It’s often difficult to convince people of the financial freedom that comes with downsizing one’s lifestyle. It’s just not part of the way Americans think the world works.
The idea of rampant consumerism was developed before WWII. It wasn’t an organic evolution, but it was deliberately designed to boost American manufacturing. Industry, in collusion with advertisers, created the American economy based on propaganda — which was renamed as “public relations” when Hitler later gave the word “propaganda” a negative connotation.
Here are 4 ideas to buck the trend of excessive consumerism so that you can have more money and save yourself the anguish of incessant financial stress:
- Cut down family car expenses
Most families have more than one car, and many have even more than two cars. Moreover, these are often poor to middle class families. The result of this lifestyle choice is that the family is paying an enormous amount in car installments, insurance fees, car repairs, fuel, and parking fees. By using a service like Car Sold For Cash, it’s easy for the family to rid itself of an enormous cash burden. With a little creative thinking the family will be able to figure out alternative transportation options. Moreover, the family can now direct the money that they spent to own and maintain their cars into investing in the financial markets. Instead of struggling financially, they can start to focus on building wealth for themselves and future generations.
- Move into a smaller residence.
If you bought a large home to meet the needs of your growing family after you first got married, then you might have more house than you need when the kids leave home. Not only do you now have more space than you need, but you are also dealing with increased property taxes as well as high home maintenance and repair bills. While a large home purchased at a good price many years ago may have served you well, it might be time to downsize to a smaller less expensive, more convenient home. In fact, living in a smaller home can even help you pay off debt.
- Shop less at expensive clothing stores.
There is nothing wrong with dressing well and adopting the latest fashion trends. However, you may be paying more than you need for the clothes you love. When you buy clothes from a high-end retailer, you are also helping them meet their overhead costs of rent and staff. By buying what you need online, you could get the same quality of clothes, even the same brand names, and pay far less. Another alternative is to trim your expenses down by buying less clothes. It’s only too easy to acquire an overabundance of clothes that you never even have the opportunity to wear.
- Trim down on expensive entertainment.
Almost everybody enjoys a good meal at a high-end restaurant and to visit a movie theater to catch the latest release. However, it’s become a lifestyle choice to do this routinely. The idea of a good home cooked meal and the pleasure of having friends over and cozying up in the living room in front of a Blu-Ray video can be just as emotionally satisfying.
Minimalism: A Response to a Philosophy of Excess
If you love to spend and the idea of cutting down on your expenses seems to be a drastic form of asceticism, then it’s because you’ve been dragged into a cultural mythos that existed before you were born.
A Forbes article, Why Do People Spend Money They Don’t Have?, identified four main reasons why people spend more than they earn and then struggle with the consequences of mounting debt, having insufficient money to pay their living expenses, and putting aside too little for a rainy day. People spend money they don’t have because buying things makes them feel good, because it helps them keep up with their peers, because it’s surprisingly easy to get credit, and because they simply don’t keep track of how much they have in their bank account.