I helped my teenage daughter clean out her wardrobe last week. I had a bet with her that she owned over 50 T-shirts. She loves a new T-shirt. It seems she can't go to a shopping center without coming home with at least one new shirt. I admit they don't cost much individually but when you add it all up its a pretty sum indeed.
So the clean up began. We counted 59 shirts and stopped there. It didn't include those in the wash or a few floating around her floor. We sorted through the huge pile and threw some out and some went in the op shop pile. She kept around 40 which is better but still excessive.
My daughter has now decided to cut down on her spending and save some money. She will need it next year when she goes to university. She'll still buy T-shirts but only a couple a season.
59 t-shirts is a little bit symbolic of our society - we buy because we want it not because we need it. I have been attempting to cut down our spending to necessities for a while now. Its interesting that even my husband is losing his interest in major shopping centers. He used to be a 'lets go and have a look around to see what's new' sort of person. Now when we go to a major shopping center we tend to do what needs to be done and go home.
Our income has fallen significantly over the last few months and may fall further. Cutting back is becoming a necessity. So far the cut backs have been relatively pain free. Its amazing how much money we spent on take away food (usually at a shopping center) and luxury items such as magazines, DVDs and treats from the bakery.
We've stopped buying the magazines and DVDs and I know make our bread. Making bread means no trips to the bakery. Not going to the bakery means not buying the apple scroll for morning tea and the pie for lunch. It adds up pretty quickly and would sometimes cost $30 or more a trip.
I'm off to make some bread for lunch and a tea cake for morning tea. Much cheaper and healthier.