Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Slavery of Stuff

We all gather stuff throughout our lives. We gather momentos. Sometimes we want to buy ourselves toys, movies, music, you name it. J.D. at Get Rich Slowly calls it Stuff.

We try to keep up with the Joneses and buy ourselves the latest gadgets. Our old car is getting dirty or needs some work, so we buy a new one. But all that clutter takes time, energy and money to maintain. We're forcing ourselves to work more hours to pay the upkeep on what we have -- a bigger house, storage, maintenance, etc.

We have gotten materialistic and it weighs on our spirits. The extra work takes time away from our families and we feel guilty. The extra clutter around the house actually gives us some stress because it needs to be organized and maintained -- something else to do in an already hectic schedule. I've been thinking about this penchant for keeping up with the Joneses and I have come to a conclusion.

The Joneses are friggin' idiots.

There comes a turning point in our lives, maybe, when we realize Stuff isn't going to make us happy. It clutters our houses and our lives. In the meantime we flounder, needing to pay our debts and working like crazy to support our lifestyle. J.D. at Get Rich Slowly wrote about his turning point. Adam at Man vs. Debt also talks about how liberating it is not to have a bunch of Stuff to tie you down.

I have had a turning point, too. We have to draw a line between something useful and something just for fun. I used to buy a new toy that entertains me for a little bit and then it sits around. I'm trying to declutter my house. It's time to thin out the stuff that doesn't get used. If you really want to curb your appetite for Stuff, Frugal Dad lists some ways to do it.

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