This not buying stuff is harder than it seemed at first. I haven’t bought anything but food since January first, but some of the food I’m buying has been pretty unnecessary. Like chips. And M&Ms. That stupid things like this should be my downfall kinda bummed me out, so I gave myself a talking to and now (I’m trying) I have stopped making purchases out of vending machines.
So on the health side, and the eco side of things, I’m not doing as well as I’d like. Overachiever that I am.
On the money side, however, things are brighter. Have $246 in the bank, and it is only two days until payday. Have set myself a goal of having $500 in the bank by the end of February and cutting my Visa bill in half. Totally do-able, as long as Buy Nothing January extends into Buy Nothing February. I’d really like a little breathing room. In case my furnace goes, like poor Mama D’s.
Elliott linked to an article about a woman who is living on $12,000 per year. I’ve been trying to feel inspired by her, but I honestly don’t quite believe the story could be true. It is so far beyond my ability that it seems impossible. I did note that she had to give up school in order to live on so little, which I’m not willing to do.
I lived below the poverty line for a number of years, from 1989 to 1992. Then I mooched off my mom for a year (while recovering from illness, so not really mooching). Then I was below the poverty line from 1995 to 1997 while I was in college. I ended up in all kinds of precarious living situations during those times, and while I obviously survived, it was so stressful. I remember running into the mother of an ex-boyfriend and when she asked how I was doing, being nearly in tears as I told her I had nothing to eat and no money. The next morning I woke up to a litre of vegetarian chilli and a block of cheese hanging on my doorknob. It got me through the week and her absolute kindness still makes me want to weep.
No voluntary simplicity then. Forced simplicity. Voluntary simplicity is for those who have money.
I would now count myself as someone who has money. Despite being broke and complaining about it. I have the option to choose simplicity. I have the luxury to choose not to buy anything. Which, it turns out, is harder than it seems.