Monday, August 30, 2010

Recovering consumeric

Hi, my name is Brenda and I'm a former consumer-ic.

Note that I said "former."

I have always, always loved to shop. To spend money on bright, shiny baubles. Whether I really and truly needed them or not. I loved to pick up gifts for my friends and family. I used to work very hard for a very nice paycheck, so what the heck - I'll spend my money as I wish.

Etsy didn't help this one little bit. But ... I was spending to support handmade. Yay! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I discovered Etsy. My earring addiction problem was solved - infinite earrings to choose from! And all the hand spun, hand dyed yarn that my heart could imagine.

I'm not a consumer-ic any longer. I don't have a regular paycheck (well, I have a smaller and temporary paycheck) to float on. I question every purchase. Do I really need those gorgeous earrings that have been in my favorites for the last two months? (No, sadly, no)

As much as I'd enjoy going on a spending spree for a new wardrobe ... really, now, do I really need a whole new wardrobe? (No, sadly, no)

"Consumerism" has become such a dirty word. We small business owners want folks to buy our wares and services, right? But buying beyond your means, going into massive credit card and other debt, in order to continually have the newest, brightest, shiniest ... that's not so great. I've been guilty of liberal use of my credit cards in the past, but no longer (and what a GREAT feeling, right?).

I've really enjoyed Tara Gentile's posts on mindful spending, which is such a better way to live. At least for me. A recovering consumer-ic (spendaholic?). It's amazing to learn what you can live without.

I'm in the midst of simplifying:  selling and giving away things I don't need, questioning "need" versus "want," and along the way making changes in my life that feel great.  Initially driven by necessity (that pesky lack of a paycheck) and now fueled by a desire to be more.  More than what TV or magazines or department stores think I can or should be.

As part of this, I've relied less and less on TV for entertainment.  First, TV isn't that great anymore (still lamenting LOST, I suppose).  Second, I can't stand the commercials.  Third, if I really want to watch something, I can find it on Netflix or Hulu.  Not shockingly, my digital-cable-tv-package-with-channels-I-never-watch will be disappearing VERY soon.

What about you?  What do you think and feel about mindful spending and consumerism?  Is this a sign of the times, given the economy?  Or the economy right itself?  Or something else entirely?

Image:  Cash register keys by Krista Glavich Photography


Tim and/or Abby said...

I like this post! It's totally where I am right now too. Tough but good!

Brenda said...

Yes! Tough but good - I like that. :) Tough love with yourself. Thanks, Abby!