Since the start of last year, I’ve significantly cut my discretionary spending (especially, especially on clothes, which I later expanded to other ‘problematic’ categories). Something that happened since the pandemic is I’ve drastically cut all spending and really begun to train my ‘frugality muscle’.
A few things inform this change. For one, I am staying in as much as possible, and luckily for me, that means I completely avoid stores altogether, meaning I rely on delivery. I justify having essentials delivered because delivery workers are out anyway, and by not going to stores myself, each time I am in fact cutting a branch off potential transmissions. That said, I still hold myself to view each purchase as potentially causing risk to others, so I avoid ordering anything non-essential.
Before the pandemic, I was also transitioning to buying secondhand whenever appropriate and feasible. Practicing for that goes hand in hand with choosing to buy only essential items. Many purchases go “on hold” indefinitely as I tell myself, “I don’t need this now; I don’t need this new.”
When we first entered “vital purchases only” mode, I felt an almost physical revulsion at seeing targeted ads, especially for frivolous, luxury items. I felt a sense of aversion for the endless slideshows of antique desks and designer shoes that swarmed my screen as I read too much news.
But as time goes on, my eyes wandered! I still have the same tastes, and what had appeal regained their favor. Then I realized I can acknowledge both how attractive something looks to me, and how it does not functionally fit into my life and pursuits now. This new perspective gave me the freedom to appreciate beauty & design, without consigning myself to destructive, ugly consumerism, which I can no longer stomach.
In that spirit, I present you three(-ish) beautiful things I will not buy, not now and not ever.
As a last note, I’ve also updated this list. Stay safe, stay home (if you can).