Buying more stuff won’t make you happy

I figured what better time to be talking about overconsumption than Christmas season. The holidays aren’t the only time we buy stuff either. We frequently over consume year round. Especially with Amazon Prime being such an enabler. We can have access to most items within 48 hours or less. As convenient as that is, it’s also really scary since it comes at the cost of overworked Amazon employees.

We don’t need a lot of stuff to make us happy, we need healthy relationships. If you’re looking for gift ideas this holiday season, go for experiences. This could be as extravagant as a vacation or front row seats to a concert or as simple as a wine and painting night. These experiences create long lasting memories that you can share with the ones you care about.

Those Target and T.J. Maxx runs can be addictive. They are the ultimate stores for generating impulse purchases. After all you don’t go into those stores to buy one thing without coming out of them with more things than you expected. The marketers of those companies do a great job of making sure that “you don’t choose the stuff, the stuff chooses you.” However, the happiness from the stuff you buy only creates a temporary fix. Plus you waste extra money that could go towards more long term savings or experiences.

It’s one thing to buy a normal amount of stuff and use those things for a long time. However, it’s the overconsumption that’s the problem. Feeling like you need to replace new stuff; including buying fast fashion and replacing those clothes every five weeks (but that’s a topic for another day) is unnecessary and extremely wasteful. No one needs a new iPhone every year or whichever other latest gadget is released. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that 50 million metric tons of E-waste (electronic waste) end up in landfills every year.

Make sure that when you buy that you are making responsible purchases that you know will be used for a long time. You don’t need to replace things besides food on a weekly basis. Additionally, you could also try to go shopping less and replace that time with trying new activities such as going to museums, ice skating, cooking classes, etc. Finding activities to do other than shopping can get you new experiences, skills and also help you cultivate new relationships.

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