My Sunshiny Life

{November 5, 2009}   Testing my NOvember NO Shopping Resolve

Battling the shopping demons

I’m five days in to my NO shopping for NOvember mission and I’m finding it tough to be quite honest.  The nature of my job in agency land means I get bombarded with marketing messages from fashion brands all day long.  I’ve managed to keep a professional distance however, not imagining how the cuter garments would look on me.  Mail catalogues that I’ve received have gone straight into recycling and I’ve stayed away from the shops. 

But challenges have a way of creeping up when you least expect them.  I’ve just found out I have a major meeting on Monday with a client, who is big in fashion (like huge).  I have nothing to wear.  What is a girl to do?  Beg, borrow and steal I’ve decided.  I’ll wardrobe shop at Mrs J’s house on Friday, she’ll be busy in the kitchen and I’ll be busy helping myself to her wardrobe.

I received a research article today, which explores how our reduced consumer spending is affecting the economy as a whole.  I reflected on my reduced consumerism and felt bad, but then I thought about where I will be spending money this month, which is quite a few places as it turns out.  I’ll be utilising the services of a massage therapist, hairdresser, drycleaner, beauty therapist and I’ll dine in restaurants and visit the cinema and theatre.  Of course I’ll be doing my grocery shopping as well (shopping highlight of the week) and buying lunch from local businesses.  So maybe I was just looking for an excuse to go shopping.  Bring on the willpower!

Here is an excerpt from the article.

Consumers Brown Bagging, Drinking Tap Water, Saving Money

 A new Harris Poll finds that more than half of all adults are saving money by purchasing more generic brands, while over 40 % are brown bagging more often and cutting back on visits to hairdressers and barbers. Over 30% have switched to tap water and cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions. Smaller percentages, but many millions of people, have also cut down on dry cleaning, cut back or cancelled cable television service, cancelled a newspaper subscription, stopped buying their morning coffee, changed or cancelled their cell phone service, increased their use of carpooling or mass transit and cancelled their telephone landline service.

These reduced spending patterns reflect a big increase in savings, and economists have been telling us for years that we need to increase savings, notes the report. They also show that most people are taking prudent actions to protect themselves in bad economic times.

On the other hand all of these savings mean less money going to the people who produce and sell these products and services, and fewer jobs. Economists tell us that increased consumer spending is badly needed to generate economic growth.

Spending/Saving Over Past Six Months ( % of Respondents who “Have done or considered doing any of the following over the past six months in order to save money?”)
  June 2009 October 2009
  % Have Done % Have Considered % Have Done % Have Considered
Purchasing more generic brands 62% 14% 64% 13%
Brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it 47 8 47 8
Going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often % 36 9 43 8
Switched to refillable water bottle instead of purchasing bottle of water 33 11 36 12
Cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions 29 7 34 6
Cut down on dry cleaning 20 4 22 4
Cancelled or cut back cable television service 19 5 21 24
Cancelled a newspaper subscription 17 23 21 9
Stopped purchasing coffee in the morning 15 9 20 5
Changed or cancelled cell phone service 14 8 15 16
Begun carpooling or using mass transit 13 17 14 9
Cancelled landline phone service and only using cell phone 11 21 12 23
Source: Harris Interactive, October 2009

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