June 10th, 2018
What do you want to provide for yourself and your family? A house full of stuff or an actual life full of …life?
If your house was to burn down, would you grieve for the items lost in the fire or could you continue on with no possessions?
These are the questions I ask myself when consumerism tries to get me and it brings me back down to earth to think clearly about what I want to fill my life with.
Being in control of your money starts with the way you think about it all and how important and precious that ‘stuff’ is to you. But what is really important? By changing the way you see and think about money, you can change your life for the better and give it much more meaning.
Looking back at my very first article ‘Why do you overspend?’ got me thinking about the way people spend their money and the reasons behind their spending. I’ve noticed people have various reasons why they may overspend or spend their money on certain things and it made me wonder why ‘stuff’ fills so many lives and why it’s so fulfilling to some. This not only stops you from saving money but it can ruin your budget.
Are you filling a void in your life by filling your life with things?
Are you trying to portray a message to others?
Does the amount of material things make you feel like you can provide for your family?
Are you trying to show others that you’re worth something by showing off your stuff in the hope that they’ll think more of you?
MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN REALISE THEY’RE DOING THIS.
Money is a necessary evil that we only need in order to survive and operate in society, not to flaunt. We only need to be happy with ourselves and our own life to not feel the need to flaunt it. You are, after all, living your life, not the life of others, so love yours not theirs. Find your something in life to give it meaning.
We all have different priorities and this shows in the amount of stuff we possess. I can tell a lot about someone just by being in their house for 5-10 minutes by the amount of and kinds of items they own.
If you were to look back at your life, what do you think of? That expensive couch that adorns your living room, the fancy bed linen you have, the trendy clothes you and your family wear? …or memories of good times and experiences you’ve had?
APPRECIATION CREATED MY MONEY MINDSET.
It actually changed my life and the way I see everything. My upbringing gave me the most appreciation. While my parents were starting their business, we lived on one small income for well over 2 years and because I was a teenager I started to see commercialism for what it was. I did want things because of peer pressure and my parents just couldn’t buy them for me. I saw girls at school and in the city showing off their best clothes and walking around with shopping bags while I walked around just looking for someone with the same mentality as me. My views had changed.
I didn’t want to go shopping to buy things, I wanted food and for my parents to be able to pay the bills and mortgage so we didn’t have to move.
I saw my widowed grandma buy her own house and pay it off while on the pension. She went without the fancy things, made a lot of her own clothes and grew her own food. This I thought was normal.
Travelling overseas can be a big eye opener. You see the way people in other countries live. They might live in tiny shacks, but it’s all they need. You can get a glimpse as to what is truly important to them and the meaning of their life just by watching how they go about their day and seeing where they live. And they are HAPPY. Besides, one natural disaster and it’s all gone any way. Appreciation… It’s what you’ve already got that counts.
WHY DO ANY OF US NEED TO LIVE IN HUGE HOUSES AND DRIVE BRAND NEW CARS?
…To look good and create wealth portrayal? I still can’t work out why people feel the need to show off their things. No one really cares what you’ve got, do they? It inturn makes others want to fill their lives with things and spreads consumerism further.
We have become a very expectant society; Seeing, wanting and buying. It still makes me frown because it’s ridiculous. Things people buy are usually not ‘forever’ items therefore a waste as they’ll no longer be wanted in a few months to a few years. All of those items add up and it’s money you’ll never get back.
Instead, save up, buy and appreciate the ‘forever’ or ‘investment’ items. Things that will create memories forever or items that will create wealth as an investment, something you’ll get a return of your hard earned money on.
Add up all of the small items you have bought recently, then work out what you could get back from them if you sold them on. Probably not a lot. No one really wants to buy second hand goods any more when they can go and buy new at about the same price. You will never get your money back on them.
As an example, I paid $2000 for my leather couch 10 years ago knowing full well I would probably only get $100 for it if I decided to sell it in the future. I bought this for me, not for anyone else. I spent a lot knowing I would have it for the entire time the kids were at home so I needed one to last.
All of my baby items and furniture never returned the amount I dished out for them, now I think baby furniture is a total waste of money. If I was to do it again, I would be able to save hundreds as I would make it even cheaper knowing that those first few years fly and you can get by on a whole lot less. I had items bought for me that I got $20 back on them. I felt terrible that family members had even bought these when I was getting rid of them 3 years later.
Looking back and seeing me in society today has made me evaluate what is truly important in life, given me clarity and keeps my money mindset in check. I don’t want to work hard to provide ‘stuff’ for myself and family, that’s not fulfilling to me. Creating happiness in other ways is more important. You’ll be a happier person and bring up appreciative little human beings… and you’ll have more money to create magic memories of time spent with those little human beings.
Just remember, no one will remember you for that awesome couch you bought! They’ll remember you for the great person that you are, with care, morals and meaning.
We seem to have lost our real value. If every one in society had a great money mind set, there would be no competition and no urge to buy the biggest and best of every thing. We would all be happy with life and the things in front of us.
By loving your life instead of every one else’s, you will gain a new sense of importance. Find what makes you happy and do it for yourself. Possessions come and go but experience and memories last a lifetime. Can you look back at your life and feel truly happy and complete?
YOUR MONEY AND THE
POSSESSIONS YOU OWN,
ARE NOT YOUR WORTH.