Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 30, 2007
Just how bad is all this. Well the other day I thinking about what was the last thing I bought. It was a chocolate bar. The strange thing about the purchase was the fact I ‘felt’ like buying something. Like somehow we can’t live without buying something for days on end. This awoke a interesting debate in my head about how much of everything I buy is driven by some marketing rather than an actual need.
So after a few days of observing my own shopping habits I determined I’m not heavily driven by marketing. Actually I fairly good at ignoring it most of the time, yet it still manages to get to me. For example, my last grocery shopping trip we had a coupon that if you spend over $250 you could save $30 off your bill. So like a good consumer we loaded up on stuff we didn’t need to get the deal. I have to wonder how much cheaper would my bill had been if I didn’t worry about the coupon in the first place?
You see that is the danger of more. You surrender your reason and get things you really don’t need and even don’t want all that much. You end up wasting money just to get ‘the deal’ or you get the larger house because you think you need the room. So after an additional $50,000 of mortgage you realize what you need to do if sort through your junk and toss 50% of it and then you could have saved $50,000.
More is dangerous because you often don’t see what it is doing to you until after the fact. The SUV looks all shiny and nice until you start paying for the gas bills every week. So next time you go shopping just try and pause for a second and ask, “Why am I buying this? How often will I use it?” If you can’t give yourself a good reason to buy it, other than ‘It’s on sale’ then perhaps you should just put it back.