Is cutting back on your spending one of your New Years goals? Perhaps you should try Kate Bingaman-Burt’s approach — the Portland-based illustrator has drawn every single item she has purchased since February 5, 2006.
Nothing is too small or trivial to document- even Ikea hot dogs, 2 for $1, make the list. Having to think about and publicly document every single item you buy is an almost sure-fire way to spend less, which is where Bingaman-Burt’s daily drawings originated. The illustrator started drawing her credit card bills in 2004 as a way to help herself visualize getting out of post-grad debt; in 2010, she was debt free and had taken on the new daily series, aptly named Obsessive Consumption.
Bingaman-Burt published a book by the same name in 2010, with the description explaining the project and book’s purpose:
Whether bought out of necessity or indulgence, purchased alone or in a group, everything we buy has its own story to tell. We buy art supplies while feeling inspired, CDs while shopping with friends, and a new pair of jeans to give us a lift when we are feeling blue. Yet, these powerfully emotional experiences can be fleeting—quickly erased by the pull of the next “must-have” acquisition.
Why do you buy what you buy? Although Bingaman-Burt now only draws one item each day, the series is an interesting look into buying behavior. Click through a sample of Bingaman-Burt’s daily purchase illustrations and find the entire series on her website here.
*all images Kate Bingaman-Burt