Until I sat down and looked at our finances I had no idea how much money we were wasting, either by buying things we didn't need or paying too much when cheaper alternatives were available.
With these few simple actions I have saved over a thousand pounds:
- Renting DVDs instead of buying them
- Getting gas and electricity from the same supplier
- Buying as many 'value range' dry goods as possible at the supermarkets
- Joining the local toy library
- Selling stuff on Ebay
It's strange how, within two generations, we've gone from being oppressed by an absence of things to an excess of possessions. My mother remembers the constant worry of not having enough money to buy essential things like clothes. Today, many wardrobes are bulging with unworn items.
I think things will change - they have to - and it's possible that the end of the consumer society as we know it will spell disaster, as our whole economy is based on persuading people to buy things they don't need. However, as long as we're not starving or shivering, we may be better off for it.