I've made it halfway through my year of The Compact. I'd say it is still going pretty well. The reality for me is that I don't really buy much to begin with. This whole exercise has just stopped me from buying clothes and shoes and makeup and perfume and nail polish really. It has made me much more cognisant of what I buy and where it comes from. And it makes me much more creative in justifying why I've made a purchase that may be borderline against the purpose of the Compact. Like the manicure and pedicure I got just a few weeks before having Iain. It's probably against the Compact since it uses nail polish and other resources that aren't the best for the environment, but I really "needed" it and it helped me to relax and momentarily feel pretty -- even if I did end up taking off the nail polish on my hands within a few hours since I picked a color that looked like white out instead of a nice, neutral, natural color. That didn't help my argument any.
And while Rick has been off work for two weeks to help with the baby and just get a break, we've spent a lot of that time shopping because Rick finally had time to get a few things that we "needed" --or that he's been wanting for awhile now but not had time to find as of yet. The question is, did we "need" them? Not really. But he wanted them and I didn't disagree since he isn't doing The Compact and I'm happy that they are helping us get our house organized. For instance, he bought a new carpet runner for the hallway to make Ada's incessant runs from one end of the house to the other be a bit more muffled --for a stretch of eight feet at least. And he finally found a DVD cabinet that will fit his extensive collection and have room for our board games too. This seemed like a better solution than having my distant relative custom make one in his garage out of all new materials.
Then there are my contributions to his buying spree. While at Ikea we got a salad spinner for $4. We were going to splurge on the collapsible one from Bed Bath and Beyond but it was $30. I considered this a "need" as far as The Compact goes since I keep having to throw out salad greens we get from our CSA because I am not good enough at cleaning and drying them so they don't go bad. I'm working on it but the spinner will surely help. I did try to convince him that he "needed" a santoku knife while we were at Ikea, but he didn't fall for that one. It isn't something he needs at all since he didn't know what it was, and we have a set of knives including a chef's knife (they are interchangeable) so "need" didn't even factor into the decision in the slightest.
While at Ikea, we did "need" to eat and Iain "needed" a nap so we made him a makeshift space at our table and enjoyed a nice lunch without breaking any of the rules of The Compact.Then Rick wrapped him up like a burrito and we went on our merry way.
The only other thing I can think of that I bought this past month was a pair of sunglasses for Ada. She "needed" them to protect her eyes since she was going camping with Grandma Ba and Grandpa Rich in Wisconsin for 10 days. I also bought her sunblock. And I feel no guilt for buying either one.
Moral of the story: After six months, The Compact gets to be second nature and becomes mildly annoying as you wait for the end of the year to arrive. But it's a worthy exercise and offers much insight into your consumer habits.