Photo: Christopher Sessums/Flickr
One of the main reasons why people get into debt, other than buying a home, purchasing a car, or going to school, is because people spend more money than they need to on things that they don’t need.Living beyond our means is a main reason why people get into debt, when people spend more money than they make they are forced to live on credit. This can be a dangerous financial habit and it can also be a very hard habit to break. Buying stuff may make us feel a sense of self worth, it may be a way for people to determine their self status, or it may be a way for us to spend time while shopping. Therefore I ask you DINKS…What is it about “stuff” that we love so much?
My father has recently let his girlfriend talk him into downsizing their current multi bedroom home into a small apartment. In the next two weeks my father and his girlfriend will be selling their home, giving away all of their stuff, and taking only the essentials to their new smaller apartment. I always knew that my father was a “pack-rat” but I never actually realised how much stuff my father has until he started giving it away.
Maybe people love stuff because accumulating stuff makes us feel self worthy. Some people (such as my father) did not have a lot of stuff while they were growing up; therefore they accumulate a lot of stuff in their adult lives. My personal theory is that my father never gets rid of anything he owns because he never wants to be without anything ever again. Even though my father lives in only a two-person household he has several of the same items (such as televisions) in his home which are not being used. I believe that my father enjoys looking at all of the stuff in his house because it is a symbol of his success in life; it is also a symbol of how far he has come from his youth.
Maybe people love stuff because it is a status comparison between ourselves with our family, friends, and coworkers. Think about the last time that you purchased a new car, did you purchase a luxury car for the status that comes along with it, or did you purchase an economically friendly and cost efficient car because it was a good deal? Many people buy stuff because they enjoy the status that comes along with it as well as the bragging rights that come along with having expensive stuff.
Maybe it’s not the actual stuff that people love so much, maybe it’s the art of accumulating stuff (i.e. shopping) that people are so attracted to. I know that I very often use shopping as an activity to celebrate something good that has happened or to drown my sorrows when I am sad because something bad happened. Shopping is an activity that I enjoy, although accumulating stuff that I don’t have room for, and spending money on stuff that I don’t need are not things that I enjoy; unfortunately the two sometimes go hand in hand.
How much stuff do you have stuff in your house?