I have however, decided to go on my own type of fast, for a month, that of September. Yes, in an attempt to show my devotion to the god of consumerism and to cleanse my body and soul I'm going to abstain from buying things this month, starting today, which will be yesterday by the time you read this tomorrow.
If you're a regular around here you'll know that I'm one of those rare types; a bloke who likes shopping. Really. I still think I shop like a man, choosing quickly and not faffing about trying on things left, right and centre. But the fact is I like shopping. There's nothing better than mooching around Kingston, checking out things, buying bits and pieces and seeing what the latest fashions are.
I say "I like nothing better" but something that comes close is to browse and buy stuff on the internet. Internet shopping was invented for people like me. People who sit at a desk all day with a credit card hovering only inches away at all times and a large expendable overdraft.
I guess it's fair to say that most of us are fortunate enough to not have to worry about the things we need. We have food, we have water, shelter and clothing. Usually when we buy things it's all about buying the things we want, rarely is there the slightest worry about affording those we need.
And, in an attempt to save a bit of money, I've decided to go for a month of abstinence, buying the things I need, not those that I want.
I've drawn up a little list of the things I'm allowed and the exceptions to my "fast". It goes something like this:
Food - Takeaway food is permitted. I contemplated banning them but:
a) A fellow has to eat
b) Cooking for one is often a soul destroying pastime
c) I find I often spend more when I cook than when I get a takeaway
Music - None permitted. There is one exception. If Muse release a new album then I'm allowed to buy it. Everyone will understand that.
Clothes - No clothes at all. Even Superdry stuff. The only exception will be total emergencies, like if someone breaks into my apartment and nicks all my twelve pairs of jeans or sets fire to my pants or something. Unlikely I know, but it's always best to consider the possibilities.
Shoes - I have plenty, more than that even. No shoes whatsoever. I even include Superga, my new favourite brand. It will be tough, but I'm a resolute bloke.
Books - I thought that reading matter would be excluded from the fast but decided against it. One of the well known symptoms of owning a Kindle is a strange compulsion to buy ebooks. As a result I now have a queue of about eight or nine on the Kindle waiting to be read, not to mention a whole shelf's worth of those old fashioned paper books that I believe some people still read in poorer parts of the world, like Wales. So, books are out. I've allowed myself the "luxury" of newspapers though.
Gadgets - Nope, none whatsoever. But, if Amazon launch their new iPad beating tablet that's being talked about, then of course I'm allowed to buy one of those. That goes without saying, though I said it.
Magazines - None. Not even Viz. The two drumming ones I subscribe to are excepted for practical reasons.
Gifts - I'm allowed to buy presents for the ones I love. Though I don't include myself in the list of ones I love. But I do love myself. Not too much and not in a pervy way you understand.
That's about it really. As I write it's mid afternoon on the first day of the month and I'm doing okay. I'll keep you posted. I predict that weekends will be the hardest, those times when I might casually nip out a buy a T shirt or two, perhaps a London fit Polo shirt like the one I got on Saturday. At work, in between blogging, Facebook chatting and surfing the net, what am I going to fill my time with if I can't click on "buy it now" or "checkout now"?
Will I actually notice the money I'll save? We'll see. I'll keep you posted. Breaking my fast should be fun at least!