Money Literacy

Isn’t Buying Unwanted Things a Social Crime?


INT: Pavilion Mall in Pune – 1st Jan 2020, Eve.

Several mega-brand stores were witnessing encouraging footfalls.

We visited a couple of stores.   There were plenty of products and brands on display. Most of the products we never used were attractively placed. It was tempting to buy several of them. We didn’t buy any but decided to buy some of them as and when the occasion arises. We almost committed to buying these products in the future.

Many may not stop the temptation. We have several such outlets, websites ready to lure us and buy the products we do not want and need.

“If we went into stores only when we needed to buy something, and if once there we bought only what we needed, the economy would collapse, boom.” Paco Underhill

This is what it is. Excessive and unwanted buying has become the foundation of our economic success. But this is making the rich richer and the poor poorer. It increases income disparities.

Financial Literacy is not only about knowing how much insurance you need or how safe is your mutual funds. But it is also about what you do with your money.  It is about how to avoid unwanted spending, how to refrain from tempted buying, how to manage with minimalism, how to spend more time doing things you want to do.

“It is a preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” Bertrand Russell

In my previous post, I had written about how our buying habits of expensive things extend our slavery for money.  This is true even for our overall buying habits.

Now it’s easier to remain a slave of the corporate world. They are deploying all modern technology and marketing means to lure buyers. People feel successful when they think they can afford anything they want.

“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” Vernon Howard

What Should You be Doing?

You should be asking the following question:

  1. How much of the things you own you really need?
  2. How many things you buy can be avoided?

Our definition of happiness is in acquiring things. This has led to stuffocation.

“It really opened my eyes to how little I used all the stuff I owned,” James Wallman, Stuffocation

But happiness comes from living with Minimalism. Centuries ago, Socrates had said,” “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Want for the things will keep you slave, it is the art of living with the minimum which would make you free and happy.

It is time to take stock of your buying and owning habits.  The real financial awakening will start from this exercise.

“You don’t need more space. You need less stuff.”  Joshua Becker, The More of Less.

Know the masters (keeping you slave) of your life, to live a life you want to live. Financial literacy has a deeper implication than earning a higher return on investment and asset allocation.

(On a personal note: Isn’t stuffing unwanted things when people of dying of hunger, a social crime?)

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