So, last night Kyra and I went on a great date. We saw the new Cinderella movie (really, very good!) and had some great conversations. I've been spending a lot of time lately reading through the Becoming Minimalist archives, and I came across this article that talks about the idea of doing a "shopping fast." I also found a trio of interviews here that wasprobably themost informative part. Quick refresher: a fast is a time of intentionally giving something up for the sake of a spiritual/philosophical time of growth. Think Lent. So this family decided that they were going to fast from shopping for anything but true essentials - food, toiletries, etc - for 1 year. I read it and thought it sounded like a great idea! We've been working on minimalizing recently, and part of what it's made me realize is that we really simply purchase too much stuff. So when I read this idea, I thought it sounded great. What I didn't expect was for Kyra to agree to it immediately! Here are our reasons:
1. We need to minimalize more. Our hope is to move into a small house (less than 400ft2) in the country within the next 2 years. In order for us to physically fit in that space, we need to have fewer things than we currently own! This won't be possible if we keep amassing more and more stuff.
2. We buy too much stuff. We both feel that we shop more for pleasure than for actual need. When we're stressed/tired/bored, sometimes getting something new just seems like an easy pick-me-up.
3. We're carrying consumer debt. It's not a horrible ammount, but until about a year ago we'd never carried a credit card balance for more than 1 month. For the past year we've been "trying" to get our balance paid off, but we've made little/no headway, despite me working a small side-job.
4. We don't want our kids to learn our shopping habits: Our kids are old enough to see stuff and want it. We're experiencing the toy aisle meltdowns. Maybe this is the nuclear option, but we want to be able to start teaching them now that joy doesn't come from things.
Next step: defining the terms of our fast. Hopefully that goes as smoothly :)