I just came across this article thanks to my brother in law on a blog called Squalkfox. It speaks to some of the reasons I started this challenge of not buying anything new for a year. Some of the reasons are loftier environmental ones, but some of the big reasons are that I had to do something drastic to cut my spending to the bone to get on track financially. You can only live beyond your means for so long before it really starts to suck, and this world makes it easy to keep doing. It becomes like shovelling money into an ever more giant pit. Her entry on 'The Real Reason You're Broke' likens being broke to needing to go on a diet. She says something roughly along the lines of: 'like you've got to cut calories, you've got to cut the costs and go a bit hungry.'
Besides feeling irritable with wanting to shop and occasional frustration, this year has yielded lots of good dividends. I've increased my sense of self determination by doing something tough for me and sticking with it. I've begun to seriously appreciate things like used clothing stores and clothing swaps etc. I've enjoyed the experience of less clutter. And I've saved $11,000 in RRSPs, $4000 in other savings, and paid off $17,100 in consumer and student loan debt so far this year! I'm still not done by a long shot, but that is pretty frigging cool, isn't it?
So check out her blog. I like it.