The Money Stuck In Depreciating Things

We spend a lot of money on things/stuff apart from other major things like health, experiences, career etc.  A young adult who gets a first job and has no financial perspective is bound to spend all their salary.

The Money Stuck In Things
The Money Stuck In Things

Money spent on experiences like traveling may leave you some great memories and broaden your perspective. But what about those infinite things we keep buying impulsively even if we don't need them? Sometimes we can't even remember that we own something unless we see it in some corner of a shelf.

There are two aspects here about things : first is the money that's stuck in all these things and second is the amount of our life stuck in consuming, maintaining, fixing and replacing things. In this post, we will talk about the first aspect - money tied to all the things we own. A post about the effect of blind consumption on our lives in general may be a future post.

It's true that we earn money not just to survive but to pay for the things we want. The problem arises when we get caught up in this consumption state which has no end. Those things that seem cheap or affordable eat into a great part of our money when put together.

Before we go further, the things I am talking about are NOT the things bought as an investment or for re-selling(more on these in next article). These are the things which we are for our own usage. All these things depreciate with time and so does their value. So buying all these things now to protect our purchasing power against possible future inflation is useless.

Things Not To Buy:

  • Papers/notebooks/diaries/pens-look around your house, you will find a zillion of them. Unless you clean and organize your house,you may not find these. Use those one side printed papers for scribbling, you will be saving trees too.
  • New models in phones,tablets,other gadgets and even cars are overrated and become outdated soon. Unless there is a real need for an upgrade, paying a huge amount of money which you can't really afford for few new features is unreasonable.
  • Too many showpieces/ decorative items-personally I don't see any value in things that do nothing and just sit there looking good. One or two favorite things that actually mean something to you - that symbolize some idea/ideal , can actually beautify spaces. But if there are just too many, the house just ends up looking like a crammed up museum space and you will end up spending all your life in dusting, cleaning , organizing and maintaining them.
  • Don't place sentiment in souvenirs-memories are enough to collect. We may think that it's just one piece per place, but before you know, you will end up with N number of pieces which aren't special anymore. Also these are expensive in a tourist place.
  • Too many clothes,jewelry,accessories,footwear, handbags etc beyond what is needed. You may not even get a chance to wear them all more than three times if you take up the Wardrobe challenge. Expensive party wear that cant be worn on a daily basis are total waste of money as they are generally worn only once.
  • If you have a little bit patience, you can choose alternatives that are cheaper over the mainstream products in make up and body care. This also means that you will be going chemical free.
  • Bottled water. Carry your own water bottle and fill it at water stations.Packaged food, sodas, junk food- literally buying some form of disease be it in a very fractional scale. Alcohol,cigarettes,drugs etc are on a totally different epic destructive scale.
  • Magazines,newspapers,books(ouch!I know!!) - in this digital world when everything is available online, we don't really need to buy a hard copy. If you prefer reading an actual book, then you can rent it.
  • One time usage things - tissues, paper cups, plates, plastic bags etc. Choose long lasting -rags instead of tissues, steel plates instead of paper,cups,cloth bags instead of plastic bags. Short term usage - plastic-boxes,containers-harmful for environment and doesn't last long.
  • Fancy food: even if it's healthy. It happens a lot of times that we see some recipe/fancy super food on Youtube and buy a big packet of it. You follow it for a day and then give up, the rest of it goes for a toss.
  • TV-my entire childhood is engulfed by this idiot box. If you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can watch everything on it. If you really want to view on a big screen, get a projector - that way you don't even have to watch movies in theater.Extending on the same point, CDs/DVDs. 
  • Expensive machine/equipment: which you are not sure if you will use like sewing machine, exercise bike, hair iron, curler etc.
  • Any product whose worth comes from it's brand seal more than from it's quality or design. This even includes branded medicine which is very expensive compared to generic medicine.
  • Micro transactions for gamers- not an expert on this.
  • Instead of huge amounts of expensive offerings to God, you can fund some orphan kid's education.
  • Too much money on one single occasion/event -weddings/parties and those noisy crackers that pollute the entire area.
  • Gym membership if you can run on open tracks and do some floor exercises.
  • Fresh flowers-get a plant instead!
  • Celebrity stuff- bidding their used stuff online for high price!
  • Buying anything in excess which you can't consume before it's expiry.
  • More than what you need : towels, napkins, kitchen utensils, containers etc - you know them, you see them everywhere in your house.

All these said, there are some things where we got to invest our money. These are the things that last long. Buying cheaper versions of these will only lead to more loss eventually as they keep needing replacement.

Things to invest money in:

  • Bed, mattress and pillow. Ask any person with neck/spinal pain and they will tell the significance of buying these only of high quality.
  • Shoes, especially running shoes - protect your knees and heels.
  • Quality clothes-especially jeans, tracks, leggings, inner wear which are worn more.
  • Multipurpose furniture like table with storage, trundle beds, expandable dining tables etc -saves space and money.
  • Egg- I am not kidding- best cheapest nutrition packed into this tiny thing-I hate it, but it's too beneficial to be ignored.
  • An internet connection to help you explore and even learn infinite new things.
  • Solar powered electronics- small things like lamps don't have any space constraints unlike big solar panels.
  • Nutritional food - may be expensive compared to unhealthy food, but not expensive than those money sucking hospital bills to treat deficiencies or their side effects.
  • A desk and chair where you will spend your working time.
  • Organic food if you can afford.
  • Regular health checkups - it may seem unnecessary to spend money on needles and scans when you are feeling perfectly alright, but sometimes our body fails to show enough signals externally. This becomes more crucial as we age.
  • A cycle if you are interested to ride it everywhere - saves health, money on fuel and environment.

Look around your house and you will know about "your kind of things". Just before buying anything, ask yourself if you really need it and if you can see yourself using it for more than a couple of instances. Save any unnecessary spending on stuff and go visit that place you always wanted to visit!



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