Consumer advice

How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: June 3, 2018
How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism

Consumerism is a theory in which people buy things and use them for a brief period of time to purchase the latest version of the product. To survive in this world, people need to consume things as per their requirements. But when people start buying more than needed, it becomes excessive consumerism. It usually leads people purchasing bigger houses, fancier technology, luxurious cars and others, which are much more than their actual requirements. For instance, a 3 BHK apartment is more than enough for a family of four, but people choose to build bigger houses just to look richer. In reality, excessive consumerism promises happiness, but seldom delivers it and even has negative consequences. Read this oneHOWTO article to find out how to avoid excessive consumerism.

  1. Beware of advertising
  2. Take motivation from minimalist people
  3. Live like a traveler
  4. Appreciate what you already have
  5. Be good at bargaining
  6. Focus on long-term goals

Beware of advertising

Do you feel convinced to buy something due to its attractive advertising? Does advertising significantly affect your expenses? Remember, advertisements are specifically designed to manipulate your subconscious mind with attractive scenes, pictures and jingles. Nowadays, brands have found new and more effective ways of reaching their target audience thanks to selective advertising on social media and through the use of Instagram and Youtube influencers.

These keep lingering in your mind and come to the front whenever you come across them in a mall. They are designed to convince you that buying their product will give you happiness. Before buying a product due to its convincing advertisement, think about whether you actually need it, what kind of happiness it will give you, and whether you actually need this kind of happiness or not.

Take motivation from minimalist people

There are many people in the world and even around you who are living a minimalist lifestyle. They only buy what they actually need, and know how to control their instinct to buy something that they come across. If something is available for very cheap in the market, most people think that they you should buy it to save money later. This is a natural instinct and should be controlled at any cost. Take motivation from such people and learn from them how they control their urge to buy what is available.

Remember there are people that are actually happy without much money, and others that lead a 0 waste life. We're not saying you shouldn't buy anything at all, but you can get inspired by people who live a frugal life and see what the benefits are:

  • Less clutter in your home and more organized spaces.
  • You're not creating as much waste.
  • You reduce your carbon footprint.
  • You can concentrate on caring better for what you already have.

Live like a traveler

When you travel, you take only the things that you actually need during the journey. By learning to travel cheaply, you try to remain free, light and flexible. While traveling, you also take care of how much you are buying so that your luggage does not become overloaded.

In your real life, it is better to adopt this kind of mentality as well. Buy only the things that you actually need, read some Marie Kondo if you have to, and even try to adjust with what you don’t have. Try to design your house as if it were a minimalist hotel room, equipped with only the essential items that are actually required.

How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism - Live like a traveler

Appreciate what you already have

Look around your house and appreciate what you already possess. Remember how happy and satisfied you were when you bought the things that you no longer want to use. Do you actually need an extra pair of trousers? Is the old microwave oven too useless to be replaced? Can’t you get it repaired? Remember, most of the times, we don’t spend on what we actually need, but on what we no longer want.

Moreover, you can also get creative if you think you need a new lampshade, picture frame or coffee table. Use waste material to decorate your house, it will be cheap, exclusive and it's a great activity to do together with your family.

Be good at bargaining

It is natural to have a feeling of using something new, whether they are clothes, electronics or equipment, as it automatically lights the satisfaction and pleasure areas in our brain. But instead of buying new every time, you can talk with your friends and find out if they have something that they want to get rid of. For instance, if your friend has a treadmill that he no longer uses, and if you want to have one, you can get it from that friend in exchange of that old microwave oven. Even if it is not working properly, getting it repaired can be much cheaper than buying a new one.

Focus on long-term goals

Whatever you buy, think about whether it is going to give you happiness and satisfaction for long-term or not. Is the product you are buying actually necessary, and is it going to help you in future as well? Do not spend your valuable money on something that will give you only momentary satisfaction, such as dining out, vacation, long trips etc. Recreation is a necessity in today’s hectic life as well, but you need to keep a balance.

Try making mental or even actual lists of pros and cons before buying a product instead of just getting it when you are on that shopping spree rush.

How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism - Focus on long-term goals

If you want to read similar articles to How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism, we recommend you visit our Personal Finance category.

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How to Avoid Excessive Consumerism