Stop Buying Stuff and Spending Money Right Now

Photo courtesy of Kevin Conners

Stop complaining about the one percent.  I hate to break it to you, but it is partly your fault they are rich.  Yes, they may have had certain social advantages, rich parents, a free college education, and a trust fund worth more money than you will ever see in your lifetime.  Yet as long as you keep buying what they are selling you–iphone? fancy computer? infomercial junk?– you will continue to make them richer, and you poorer.

What we broke, unemployed masses forget, is that the rich absolutely depend on us to keep them rich. If all of us stopped buying the crap they sell us: the overpriced, overseas produced, and poorly made crap, they wouldn’t continue to make money.  And we wouldn’t be broke. Why do you think we are inundated with advertising?  You cant even breathe without someone trying to sell you something. They want you to believe that if you have all the fancy stuff they have (and believe me, they have far better stuff anyway, stuff you probably couldn’t even dream up) you will be just like them: “happy.”  The reality is that none of this is true.

And you too distracted playing with all those apps to realize it.  We are like children to them: They show us something new, shiny and colorful, and we are like “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”  We spend our last pennies buying overpriced, fancy crap that we don’t need.  So while we are sitting in our over-cluttered house, unhappy, with all of our expensive but worthless things, they are using the money you spent on it to have a month long vacation in Fiji.

The day I realized this was the day I decided to stop buying stuff.  It started with me not buying a patch to repair my security blanket.  If I could, I would live on a self sustaining farm, where my expenses would be minimal, and I wouldn’t have the stress of making enough money to pay rent.  Yet that is not realistic given my current situation, nor do I care to be a farmer.  I’m not saying I wont buy anything ever again; I’m just saying I wont buy more stuff I don’t need.

In this society, what we are led to believe that we should buy newer, fancier stuff the second we get more money. Get a promotion=get a new car. Tax refund= buy a big screen TV. Buying stuff the second I get cash in hand is the biggest mistake I have ever made.  Spending more money when you get more money doesn’t make you richer.  All it does is allow you to spend more time with your stuff, and less time with the people, activities, and places that make life meaningful.

When your expenses stay the same, and your income goes up you have two options: Buy newer, fancier stuff or buy a more fulfilling life. What do I mean when I say buy a more fulfilling life? I mean work less, take more vacations, and learn new skills you’ve been itching to acquire. It’s up to you, but I’ve decided to spend my money on living life.

The reason why I keep going back to “stop buying” and “stop spending” is because all of the things you “want” force you to work and work and work to pay for them…until you die. That is no way to live. Quitting the spending addiction is a long, arduous process.  I have to stop spending money so I can save money and pay off debt first. Once I’ve paid off debt, I wont be a slave to a job I don’t like, need, or want because it’s the only thing I’ve got. But it won’t happen overnight.