Stop Buying Junk to Be More Sustainable (Financially)

There’s an old saying in business that you have to spend money to make money.

Some people argue that the more you spend, the more you’re forcing yourself to look for more ways to make even more money, but that’s a little absurd. While this sounds good on paper and guarantees you’re always going to have the best stuff, it’s a recipe for stress and disaster.

Only buy what you need, when you need it

Consumerism is great for the economy, but it’s bad for your finances. Don’t be a tool and get sucked into buying a new smartphone every two years just because a new model comes out, or a new computer because the one you’re using is more than four years old.

As long as your stuff is working and serviceable, do your wallet and the environment a favor and don’t buy a new one.

No one’s going to judge you if they see you using an old iPhone or an older computer running Linux. The need to buy and use the newest toys is unfortunately, all in your head. A troubling fact is that some people even buy new stuff on credit, with absolutely no plan on how to pay it all back. This pushes them over the limit, and their lives now revolve around debt and more debt.

Take a look around and do a quick inventory of what you need and use on a daily basis. It could be as simple as:

 

  1. laptop
  2. smartphone
  3. coffee maker

 

Now, ask yourself if you really need a new phone, laptop and coffee maker when the old ones are working just fine. It’s such a waste to be living in excess, so everytime you get the urge to shop for anything new, make an assessment of what you currently have and check if it needs to be replaced. You’ll be surprised how fast the itch to buy fades away when you realize you really don’t need anything new.

A Word to the Wise

There’s another old saying that money should be spent wisely. Instead of buying a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or iPhone 6 Plus, consider getting a mid-level phone with flagship specs from smaller phone manufacturers such as OnePlus, Asus or Xiaomi at more than half the price. Instead of buying Windows or Mac, look into free alternatives such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

 

For businesses, it’s a little more complicated, but completely doable. For small software companies, consider doing all test automation in-house instead of going to pegasie.com and paying for their services. In business, overextending your finances is a big risk that often leads to problems. If the project is small enough and your team can handle it, do it in-house.

 

Look at the Long Term

Look for long term buys or items that will last a long time before they need to be replaced. Choosing to buy a top of the line computer ensures that your rig can still run anything you throw at it after a few years. It may be more expensive now, but you’ll resist the urge to keep buying something new every few years because your old  processor becomes obsolete.

 

Another long term buy is a good bag. If you buy a cheap one for $50 bucks and it only lasts you a year, wouldn’t buying a branded bag worth $300 be a more worthwhile investment, especially if the quality of materials used and workmanship will make it last more than a decade? Of course it is! The same can be said with shoes and other crafted items.

Final Thoughts

The world is suffering from excess waste as it is, and never ending shopping sprees encourage us to do even more damage. The real winners here are the manufacturers, because they can make consumers fall for their marketing gimmicks easily. The losers are the people who get suckered into buying stuff they don’t need. Be content and find happiness in what you have. Your wallet and Mother Earth will thank you for it.

 

 

 

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