A Year Without Spending – Day 5 – Recycled Jiffy Bags & eBay

My box of Recycled Packaging
My box of Recycled Packaging

Well it’s day 5 of my ‘year without spending’ and I’m already surprised how liberated I feel. I received a newsletter from Aria this morning, with whom I have spent many thousands with in the past. In said newsletter was all the indispensable kit that I surely needed, a spanking new 24″ monitor along with a 500GB External Drive, a 16GB flash drive for pennies and all the other shiny gadgets which I drool over every time the newsletter lands in my Inbox.

But today for the first time, instead of drooling and sweating and wondering how I could afford all the shiny things on the screen, I looked at the email and thought ‘all nice but I’m not spending’, and promptly deleted the email. This felt very liberating and freed up a lot of time this morning for getting stuff done. I paid my taxes, paid my credit card bills (one of the major drivers for this experiment), and carried out various other house keeping tasks instead of pondering what to buy, how to fund it and how to tell Vicki that I absolutely NEED it.

We also had a fairly big order to send out today. This thing about Consumerism has been floating around in my head for a while, and the fact that I tend to buy what I need online instead of in the city, means I made a concious decision months ago to save packaging that goods arrived in (most notably bubble wrap and jiffy bags). This means that instead of going and paying 60p-£1 on a jiffy bag to post an order, I can simply stick a label over the old address and reuse the jiffy bag. I now have a collection of recycled jiffy’s for this very purpose and I recommend everyone do the same. Not only do you save money on buying new jiffy bags, but you always have a selection of various size bags to hand when required, Priceless! And our big order went out in a nice USED Jiffy bag.

The Jiffy bags are also coming in handy for eBay. As anyone who knows me will be the first to tell you, I’m a gadget & Technology geek. If my monitor is 17″ I NEED a 19″, then a 24″. If I have a terrabyte of storage, I NEED two or three terrabytes. This obsession over the years has managed to fill my man cupboard (that place where you keep your wires and batteries and other useless crap instead of giving it away/selling it/throwing it away) to the brink of bursting, and as such a clear out was in order. This has led to an obsession for selling old stuff rather than hoarding new stuff, and it feels great. So far I have sold off various PCI cards of indeterminate usage, a dehumidifier, a lawnmower, various wires and even a box full of old (and I mean really old, Pentium and Pentium 2 processors, old hard drives, ISA cards etc) computer components. Not only does this free up vital space in the man cupboard, but it allows me to know exactly what I have and where I store it, and the extra money is going towards paying off my credit cards. Everyone’s a winner!

So to distract myself from not buying, I am selling and sorting, and saving Jiffy Bags – Gosh do I sound like the saddest 25 year old on the planet? Saving Jiffy Bags!

But seriously, the experiment is going well, I’m enjoying not having to worry about how and when I will buy a new iMac or pay for that flickr pro account. Living honestly and simply again, it feels very liberating and I advise you all give it a go.

I know I have a mini tripod somewhere (perhaps in the attic). I will dig it out and start uploading video entries shortly.

Ebay - Sell your crap and pay off some debt!
Ebay - Sell your crap and pay off some debt!

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

3 thoughts to “A Year Without Spending – Day 5 – Recycled Jiffy Bags & eBay”

  1. I’ve been saving jiffy bags for ages and have a crate of them. Good for selling stuff on ebay because you don’t need to cover the envelope in the P&P making it more attractive and easier to sell. I cleared out a load of impulse buy DVDs over December.

    We always keep an eye out for strong boxes for David’s business, he never has to pay for packaging or bubble wrap, most people are desperate to get rid of waste packaging and give it to him by the sackload!

  2. Good for you!! This is such a great challenge. I need to read the first of your posts, but just wanted to say congratulations on making such a great commitment. 🙂

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