Is Consumerism Reaching a Tipping Point?

Last year I was watching The Project one evening when I saw a story about headphones that learn and adapt to your unique hearing. They were fundraising on Kickstarter and I watched thinking – how amazing are these! The listening experience was described as incredible. I thought – they are cool – I have to have some! I started entering my details to pledge and was a click away from spending $249.

Then I remembered the 7 Day Mental Quarantine from my mate Carl Richards. And I put the purchase on hold.  The idea of the mental quarantine is, before you buy stuff (anything over about $50), you sit on it for a week. If after 7 days, it still makes sense and you really need it, then you buy it. It is a fantastic way to stop those impulse purchases you regret later.

There is a growing movement towards spending less and focussing on what really makes us happy. Marketers are really good at selling us the idea that shiny new crap is going to make us happy.

Two of the leading advocates of this way of life are the minimalists (you can see their documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix) and Mr Money Mustache. They focus on the idea that having less stuff and spending less money (therefore saving more) will ultimately bring more happiness and fulfilment.

I encourage you to check them out – they have built big followings for a reason. A warning: they may seem a little extreme at first. Give them a chance and focus on the overall message rather than every specific action they take.

And the headphones? Within 2 days I realised, I really didn’t need them and was glad I hadn’t wasted the money!

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