Recently, Catherine at The Midlands Minimalist wrote an amazing post that really got me thinking. When we purchase an item, we think in terms of money, of expense. But what is easily overlooked is the inherent value of the item in real terms. What really interested me about the post was the idea of an experiment to discover a different type of value for the things that we own. Always looking for a new challenge, I read on…
Catherine has developed a fantastic idea, called the Life Energy Experiment, running through November. The idea is to try and view our purchases in terms of how long it takes us to earn the money that we spend on them. Work out our hourly rate of pay, and then become aware of how long it has taken us to earn the money to buy that item. Suddenly, that quick take away is actually half a day’s work. The pair of shoes on sale is still an entire day at your desk. Measuring how long it takes us to ‘earn’ an item gives a value of a different kind. Do we use it for as long as it took us to earn the money to save up for it? I’m curious to apply this to my spending this month.
Already, it’s making me more conscious of what I buy and when. Having developed a bad habit of popping to the nearest bakery for lunch, I quickly realised just how much of my time was taken up earning the money to buy that meal, when I already had healthy food at home. I’ve always previously made my own lunch, and the past few months had somehow given birth to this new habit of buying lunch out – I’ve no idea why, and no excuse! Thinking in terms of Life Energy and the satisfaction, and nutrition (or lack of) gained, I sobered up pretty quickly and reverted immediately to packed lunches. And this was before the month even began!
Catherine talks about her ground rules here. I think I’m going to use the same rules – so general food and household expenses won’t count…but anything I spend my disposable income on will!
And so, throughout November, follow Catherine on Twitter @MidsMinimalist as she undertakes the Life Energy Experiment using the hashtag #LifeEnergyExperiment. I’m excited to follow Catherine’s journey this month and read her experiences!