I first broached the subject of joining The Compact and not buying anything new for an entire year with my family on December 26th. We were all excited for a day or two and then panic set in.
On December 29th, I remembered that I was planning on redecorating the main bathroom. My husband observed that we are the only family in the western United Stated without a LCD or plasma television. My daughter remembered that she donated her summer night gowns, but had not yet replaced them with light weight pajamas. And my oldest son came to me with a list of books that he was positive that he could not live a whole year with out.
I started scavenging through my fabric stash and found a Laura Ashley sheet that, while not the color I wanted to do my bathroom in, did match the walls, and would make a pretty shower curtain. I also have some signed and dated prints by Mary Bertrand that are no longer being used in the guest room, that went well with the fabric. So all I needed to make the bathroom perfectly lovely, were new towels… A set of quick dry towels were easily rationalized, but at the last minute I decided it was silly to buy towels to match a shower curtain that I had not even made yet! I can live with my bathroom as it is for an entire year, but who knows I may find fabric in the exact perfect color at a yard sale this summer.
My daughter’s summer pajama dilemma was easily addressed, since The Compact does allow for the purchase of children’s pajamas. She is a college student and therefore technically not a child, but we still claim her as a deduction, so if I can not find or make her suitable pajamas, we will buy some for her. A quick perusal of eBay was all it took to convince my son that every book on his list could be bought used, and in fact, some on them were out-of-print, and could only be bought second hand.
Coincidentally, on the 29th I received several hundred dollars in visa gift cards in the mail. I had completely forgot about sending in the rebates; it was found money that had to be used by April 1rst, so I told my husband to go pick out a t.v. We went to a couple of stores and looked at LCD t.v’s. He decided that he preferred the LED back lit LCD, 1080 pixels, with 120 Hz refresh rate. He also concluded that my visa gift cards would barely make a dent in a television that met his requirements and that we should wait a year and let the prices come down.
On our last shopping trip of 2009, we bought chains for the Corolla (safety item which is allowed on The Compact) and I impulsively bought 2 long sleeve t-shirts (Lionel the Train screen print, size 4T for next winter) on sale for $3.00 and a $1.00 squeaky rubber duck for Rew. We paid cash for our pathetic last purchase and used the first gift card for trail passes to go snowshoeing:
I will be using the rest of the gift cards to take my kids to see my Grandma next week.