7 antidotes against consumerism

Economic circumstances have put many on a consumer diet and many people have been forced to reduce their expenses in the face of the precariousness of their work. The truth is that we consume more products than we really need, to believe that they are essential and, nevertheless, we should learn to live distinguishing what is superfluous from what is necessary to avoid falling into excessive spending.

Despite the sad economic picture that surrounds us, advertising and media bombard us with the message that we must consume more: buy the latest smartphone that has come to the market although our current phone works wonderfully, dress with new season clothing and wear that watch that is announcing the famous turn. To curb this craving for consumption, there are several things we can do.

Keys to avoid excessive consumerism

1. Rethink your consumption rhythm. It is not about becoming a cheapskate who does not loose a single euro, but to rethink our consumption rhythm and recognize that, for example, we do not need to buy clothes or accessories, however cheap they may be, every week, but it's fine with what we do, for example, every three months or in sales.

2. Be more critical of the publicity you receive. Induce to buy products that most of the time you do not need, and you can end up regretting having made a useless purchase.

3. Try to exhaust the life of things before buying a new product to replace them. It does not make sense to buy a more modern smartphone and with multiple applications if we are not going to use them all and with your old mobile you are doing well.

4. Think about the image you project. The ostentation does not make us better than others and the need to pretend that many people have is only a reflection of their dependence on money and the opinion of others.

5. Austerity does not have to be a mortification, nor be linked to sloppiness, dirtiness or lack of good taste in clothing. It means dispensing with the needs that we create ourselves and enjoying and taking care of what we have, starting with the people around us.

6. Give yourself some whimIt is not good to live with a continuous feeling of deprivation. Also, if you tend to be austere you can enjoy much more when you allow yourself a little whim, like buying a book, some chocolates or some shoes that you intend to give them a lot of use.

7. Learn to look for cheap and good things, whether offer or second hand. What better time to go to see clothes than in sales. You can also take a look at the objects a flea market can offer you and visit second-hand bookstores.

Alternatives to purchases

Many times, we consume and buy for "boredom": we have nothing to do during a weekend afternoon and we go to see stores, with the consequence that we always end up buying something. We may even meet people whose main activity in their free time is "shopping".

The solution is to rethink our way of investing free time and value other activities that do not involve excessive expenses and that fill us: make an excursion, visit a museum, take a bike ride, play sports, try to get to know our city better by visiting its monuments and historical places or, simply, to practice some activity or hobbie in our house. Not only are activities that represent a "brake" for our pace of spending, but they contribute much more than what we invest: they expand our knowledge, promote our skills and talents and allow us to disconnect and spend an entertaining and quiet time.

New movements of intelligent consumption

It seems that "smart consumption" is breaking through and there are many people who have decided to learn to live with less to achieve a more uncomplicated life. Thus, some movements such as the downshifting, which consists in working less to live longer. That is to say, that we do not seek to work to enrich ourselves and have access to more whims and luxuries, but rather to proclaim that money is not an end in itself, but a means to allow us a decent life. It is therefore sought to escape obsessive materialism "reducing the march".

In this way, with a simpler life, stress and tensions are left behind, and it is about obtaining a healthy balance between leisure and work, as well as proposing personal fulfillment and relationship building as objectives in life. , leaving aside consumerism and economic success. This lifestyle is booming in the United States, and may not take long to reach Spain. In any case, in our country we are not left behind: there are already many who move to live in the countryside, fleeing from the stressful pace of urban life. They are called "neorrurales".

María Espín

Video: Addiction

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