This year I wanted to make a goal to consume less. In the end though, I decided not to. I’ve been slowly paring down my possessions and making more intentional purchases for several years now, but I still find myself having a difficult time fighting the urge to add items to my basket when I am in a store or on Amazon.com. In the interest of full transparency and accountability, I spent over $6,000 in 2014 on items ordered from Amazon, almost the exact same amount I spent in 2013. They are making good money off of me.
Anyhow, towards the end of 2014, I started thinking about possible options to get off this spending track, maybe join Project 333, or commit to buying nothing new for a year, or purchasing only thrift shop clothes during 2015. These are all great ideas for less consumption, and have helped a lot of people change their habits, but I just wasn’t feeling the enthusiasm behind them this year. What I finally hit on for myself is AWARENESS. I didn’t want to deprive myself of options in 2015, I wanted to understand as much as possible my urges to buy things, why I want them, and most importantly, when do I give in to them even though I don’t really need or want them, or when do I decide they are a purchase worth making?
To find this AWARENESS, I am carrying out a project or experiment based solely on myself-
Carry around a small notebook during 2015, and every time I think of something I want, or see something I want while shopping, I am going to write it down, and why I think I want or need it.
If I purchase something, I’m going to put the reason out there for all of you to see.
Did I buy it on impulse?
Did I truly need it?
Did I think it through for a while?
Am I using it after all?
Did I return it?
Because we all need items on a regular basis, I am excluding some things like toiletries, basic food and underclothing and I am limiting the items I write down to things that have just popped into my head that are random in nature, or that I see while shopping and wasn’t planning on purchasing beforehand.
My hope in doing this project is that by the end of 2015 I will have cut down the amount of items I have purchased because I think I need them, or even to realize that I can enjoy looking at an item without having to take it home with me and own it. I also hope that by being accountable to you all, that I will stop and think more intentionally before I make purchases, knowing that I will be explaining myself and my decision online.
I hope you enjoy following along on this project, and I welcome any encouragement, feedback and support!
2015 Consumer Chronicles by Week