Monday, 4 August 2008

TO SHOP OR NOT TO SHOP actually not the question. At least for me, since I'm really not that much of a "shopper". But it is for some.

So this is K. One of my very best friends and also my work-partner. But besides the work we do together she also wors as an Art Director and she works a lot. So sometimes when she feels really tired and stressed (that's quite often)she does some shopping. You know, some people eat chocolate, others get drunk, some shop. And also shopping whenever the sales are happening, just for the fun of it. Nothing wrong with that really from one point of view (which would be the capitalist view of our well-being society I'd guess. And we're all part of that, one way or another). But if you aready have a lot of things (how many of you reading this will actually need a pair of new shoes for real within say, the next two years?) or if you earn ok money but never really manage to save any of it it might be good to look at things from another pint of view.

K has a lot of really nice clothing and accessoary, she has very cute but still classy style and likes to get stuff from new designers or quality brands. (I wrote this because I've labelled my blog "fashion blog". Otherwise I coul've skipped this sentence :) But on our trip in Berlin, staying with our friend in a house where nobody really works (works in a matter of going somewhere to work and then get paid at the end of the month) but paint and do music and thus live on a quite tight budget K started talking about cutting down the shopping.

Inspite of the small budget our friend (who moved to Berlin from Helsinki last spring) still got by quite well. She didnt have a credit card but had a certain amount of cash to spend every month. She just didn't do any shopping - the only exeption being a pair of blue vintage suede boots for €10 in July (fashionblogger writing here again) - but otherwie lived quite like before. Now of course you can't compare Berlin to Helsinki in a matter of the costs for taking a cab or eating out (or at home either, not to mention the other costs for living) since Helsinki is so darn expensive, but I guess both K and I could get by on a lot smaller budget than now. It's hard to let go of a certain lifestyle one is used to, and I have no need for a drastic change, even though I could cook at home a bit more often than I do for example (half of the things I buy I'm forced to throw away since they go bad before I even try to make something out of them). And I could take the nightbus home with the common people every now and then after a night out on town instead of always grabing that costy cab. (please note my slight tone of irony here. I'm rather common too).

Then there is always the topic of what should you really do with all your money - save it for a bigger flat, travels, the future children, give everything extra away or whatever? I'm not going to go in on that (is anyone still reading at this point btw?) . I'll just stick to the more shallow stuff here.

Well anyway (you can continue reading here if you skipped some text above now), K made a decision not to do any shopping anymore. She didn't really say how long this project would last, I guess it will evolve into just buying less in the future, since I'm still quite sure she hasn't bought her last pairs of shoes yet :)
So, wish her luck!

Because this blog is mainly about pretty things and since it's nice with pics instead of just text I'll post a picture my magnificent mobilephone captured of some cute tings K got while it was still ok for her to consume - a lovely leather purse and leather cuff. Everything always looks like candy on her:

...and a little update. K bought curtains and was a bit worried about that but they don't count since she needed them, they therefore had a purpouse and weren't just for herself but for her house and Mr too.

(If anyone wondres why this is labelled under 'fucked up things' it's just because this whole topic is quite fucked up really, even though it's quite general; there are even blogs about people changing their lifestyles towards non-consuming and so on. It's just fucked up since we make such a big thing about it, in some parts of the world they would have no clue what the hell I'm talking about.)


Poppy said...

I used to shop a LOT, and then I became a student. A very poor student.
I no longer shop becaus I can't afford to, and it makes me appreciate what I have so much more. (I also get mad with myself for earning lots of money and spending it all instead of saving it so I have a bit extra now.) It also means that if I do decide to buy something, it's really special and I really, truly love it (like a Betty Johnson dress I dug into my savings for that was $100 compared to $620 original retail price)

I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say? I certainly appreciate having money more now that I don't have money, and I won't take it for granted in future...

(also hi! I have been reading your blog for a while but never commented.)

anna said...

You have it all so right! Just yesterday night I wondered whether I should write something similar to my blog as well. I was thinking about a year few years back when I bought all my clothes second hand. That could be something I could do again, I've shopped too much crap lately from cheap chains like H&M.

Anyways, saving cash is for "a bad day" is always good. It makes me feel like an adult :)

Pratishtha Durga said...

Wow! Good luck to K with the self-imposed "shopping ban" (?). But I do agree with the part where you sort of end up appreciating things more when there is a bit of a crunch on finances. So your rant sort of makes sense to me, because i know I can just relate to it so well.
I am like K in a lot of ways. I work really hard and then splurge. Except that right after the shopping come the guilt pang.

Elsa said...

Olinkin unohtanut the etuliitteen etsiessäni blogiasi blogilistalta! Nyt tärppäsi, kiitos linkistä.

H said...

Jag gav mig själv shoppingförbud i Juli. Mest på grund att att jag inte har råd men min fruktansvärt oekonomiska hjärna lurar mig alltid att jag har det. Det gick ganska bra, men det slutade med att jag köpte ett linne (100SEK) och två nya didadem. (40SEK). Ganska bra jobbat ändå, tyckte jag. Det jag skulle komma fram till var dock att jag hittade massa fina kläder i min garderob som jag hade glömt bort att jag hade, under denna månad!

Theremina said...

This is something I've been thinking about too. I probably don't shop less, but I try to buy only things I'm abolutely in love with - instead of just grabbing anything "cute" within my reach.

Anonymous said...

First I have to say: there are a lot of people living in Berlin doing nothing instead of calling themself "artists" drinking the whole day (I don't mean you're friends I talk about some people I know). I don't like this. I would prefer harder working ones even if they spend a lot of money for shopping. When you work for your money it's okay to spend it.

On the other hand it's good to reduce shopping and save some money cause you never know if you might need them very badly some day.

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Poppy : hi :) I do get what you're saying. K and we're both poor students some years ago and we got by pretty well. We did shop the too but I think we also ave more thought before we bought...

Anna : I know, I feel all grown up and proper too with my trust fund and extra account (except for the fact that they don't contain that much. but they still excist :)

Pratishtha : SHopping and guilt are so closely connetced... but maybe indeed if the shopping occured more seldom the guilt feeling would be lighter?

Elsa : :)

H : Man borde ibland ordna en "hemma shopping" dag och hitta alla de plagg som man glömt bort!

THeremina : I try to think like that too. Those "cute things I might use one day toghter with something" normally end up unused in the end...

Nadine : I get you thing totally, we have those "lifestyle artists" over here too! But yes, my friend does have a study in Berlin and actually paints and even goes out a bit less there than at home :)
And you're right, in one way I prefer hard work for the money (I've always worked a lot). But I also studied paintig before and sometimes play with the thought of getting into it 100%. That would mean getting by with a totally different budget and lifestyle and I'm not sure I could do that, yet at least.

Mrs Munster said...

I used to send loads of money for clothes, and most of them I never wore. That was the time I was renting and had loads of money left to spend. Different situation now: Most of my salary goes to mortgage for my gorgeous 3 bedroom house and all the expenses + the massive amounts of dog food for my rottie :) Instead of being a shopaholic, I'm homeowner. Priorities change. I do still love to shop, but I buy most of my clothes from charity shops. Whenever I go to "proper" shops I'm always shocked by the prices: £30 for jeans that I pay £3 in charity shops!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I'm sorry. Everyone is feeling the economic pinch in America these days directly or indirectly even if they are not students! I'm not even doing back to school shopping at all for my senior year (of high school) because I really ought to make due with what I have...and need to until I have a job!
On another note, those in the top photo look very much like the ones in the Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton documentary...the ones that inspired handbags decorated with little button-circles in those exact colors!


Sal said...

Oh, to have the self control of K. I hope to try out a personal shopping ban someday, and admire those who do. There is no bad reason to reduce your shopping. But since my other frustration reducers are far more harmful, I'm hanging onto my shopping habit for now. Best of luck to K!

Pretty Pirate said...

It's really wild that you write this because I have been shopping so much lately that I have made a pact with myself to not shop for a while as well.

I think I have a addiction. It's quite ridiculous to buy 2 pairs of black boots in a week, when I already have about 3. I have so many things I have barely worn but keep buying more.

I need help, I need self control. I need to fulfill my addiction by making things instead of spending money. I can make so many beautiful things when also filling my "shopping time". That is what i need to do!

Thanks for reminding me to stay strong. So far this week I have done good as I have not gone to any of the thrift stores that are way to close to my house. I guess that's a start.

Kudos to your friend for doing the same!

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Mrs.Munster : being a houseowner is quite expensive y es, but I bet it's all worth it fore sure!

Choubelle : I bet you'll notice all kinds of old goodies in your wardrobe now that you won't be doing any back to school shopping :)

Sal : That's true, out of two bad things chose the one that's less harmful (what a great excuse :)

Pretty Oirate : Good luck to you too then!