"More cash for more happiness! :)"

by zee

Part of my quarter life crisis involves thoughts on consumerism.

The Crisis (capital ‘C’) started back in 2 or 3 years ago; but the thought of consumerism didn’t hit me until end of 2014 when I was working in a European company.

Background check: I have a very small, very narrow social circle, mostly people of or around my age and perhaps share the same social class as I do i.e. middle class hence the late realisation.

The spending habit of my colleagues is appalling to me:

  • Pandora bracelet that don’t look good on her wrist. I’m sorry for being blunt.
  • Apple fandom
  • Brand names rolling out of their tongue like native language
  • Drive big expensive foreign car
  • Owning a few big expensive foreign cars under their names
  • Talking about buying houses like buying peanut butter jam wtf
Background check #2: Half of the company is made up of sales personnel, hence the commission & year-end target bonus that sit in their bank account. Majority of the staff is less than 35 y/o, some are single, some are married with no children.
I often wonder in amazement how is it that they are able to spend money on material and still lament they do not have enough cash.
Are they happy with their lives – a life of buying and maybe using and more buying?
What makes them happy – the money or the act of buying? If the former: is it because of the security that money gives them?
Silently I pledged to myself that before I buy something, I would think of
  • why do I want to buy this?
  • what is it good for?
  • are there alternatives? DIY, maybe? find a second use for things laying in the house?
It cured my impulse shopping habits (almost), but then I am left with this empty, restless feeling. I don’t buy things to feel better or as a reward anymore. (I also feel bored because there are very few alternatives for cheap entertainment other than window shopping; and I am no longer interested in malls.) The act of buying no longer comes from desire but from necessity.

The whole event made me realise that what we humans are suckers for endorphins. We are all in this mighty race where the prize is happiness high. This is a race on a hamster wheel – no beginning, no ending. Unless we fall out of it (or the wheel breaks lol), there is no other escape.

To shine this in a positive light: I have to agree with a friend who said, “spend money for experiences“. I really love that. Invest in yourself that is good for your soul, I say.
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