How to stop living in a landfill and get solvent?
October 29, 2008 10:32 AM Subscribe
I'm drowning in clutter and my bank account is empty. How do I change?
posted by anonymous to home & garden (24 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have stuff. Too much stuff. I don't need to buy anything ever again - when I say 'too much stuff', I mean clothes folded in crates under the bed because they won't fit in my clothes storage, striped laundry bags on the floor of my room, and barely enough space to open the door of the bedroom I rent. I find it hard to get rid of things - I worry I won't be able to replace them, or I might miss them, or in the case of practical things, that I'll have to spend more money to replace them. I'm aware that I live in a stressful environment, but it still feels so hard ot get rid of anything. I've never saw it as a problem for years as I've thought 'I'm not one of those people who keep empty milk-cartons' but the situation can't continue.
That's one problem.
The other is that I still keep buying things. I don't want to make it sound like an addiction, but...it's gotten to the point where 'sale' signs make me nervous and I try and avoid going into shops because I know I will spend money I can ill afford. Even museum shops. As a student I would overspend in the sales, buying things that didn't quite fit because they were cheap. Now the 'trigger' seems to be bargain shopping - eBay (thankfully I have no account now - it was dangerous - and sell things through my boyfriend's) thriftstores, planning what activity or scheme I'll take up next. Lots of people describe themselves as 'shopaholics' and there are so many magazines that encourage shopping, but this isn't buying shoes on impulse (well, it is :) ), it's getting halfway through the month and having to budget to the penny.
I earn a reasonable salary (£25k) and should be enjoying having disposable income - or money to save - for the first time. I'm paying off an overdraft at £200 per month so for the next year or so I can;t, or shouldn't, be spending recklessly. It'[s embarrassing that colleagues are buying hardware or going on holidays when I'm either unwilling to buy simple groceries because I think I'll blow my budget, or have only £10 to last the month.
I want to move in with my boyfriend in a year or so, so for that reason alone habits will need to change, but beyond that daily life is much less pleasant and I want to get to a place where I have a sensible attitude about money and my possessions. I'd like to be someone who lives in a comfortable place and doesn't feel guilty treating themselves to a new top or a trip to the theatre *once or twice a month*. At present, the idea of buying something the week before payday seems unheard of.