Skip to comments.The year of living frugally: how 10 friends survived without shopping
Posted on 01/07/2007 4:48:05 PM PST by fishhound
It started as a pledge over dinner between friends worried about the impact of mass consumerism and today's disposable society.
"Let's see if we can give up shopping for a year," they said. advertisement
Now, at the close of the "12-month flight from the consumer grid" in which the 10 friends were egged on by thousands of supporters inspired by their idea some have declared the experiment so revelatory and life-changing that they plan to continue the boycott indefinitely.
The 10 middle-class professionals living in San Francisco dubbed themselves the "Compact" after the Mayflower Compact, drafted by Puritan pilgrims who reached the New World in 1620.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
After seeing the insane automaton shoppers this ChristmaS in my area and those waiting in lines at 6pm on Thanksgiving day I can appreciate this.
I think they're idiots but that's allowed. They can do without if they want to. This same story has already been peddled by the LA Times (I think).
Boycott was a little extreme but most of it was just good judgement.
That being said: It's a lot more fun to SHOP! lol
I have to shop so I can buy my wife beer. She has a problem but Im sticking with her through it.
I think anyone crazy enough to get up at 6am to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving.... is just,
Sleeping is more fun!
I disagree. These guys have a good idea!
The U.S. has morphed into such a consumer-driven culture where there's a lot of pressure to keep up with the Joneses, even if it means taking on debt.
It's amazing how much stuff we buy that we don't really need.
Of course, though, if you want to do this, great. If you don't, you have that choice too...and if you think that these ten folks are idiots, you are definitely allowed your own beliefs.
Given the extremely liberal causes that many corporations support with their profits, such a lifestyle is not a bad one for the dedicated conservative.
I could do this, most of us could. I have plenty of clothes and enough gadgets, music, and books to last.
But what about the car part...couldn't do without a car, and if say your water pump goes on your car, or a tire blows out, how are you going to get by without buying another replacement part.
Big deal. I've never "shopped." If I need something, I buy it online or hit Walmart, if I don't need anything I don't buy anything. I have mixed feelings about the effect of everybody acting as I do. The economy would be a good deal smaller, China would be a good deal poorer, and things like ipods and gameboys would be labratory curiosities. As long as we've got the best weapons, medical system, best food production system, and decent affordable banjoes and fiddles, which we do, it's hard to see how we would be in any worse postion relative to the world.
I don't care what other people do, I just think it's too much trouble to own a bunch of stuff.
But just the cost of buying or renting a house / apartment in the SF Bay Area can turn one into a SUPERB trader and 2nd hand shopper. I got my car fixed once through trading with a guy whose kids were having trouble with reading (I taught them to read really well). Etc. I could stretch a dollar like no-one's business....
I still say it's a lot more fun to shop!
This type of "underground" has been going on in San Francisco Bay Area for a lot longer than this Compact group. In my neighborhood we organized a co-op, so to speak: We knew who to borrow a 16ft ladder from. Who had the wheelbarrow, etc. We had annual meetings to discuss this stuff and of course, we had a superb Neighborhood Watch Program. ;>
I saw one of these couples interviewed on CNN, unfortunately I just caught the end of the program as I was flipping channels...one thing I did hear is that they may not have shopped, but they did get a lot of free things...off the internet and with coupons...I wish I could have heard what all this free stuff was.
One particular event caused me to change the way I shopped.
I had a garage sale and sold a lot of "stuff" that I didn't use. I hated selling things for 25 cents or 50 cents -- for which I spent $20.
This changed the way I viewed items when I'd be out shopping. I'd ask myself, "do I really need this -- and will I be selling it for a quarter in a couple of years?"
It worked for me!
The banks would also be pissed because there would be less need for the credit they offer.
San Franciscans have an easily recycling system: a bunch of stuff--including bones--is tossed into the recycling bin, and that's it. Over here, bones aren't recycled, and the newspapers and containers are separated (though there's still only one wheeled bin, with segment of plastic down the middle).
Now, I'm at the phase of "do I really need this cluttering my life"? My answer is usually "no". Save my shekels for those things which are expensive and I really DO want which I can either use as an investment or deduction. Small ticket items to accentuate, in between those big purchases.
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