Friday, January 15, 2010

The Compact Update

So far so good. I'm halfway through January and I haven't bought anything I don't need that isn't part of the Compact. I've been very tempted by the fancy store windows as I walk by, but continue to resist. My most recent struggle is what to get a 5-year-old for his upcoming birthday. I'm likely going to get a gift certificate to the local ice-cream shoppe since that counts as food, supports a local business, and will encourage him to get out of the house for walks with his mom and new baby sister due in late May.

In response to comments made by my bookclub, I have cancelled my subscription to the Chicago Tribune which was delivered three or four days a week. I don't read it and it just ends up being recycled. I originally got it for the Sunday coupons but now that I'm trying to eat better, it's doubtful that I'll save much money with those coupons since they really tend to be for products we don't buy. Hopefully we'll save since we won't be paying for the paper, and we won't be buying products just because we have the coupon. That's the goal. And we'll have to drop off the recycling less often since we will have 3 less newspapers a week filling our paper bin. Nice.

I've also unsubscribed from about a dozen shopping sites that have been bombarding me with discounts and product newsletters. Less email makes me happy and less temptation is always good for my budget. But... I just got a $10 gift certificate for a yarn store in the loop for any $25 purchase and I have to say... I didn't delete it. Yarn and craft supplies are the number one most likely item to make me stray from the compact. But, I have a good supply saved up - more than I can possibly use this year- so I just have to be strong and work with what I've got.

It helps to put everything into perspective when you see the massive destruction in Haiti right now. I'm thankful for the safety of my family and friends, and to have what material things I do possess including a warm home.

Moral of the story: The Compact is more than just reducing your consumption. It provokes thought and consciousness about what you're using and why. A brilliant mental excercise.

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