Sep 25

Consumed By Our Consumption

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Conspicuous Consumption is Consuming Us

We sure buy a lot of stuff in this country.  People always seem to be rushing around buying stuff.  I actually met someone once who owned over fifty pairs of shoes.  Millions of people routinely drop $3 –  $5 daily for a single cup of morning coffee.  Malls are packed seven days a week and seem to be almost always short of parking space.  Consumer debt continues to grow as savings rates continue their precipitous and alarming decline.   We are being consumed by our consumption.

I view my spending this way;  I want to enjoy my life now while I work towards achieving my long term goals.  It seems to me that too many people just want to enjoy the ‘now’.  There seems to be a belief that somehow the future will just take care of itself or that there will be more resources available to a much larger and much older population (despite the double-whammy of a shrinking taxpayer base and increasing health care costs).  We have to remember our priorities.

If happiness can exist in a hurricane-ravaged country like Haiti, where the average income is $2.00 a day, we can surely do it here.  We don’t need so much stuff.  There are three R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling).  Recycling, however, seems to get all of the attention and the money.  The message seems to be, ‘Don’t stop buying stuff you don’t need, just throw the bulky packaging in the blue bin actually feel good about doing your part to reduce waste despite just buying something you didn’t need or truly need or want in the first place’.   We can and should do better than this.

Buy what you need, yes.  Buy what you truly enjoy, yes.  Buy what you don’t need, no.  Buy what you don’t truly enjoy, no.   Enjoy the things that truly matter to you now while working towards achieving your long term goals;  frugal living, in fact, embodies this very idea.

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Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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