Well I feel inspired. After reading a few books & articles on the subject, not to mention podcasts, I have decided to spend 2009 without spending. I know it will be a tough year, but the groundwork is already in place.
Coming from an academic background of first completing my degree and then my Masters, I have become familiar with frugal living. My salary for 18 months in between made me a lot of money which I wasn’t used to, but alas we live to our means and spend it anyway. I can’t figure out what the money went on whilst I was working full time, but it all went and I didn’t pay off much student debt!
Now we work from home and earn enough from that, it seems like the perfect time to try this experiment. I’m not tied to paying for commuting, parking, lunch, work nights out and all the other trappings associated with the 9-5 (9-6) city job.
Over the past few months since Vicki left work and I finished the Masters, we have been living pretty modestly. At the moment our entertainment consists of watching movies at home and making our own popcorn, attending the local pub quiz once a fortnight and generally taking life a lot more slowly.
So what is included in the year without spending, and what is excluded? Well obviously food & drink is excluded, as is accommodation. Basic utilities such as gas, electricity and water as well as council tax will have to be excluded, and debt repayments (just can’t stop paying those). Also business costs such as jiffy bags, hosting and materials, along with the business mobile have to stay (although the business mobile is a PAYG iPhone, so requires little upkeep).
Things that I will cut back on are landline and “extra” utilities such as Cable TV. Also spending on stuff such as clothes, gadgets & gizmos, and general crap that we all buy will have to go. Books will have to be traded on Read it Swap It, or borrowed from friends & relatives. Xbox 360 games will have to be begged, borrowed and stolen (not literally stolen), and that Xbox Live subscription I never use will have to go. Also I’m purging a lot of clutter from around the house & office on eBay, so check them out in my right hand sidebar –>
I will try and post a daily update to my anti consumerism year on this blog, so keep checking back for all the gossip on my Year without spending.