(frugal - 4x6 -- made from stuff that was already on my desk)
I am challenging myself in 2012 to a year without retail -- in-store or online shopping. This is not something I'm undertaking lightly. I am very serious and committed to this. Why? Because I feel that I'm buying things that I don't truly need. Last year (2010) I read Annie Leonard's book "The Story of STuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health -- and a Vision for Change". Read it or read about it if you like. don't worry -- I'm not going to try to brainwash anyone into joining me. This is my journey, not yours :)
I am going to (try to) buy only consumable items for the whole year. Consumables include toiletries -- I might need to buy some antiperspirant sometime during the year and I don't want anyone else to have to suffer through my challenge :).
My exceptions will be books if they are gifts or for my classroom -- I live a few blocks from the library and really should be using it more than I do-- and anything that I already have that breaks and needs to be replaced (like my washing machine that currently needs replacing) (and something like a toner cartridge for my printer -- printing report cards and newsletters, etc. is part of my job).
I think that I'll allow myself exceptions at thrift shops and yard sales... (and I get to use up the gift cards that I currently have -- those were GIFTS to me-- and I have one for the Workroom and to Deserres to use when I really need an art fix :)
I have enough art supplies to get me through the year (okay, to get me through a lifetime). Enough paper, tape and staples...
I have enough clothes. And plenty of fabric if I run out.... I even have enough thread...
I certainly have enough stuff... too much stuff....
So, if you are getting a gift from me, or a trade in 2012, it will either be thrifted or handmade using materials that I already have. Or it will be edible -- I promise that I won't use any thrifted ingredients to make food, lol.
Anyone care to join me in this challenge? I am going to list every single purchase that I have made and then publish it at the end of each month (Mr. B buys the groceries, so I should be able to "balance" my wallet).
The part that I anticipate as difficult will be the online shopping, and the book buying. And the magazine buying. Wish me luck!!
(my word of the year this year is "frugal" -- and it's not even a pretty word, like meander was in 2009, remarkable in 2010 and content in 2011)
starting balance in my wallet: