A Compact Conversation With My Mom
I was chatting with my mom today about the great relief I felt being done with my Christmas shopping. So glad I don’t have to do all that crap next year, I say.
“What?! ” She says, “You’re actually doing that thing?”
Yup. I am doing that thing. I am joining The Compact.
Mom already had some background information on my personal decision whether or not to make the commitment to buy nothing new for a whole year. She had more questions that I will share with you:
So, I was going to put something on the grocery list and thought, “Well, what if I couldn’t have that?” If I’m not supposed to be buying anything new and all…
Well, you can buy groceries. And a lot of people still buy socks and underwear. Everyone has their own preference. For example, Katy at The Non-Consumer Advocate buys Pyrex because it’s hard to find used and better for the environment than plastic containers. Me, I reserve the right to accept an engagement ring if offered. I’ll probably quit with paper towels and tissues because I can do without those. I’ll skip cleaning products too. They’re more of a convenience item.
I would rather not get a diamond engagement ring. I say, save for a down payment on a home and get a simple wedding band. Who started the stupid ring thing anyway?
So what do you use instead?
I’ll use up the stockpile I already have of paper towels. I’ll keep rags handy in the kitchen to substitute for paper towels. And I’ll keep an eye out for cloth napkins at Goodwill or make my own. Toilet paper works for tissues, but I’ll get in the habit of using hankies. Vinegar and stuff will work for cleaning.
So no more yarn or fabric?
(Gulp) Yup. But I could unravel thrifted sweaters to use for yarn. And some people in The Compact buy socks new. So if they buy socks new, then I could buy yarn to make socks…
Probably not. But who am I kidding? It will take me a year just to get through the stash I already have. I suppose then I’ll resort to crocheting plastic bags.
So what if you’re the mom and your kid takes guitar lessons?
That’s cool because you’re purchasing the experience. You can go to the theater or rent a movie. You just can’t buy a DVD. Not a new one, anyway.
So are you doing this because you’re saving the planet, or because you are anti-commercial, or because you’re saving money?
Well, I want to save money, and it should be a fun challenge. But I’ve found that the less I watch TV, the better I feel about myself. I had the Today Show on this morning and found myself getting distracted by some Tiger Woods crap. What a waste of my productivity.
Of course I am concerned with the environment and will be interested to see how I can make positive changes with my new lifestyle.
What are you saving money for?
I am sick of paying my car loan, I want that done with. I also want to have a wedding next year.
So you can spend all of the money you want, just not on anything new.
Hypothetically, yes. But with my goal of saving money that wouldn’t make much sense.
I don’t think I like that you can spend so much. You can overspend at Goodwill, too.
I know this is something that I need to watch. One reason I would like to do The Compact is because I waste so much time looking at clothes online. I need to be careful that I don’t turn into an Ebay/Craigslist junkie instead. Whether I buy something new or used, I want it to be my favorite. I appreciate my things much more now that I only have a few.
This is in reference to my transition from buying everything that fit and I could afford to having a small wardrobe of clothes that I love. I have about 1/4 of the clothes and shoes today than I did four years ago.
Overall, Mom seemed okay with it. Interested, even. I bet I can guess what Jo Kramer will NOT be doing in 2011…
Buying anything new.
Although she doesn’t do much of that anyway. I learn from the best!