Over the course of the last week, I’ve unsubscribed myself from dozens of newsletters and email lists. I’ve kept far away from Etsy and deleted all my bookmarks for my favourite shopping sites, because I am done.
It’s taken me a lot longer than most people, but I am finally tired of being in debt. What started out years ago as an exercise in self-pity basically turned into a lifestyle, and with the advent of international shipping and being several clicks away from literally anything .. well, I have a lot of stuff. I do not need more stuff. I am extremely fortunate, because I don’t want or need for anything (we are far from rich, but my taste in everything except electronics tends to run towards the cheap and ridiculous) – so there is no reason for me to scratch that shopping itch on a near-daily basis, buying anything that catches my eye. So, no more. When I’m bored I often find myself window shopping online, which inevitably turns into an impulse purchase. Instead, I’m going to put that energy to poor (but free) use; setting up silly Lego scenes or working on my erotic biography of Wilder Penfield (sample dialogue: “Doctor, I smell burnt toast!” “Shh, baby, that’s just my burning love for you” *commence plowing*).
To combat the debt, I’m turning it into a game: for every chunk of debt we pay down, we shall celebrate with Pinkberry. It’s cheap and delicious (much like myself), and a satisfactory way to celebrate my newfound fiscal responsibility without going into further debt. We all win, but especially the bank!
This entire process is undoubtedly going to take some effort. For one, it’s not like I’m never going to spend money again: I just need to remember the distinct line between want and need. I need oxygen, Diet Coke, and weapons-grade plutonium to live. I want a thousand shiny trinkets and things that go beep in the night. Until I come into several million dollars (which will happen when someone buys the rights to my life story), these things are no longer the same. I may slip up and invent loopholes from time to time – this week I spent $15 on the Humble Bundle and felt guilty about it until I decided that digital purchases did not count – but I’m getting better at saying “NO” to myself, and that’s all I can really hope for.
Also, our trip to London does not count.
Like all things, this will be an adventure. As long as I keep looking at it like a fun challenge instead of an annoying limitation, I should be able to have fun with it – and as long as there is fun, I can do anything.
Who’s up for some good old-fashioned free fun?!