym membership, I haven’t been for I don’t know how long and since my Favorite Latte Mum told me today that she had cancelled hers, I knew there is no point of keeping mine. I pretty much only managed to go when we had agreed to meet. And seriously, having a membership in a gym that you never go to must be consumerism, right?

Something that I do spend plenty of money on, however getting something back for, is take-away coffees and eating out. I would say that take-away coffees and buying take-away because you are too lazy to cook; that is consumerism and have to go. Going out for dinner or lunch with friends and family, that I call quality of life and will be allowed (something I had forgotten to calculate for in my January budget).1. Coffee

Then it comes to those couple of beers after work, well I don’t work at the moment but my friends do! Are they consumerism or quality of life? That is a though one!Beer

I know for sure that the clothes are out, there is no way that I will have to buy any clothes in the month of February. I have too much of everything already so even if something breaks I will have something else I can wear instead, come rain, snow or heat wave – that has been taken out of the budget for February.

Going to the movies are something that I absolutely love, and in my budget I have four visits a month included. Is this consumerism or quality of life? I know that I can live without it, it’s not a must, however; how much fun would life be if there are only musts and no fun? The movies get to stay.

February also brings mine and my sisters birthdays, for mine I want to hold a party where I will purchase snacks and decorations – where does one draw the line for how much and what? For my sister I would like to buy here a birthday present, if I buy her something that she really needs can I then spend unlimited funds? If I want to buy something fun or goofy is this then consumerism and out-of-bounds? I will not go empty-handed to my sister on her birthday, I will however have to sit down and take a think about what I will bring.

Another love of mine is reading and there is a post in my budget for books and magazines, I also realize that I have a tendency to purchase new books even though I have books at home that I haven’t read yet. And I do think that even if I don’t do many other things to do but reading in February I still wont finish them all (they include Crime and Punishment amongst others), so books and magazines are out for the next month. I should probably make a rule for myself even in the future, it’s just that when I find a book that I find interesting I just feel that I have to get it straight away or I wont ever have it.

That became a very long blog post with a lot of text and questions in it. I have adjusted my budget a bit, however it’s more of the mindset rather than numbers in an excel sheet that needs to be adjusted. Keeping track of every penny one spends does make you think a bit more about what it is you are spending on though.

2013 Challenges · February

#shopstop13

An employee on one of the bigger crap evening papers have had enough of consumerism and have decided to not play the game during 2013. It is an interesting concept and I am looking forward to following the progress of the same, however I have some queries as to what consumerism really includes.

For those who understand Swedish, or can be bothered google translating several tweets, the way to keep up is #shopstop13. There is no blog, there will be articles in the paper through out the year, for me the information flow is a bit to low (might be me having too much spare time).

She stated that she will only purchase foodstuffs, fuel and transportation during the year, already here I had to pose the question;Shopstop13

Does foodstuffs include alcohol? What about make-up? It would be interesting with a list!

That was last night, and now I have even more questions; what about restaurants? Is going out for dinner equal being a slave to consumerism? The morning paper? Buying a book that seem interesting?

For those who know me, I am keen to try this. Not for a year but for a month, that would be aligned with my challenges in the past. I also guess that it would be very similar to living on a student budget, it’s just that I don’t really feel clear on the criteria for consumerism.

Where do I draw the line? Buying a chocolate bar at the grocery store for example, I would consider that being more of consumerism than going out for dinner. You don’t really need chocolate, dinner with friends is double good as you have to eat and spending time with your friends are great for your well-being.

I think February will be a shop stop month for me, just not sure how I will explain to the sister that she wont be getting a birthday present because I am to busy opposing our society.

How do you define consumerism?