Week 6: Spending

In the course of ‘7’, I’ve been faced a couple of times with truth about how voraciously I love to consume. Shopping is a hobby for me, rationalised by the spirit of bargain-hunting which makes it all ok, right? Amazon, e-bay, thebookpeople,txmaxx, and anywhere you see a ‘sale’ sign, all put me into mega bargain mode and poor Jayber has been subjected to the post-sales-analysis of how much I saved a few too many times.

Like all the other 7 categories, it’s not that spending in and of itself is bad, it’s the level to which we do it and what we are doing it for that we are questionning. I shop because I am bored, I shop because I’m not very good at distinguishing want from need, I shop because that bright, shiny person/ad/programme told me I should. I shop because I can, or because that moment of transaction, of something I want becoming mine, is actually a heady, powerful thing.

So this week our family will be limited to 7 transactions. That doesn’t sound so bad. Except that it’s Sunday, and I have 3 days and 2 transactions left. Here’s where they have gone:

  1. Caleb’s birthday party bowling tickets
  2. Snacks for the bowlers
  3. A wii remote off ebay
  4. Groceries for the week
  5. Mother’s day booze, (a vital item, I’m sure you’ll agree)

And I forgot to get eggs and couldn’t find tofu anywhere for Caleb’s birthday dinner tomorrow (yes, I know, an unusal choice for an almost 8 year old) so that’s at least one more transaction. Thankfully, I made extra sure nappies found their way into the trolley this time.

Other ideas for the week include:

  • Limit the number of stores
  • Use only cash for the week, and/or an envelope system to control your spending in different areas
  • Plan your week to avoid spontaneous spending, particularly in the area of food and socialising
  • Calculate how much money you save and enjoy sharing it with someone in need
  • Become a wiser consumer- research your favourite supermarket, coffee shop etc and consider where you really want to spend your money
  • Evaluate what you already have to see what could be repurposed
  • Watch ‘Walmart: the high cost of low price’

I’ve started Spending week a little early and am doing it Thursday (past) to Wednesday. This Thursday, Jayber and I head off for 3 child-free days in Belfast as part of my birthday celebrations. Bliss. I’m going to take a wee ‘7’ sabbatical those days and will begin the final week, Stress, on the Sunday.

See you then.xo

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