I mentioned in my Finally Frugal 2009 Goals post that this year I would be following The Compact, which is an agreement to buy used rather than new items, in an effort to reduce waste and increase savings. I'm having difficulty with my 'vice', which is new clothes and shoes, and in an effort to get a handle on this area, I'm willing to go to great lengths.
You can learn more about The Compact by clicking on the video below, or by reading this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Learning To Be an Un-Consumer
What following The Compact will require is an intimate knowledge of my local thrift stores. Luckily, I came across another great blog, called The Thrifty Chicks, which is basically a primer to thrift shopping. Lots of great tips abound on this website, which I hope to check often over the next year.
I should note that I'm embarking on somewhat of a 'modified' Compact. Here are my modifications:
- I am allowing myself six 'freebies' during the year. These will be purchases of new clothing or other items that I cannot find used. I hope not to use all of my 'freebies', but just the thought that I can buy something new makes this endeavor a bit less scary;
- I am allowing myself to purchase items such as underwear and other personal garments (like socks) new;
- If safety is an issue, I'm allowing myself to purchase new (such as the tire I thought I was going to have to buy recently);
- I'm allowing myself to purchase gifts for others that are new. I just don't have the time to create something myself or to spend hours at the thrift stores finding something appropriate.
Ultimately, I'm hoping that challenging myself with The Compact will help change those automatic thoughts that have led to so many unnecessary purchases (and the credit card bills that followed).