This is one of those really important things that once you get it into your head? Everything makes sense. It really falls in line with the whole zen style theme we’ve got going on here. I was inspired by a post linking freedom and luxury which I think makes a really good point. Luxuries are just never going to make you happy.
I’ve got the experience on this one. In my spendy spendy past I bought some fairly ridiculous things that I think go beyond even luxury. I spent $1400 on high-end headphones. I bought an extremely rare vinyl record for $600. I bought many other things at slightly less expensive levels. And you know what that’s gotten me? Thousands of dollars less in my pocket and not a drop more happiness than before. I barely use those headphones. The record is now mounted on the wall as rather expensive wall art (although to be fair it is quite nice looking). Other things have now been resold at a fraction of the price I paid for them.
Humans are bad at decision-making and are about as capable as magpies at avoiding the next shiny thing to buy and show off. Vehicles costing tens of thousands of dollars, oversized houses, stacks and stacks of ‘collectibles’, the absolute newest phone or tablet, the list goes on. I can guarantee that when you’re enjoying your retirement in your old age you’re not going to be thinking “Boy, I sure am glad I bought that luxury car, upscale house, and extensive video game collection instead of retiring 10 years earlier!”
So THINK every time you’re about to make a purchase. Is this really going to make you happier, or are you just mindlessly tossing your money into a pit of consumerism? This shouldn’t stop you from buying anything of course! Sometimes there are really truthfully things that will make you happier. Only you know what those things are which is why I recommend slapping yourself in the face every time you buy something. Spending your hard-earned money should be a painful practice. Remember, you spent some portion of your life getting that money! Don’t throw it away or I’ll send the Consumption Zombies after you.
Following My Own Advice
We recently spent over $1000 in hotel costs for a 4 day weekend in Seattle later this month. Yep, that’s an absurd amount and it was a fairly bad move financially. It was painful, but what I do know is that it will definitely bring me a lot of happiness to see old friends from PAX and to show my fiancée around the convention for a day. She’s never been to Seattle and it’s one of my favorite places, so we’ll both to be able to explore all kinds of stuff there. Travel and socializing are important to me (in the right dose) so I allow myself this bonanza of spending every now and then.
Is there a luxury that you’re a bit ashamed you have or partake in?