Since you all seem to enjoy answering my calls for help, I am going to put another request out there.

(Also, because my computer is in the shop (wail!) and it is hard for me to do "real" posts from work.)

I have been thinking alot about my personal consumption habits, and my constant wanting of things. And, I don't like it. I want to cut back. I could try the 3 or 6 month spending ban as I have seen many of you do, but I think I need something more though provoking.

If, when at the age of 13 I decided to become vegetarian, my step mom hadn't suggested that we go and get a book on the matter (as she did) then I am afraid it wouldn't have stuck. More important than the tools it provided me with was the never ending motivation.

Rationally, I think I know a lot of the reasons I need to curb my consuming. But I need to pound myself over the head with it a little bit. Y'know?

So, do you have a favorite book (or?) that you recomend?

Thanks kiddos.


  1. I think Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a good one for thinking about wants v. needs.

  2. The 3 month ban was awesome for me, because it ended up being thought provoking in and of itself. I was amazed by how much more I knew about my spending habits afterwards.

    I haven't made time to watch What Would Jesus Buy? yet, but I'm dying to. Maybe that would be fun/helpful?

  3. you MUST watch The Story of Stuff. if that doesn't give you motivation i don't know what will.

    other resources:
    Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

    The Compact
    huge group of ppl who took a yearlong "compact" not to buy anything new

    Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

    My Year Without Spending

  4. How to Go Further (Woody Harrelson). Quick, easy, a pleasant balance of inspiration and guilt trip, plus there's a killer vegan mousse recipe at the very beginning.

    Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash (Elizabeth Royte). You will never think about what you purchase the same way again.

    This reminds me that I need to get back in the habit of not being such an avid consumer. At least, I hope, I've started to make purchases that will last a really, really long time so I'm not constantly consuming. Thank you for the gentle nudge.

  5. I've been reading It's All Too Much, which is about living a life without clutter and mess, but it was also full of reasons to buy less stuff in the first place and it's now my bible.

  6. I knew I could count on you guys! I did realize that, Rachel. That the process itself would be thought provoking. I am going to start with nothing new for 3 months.

    I also am thinking about a more long term balanced strategy; I often make lists of possible purchases, maybe it will be beneficial to put a strict waiting period in place. If I want to purchase something it goes on the list and waits 30 or 60 or 90 days- relative to the items cost.

    I also remembered that I have been meaning to read The How of Happiness, which should be a good follow up to the anti consumer stuff.http://www.chass.ucr.edu/faculty_book/lyubomirsky/

  7. i totally second rev billy & "what would jesus buy." really amazing doc & work he's doing...

    love all the other suggestions, too!

    i always try to buy things i "need" second hand...for example, we're trying to cook more at home & my accupuncturist said i should make more soup...so i purchased a food processor on craigslist...yes, an investment, but worth it for the $ i save by not eating out?

    so totally agree about "balanced strategy"...especially since those items usually take longer to buy...since i'm looking on craigslist, thrifting etc, i don't just go out to store & buy it...