Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Spend it like the 70s 4: What I didn't buy

So here I am not buying anything I don't need on a quest for less stuff and more happiness.
But around sale time, I'm always tempted.

In the 70s my finest purchase was a pair of navy blue shimmery leather, platform soled, knee high boots. I had a budget of £5 (their full price was around £25 and Susan Malloy told me I'd no chance) but I was undeterred and went to almost every shoe shop in the north east before I found them in Washington. With my hand-embroidered denim skirt and checked cheesecloth shirt over a ribbed polo neck sweater, I was the coolest I'd ever been.

Sales bring back happy memories of shopping triumphs, when I could finally have some of the things I usually couldn't afford.
Also embedded was the belief that if I didn't get them while they were a bargain, then I'd miss my chance for ever. Later, I began to realise that these chances keep on coming back. I might miss one thing, but there would always be others.

Now, I can stay out of the shops, but now their emails still come tumbling into my inbox, inviting me to click.
Last night I went to the L'Artisan Parfumeur website to see what was in their sale. I even got as far as adding everything I wanted to my inbox, but when I got to the point of putting in my card details, I cancelled it. There is no more space in my perfume cupboard. (Yes, I know. I do know, really.) So I left, and I visited the perfume cupboard to try out something I already own.

What I did buy:
Sticking to the rules - only replacing things that have run or worn out and things I really do need - I got a webcam for the PC I got last year. The laptop, which had one built in, was near collapse and it's my livelyhood, so I did need the PC. Then I realised that I couldn't do my Skyping properly, so I got the webcam.
Where to put it? I had to get an extra 4 x USB port adapter things because I'd run out of holes.
I bought the cat a new collar, because the old one was scratched to bits, and some moisturiser. Technically, I've enough STEAMCREAM to last me a couple of months so that was a transgression, but I do like this one too.
For work, when I run writing workshops, I like to give everyone a small notebook to keep their ideas in. The V&A's sale email tempted me and I got 26 notebooks for £50 (bargain) ready for my two day sessions this week and next. It's a business expense, and while I suppose I don't have to do it, I like to because it creates a good atmosphere; everyone likes presents.

I also bid for some things on eBay, but I've already been outbid on all of them so that's a relief. I shouldn't go there, in the way that slimmers shouldn't walk into sweet shops just to see what's there, not if I want to stick to my guidelines.

And I sold a yoga mat to one of my students, so that's one more small space created in the front room.

I feel quite good about not buying the perfumes. When the sale ends and they are no longer available I might have a moment's panic about what I missed, but I'll get over it. There'll be another. I'll worry about that in six months' time.

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