Avoid consumerism

This post isn’t just relative to the Philippines where its based on being able to afford to move here but also anywhere in the world that is gripped by keeping up with the neighbours mentality. I remember as a child people being told they had to wear school uniforms because “poor” people would look the same as they could afford the uniforms yet even that today isn’t true with schools cashing in on percentages telling people which stores they can shop from to buy the treasured school uniform. I wonder what happened to people where society used to base getting in debt as a bad thing and that banks are evil to riddle ourselves with debt and that it will always be ok even though every month people sit there anxious waiting to see how much they spent on credit cards and can they afford to pay the monthly debts.

Most of the cause is simply not needed even the government admit it although in an odd way sometimes. When they talk about trying to cut down on landfill they tell the British people your wasting 30% of food per household annually which then in turn tells me that like my parents who spend £100 a week on food that they could be saving as much as £1440 a year just by buying what they need. I have to admit that the freezer is always full and many times have I seen food getting thrown out because it ran out of date or started to smell before it was consumed so the answer on that is yes they could save a small fortune on food costs and without any sacrifice to standard of living.

Then I start looking at the gadgets around us although most of the things we do use here there are things I have even forgot I own how many other people do the same? got an iTouch or iPhone and now the iPods and old cellphone sits in a drawer somewhere? Or maybe the explosion of numbers of laptops in the world yet the household PC still sit there and you can’t use your laptop at work so why did you buy it? I am just as guilty as I have 3 laptops and several PCs count the internet cafe I have well over 20 computers although only really use 3 and not all at the same time. What has changed though is when I decided to move to the Philippines and had travelled into Asia seeing how much things cost to how much we pay in the West. You start to wonder why am I paying this for that when it costs so little to make at the same time do I really need it in the first place.

The thing is you may be wondering where this is going but its down to several reasons. The first one is the way that we are being manipulated into getting the best things for our children yet in many cases they don’t need them or in fact they are damaging to children’s development. From the gaming consoles that are linked to disruptive behaviour in many forms to technology that are designed for adults but getting geared towards children. The 7 – 12 year olds of this world are becoming the main buyer of goods although not the person paying as their influence is starting to dominate Western decisions. Before the kids rooms of a house for example were often box rooms now people talk of the size of the garden for the kids and will their children like it there. Problem with asking children is their views can change daily and if markets are gearing themselves towards getting you blackmailed into decisions there are serious problems in society. The odd thing is if you don’t buy into it in the first place it doesn’t seem to have any negative affects in fact often its positive. I have met people over the years that have very little on the consumerism side they go biking, hiking and other things with the kids yet if anything their children have a broader understanding of the world. Of course they may not know who Katie Price is but then again why did these fake celebrities become important in the media only thing I can think of is they are easier to photograph as they crave publicity making the media’s job easier.

Getting back on tangent though you will find if you can curb your shopping habits and avoid even listening to the sales people your money will slowly climb from debt to savings. Although the interest on savings isn’t a lot these days what is worth a lot is peace of mind and not worrying about your finances and the next knock at the door being a bailiff. On top of that getting your kids away from the consumerism that plagues western society will give them the ability to get a firm footing on the world ladder as they can do something others can’t which is save and only spend what they have.