Tonight I had a conversation with a client who lives in subsidized housing about my project of not buying anything new for a year. She brought it up after hearing about it a while ago. I always feel a bit funny - or should I say phony - when I talk about this with someone who has less options than me. Someone living in real poverty, versus my self-inflicted debt, student loans, and condo-payment kind of scenario that I am trying to make better. The two situations are clearly not the same. I know that I have choices some people don't have when it comes to buying what I need or want, even bad choices like accumulating more debt.
The conversation ended up being really positive though. She liked the idea of what I was doing and said she was considering doing something similar to save up for furniture for the new unit she just moved into. She loves it, but it is very spartanly decorated, as she has few possessions. Unfortunately, many people on fixed incomes can no longer trust the used furniture they used to rely on because a lot of it has been discarded due to bed bugs. Ugh. The nice thing is, she started thinking along the lines of giving up frivlous quickly disposed of 'junk' (i.e.: junky jewelry, make up, hair things, trendy cheap clothes, etc.) that she buys 'out of boredom' or 'to make myself feel good for about a minute' to save up for something that would be more significant and lasting. Not a bad idea for most of us to think about where our pennies and dollars go, and redirect them towards more personally meaningful ends.
I think I'll check out. I'm beat to a snot - as we sweetly say - going full tilt just to catch up.