melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker

My Last Five Purchases #7

My Last Five Purchases #7

It’s coming up to twelve months since I Stopped, Dropped, and Listed my last five purchases. While browsing my website I noticed one of these posts and remembered it was something I used to do. The idea of this practice is that I have no idea what my investigation will reveal and am forced to analyse whether I’m spending my money in a way that aligns with my values of sustainability and minimalism. I try to surprise myself so I can’t tamper with the evidence to make myself look better.

Ironically, at this time of writing I am really stressed out by my overspending. I have been sick and stressed and while my phone is broken a lot of my productivity has decreased, so with my inability to fill my time with my normal activities I’ve been …. online shopping.

This seemed like the perfect time to own up to my last five purchases, to A) Show you all minimalism is a constant practice for me, and to B) Reflect on what I’m spending and see where I can make small changes to do better in 2019. This list leaves off obvious expenses like utilities, groceries, standard subscriptions and Christmas gifts.

Here we go, my experiment in full accountability, transparency and humility.

Twinkle Apothecary oils & roller - $65.70 USD

I am about to run out of my faithful Sukin rosehip oil that I use on days my regular Dirty Hippie cream isn’t enough for me, and given that it’s a bit harder to access Sukin in Micronesia I thought now is my time to experiment with something new. So I took the opportunity to support a brand I’ve been watching, Twinkle Apothecary. As a US brand they ship at standard rates to FSM making them highly accessible to me. This is a totally vegan, handmade brand run by one woman who runs the entire scene herself, so it’s my favourite kind of store to buy from.

I ordered:
Facial oil
All over ylang ylang oil
Gemstone facial roller

I’d been considering purchasing a gemstone facial roller for a few weeks and the desire was growing, but it was definitely a desire I wasn’t sure was worth the money or resources. I wanted to get a roller for a simple reason: I’m experimenting with swapping beauty products for beauty tools to reduce my waste. I would love to see whether I can replace face exfoliants with face cloths and soothing face masks with a chilled face roller. Items I can reuse again and again for one upfront cost instead of using liquids, creams or sheet masks that can’t ever be reused. With my hormonal acne, skincare falls more under “necessities” for me than for others, but I have my fears that rollers may just be a gimmick and not worth the investment.

Justified? This was absolutely a purchase I made to make myself feel better when I was stressed. (It didn’t help. Probably made things worse to be honest.) The gemstone roller is justified from a frugal sustainable minimalist perspective, though. But choosing not one but two oils to try? That wasn’t very necessary!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - $11.99 AUD

Purchasing this eBook was an impulse buy because I have a Kindle full of books I haven’t read in a year. But after reading the Restitchstance newsletter listing books she loved by women of colour, I impulse bought Little Fires Everywhere because I’d heard about this title so many times. The catch that makes this not a thoughtful, minimalist purchase? I have absolutely no idea what the book is about! I just bought it because I want to support authors of colour, and this book seems important to others I share interests with. But maybe I’ll hate it because I didn’t think it through and purchased something way outside of my interests. Who knows, I still haven’t read the blurb. At least an eBook is cheap.

Justified? Off the bat, no. I’ll let you know if I ever read it.

2x mykind Organics Vitamin C sprays - $18.18 USD

I bought Tim and myself a Vitamin C supplement each because after we both came down with viral infections in the past month, and with a serious lack of fruit available to us, it seemed like a safe bet that adding more Vitamin C into our diets can only help. I previously withdrew my support for Garden of Life products when their parent company was bought out by Nestlé, but after looking into the brand ethos and practices I feel confident that supporting Alicia Silverstone’s mykind Organics is the right way forward. (Read Alicia’s statement here.)

Justified? I found a way to justify spending money because it was stress shopping more than anything. I went looking for a reason to buy. Yet no guilt here because health is wealth!

Kindle case - $15.90 USD

I’ve had my Kindle for a full year, and finally let myself “splurge” on a protective cover. When I first got the Kindle as a gift I decided I just couldn’t afford a case, so it has copped a few screen scratches already. It wasn’t until Tim accidentally cracked his own Kindle screen that I thought it was maybe time to take the plunge. Unfortunately, I tried hunting around for something “sustainable” but had no luck. So I went with cute and shippable by Amazon. It’s probably a total crap product and I didn’t have this $16 to spend but I convinced myself that protecting a much more expensive electronic device is always worth the financial investment to ultimately save more money and resources over time. Which I think is objectively true.

Justified? Yes I think this was responsible, but I still bought something I’d otherwise avoided buying just to find a reason to spend money.

Lumbar support desk chair pillow - $25.95 USD

This is something I had in my sights for a month. I’d browsed, made the choice to buy, and was waiting to have the cash in the bank to put through the purchase. My office desk is a nightmare with my chair being too wide to fit underneath in the legroom, so I am in a constant slouch leaning too far forward to reach my laptop. I use a yoga block to stretch out my sore back muscles, but I’m hoping with the addition of a portable chair back pillow I’ll be able to reduce the rib and shoulder pain

Justified? Thankfully, yes! I hope. It might be wasteful if I can’t take it with me in a few months and have spent this money for only short-term use, but at least I might relieve physical pain which seems like an exemption to minimalist or low waste living —— right?

Things I didn’t include: I signed up to five Patreon subscriptions for $1 each (should these have been on the list?) + I ordered 32 ounces of maple syrup that could fall under “groceries” but to me was a fun additional splurge so I wasn’t sure whether it counted or not!

So, there’s my list. Overall, they were relatively practical purchases that focused on my health and wellbeing. But underall, I only bought these things because I was just looking for ways to spend money. Even if these things do add value into my life, to live frugally and with minimal impact I could have gone without all of them and probably have been just dandy.

From a minimalist perspective, I’ll give everything passes for being acceptable purchases that I won’t hate owning. From a sustainability perspective any purchase that isn’t totally necessary isn’t great for the world but heck, I’m just a human trying to find ways to cope with the human experience.

If you thought this was kind of fun or interesting I now challenge you, can you Stop Drop and List your last five purchases? If you do, please tag me!

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