Previously, I talked briefly about the first step on the road to recovery from the modern debilitating disease known as materialism, which is to acquiesce to the fact that everything around you is conspiring against you to maintain your materialistic tendencies. As Sun Tzu once almost said, “know your enemy”. Once you have assimilated this idea into your mindset, the next step is natural – take a deep breath, and stop buying sh*t. This is obviously easier said than done, so here are a few tips to get you started:
Buy for a lifetime and a half
You may think that the gorgeous pair of shoes you got from that nondescript shoe store – almost always run by a middle aged asian lady – was a bargain, but a week later the shoes decides to play a practical joke and fall apart, and so you go back to bargain hunting for another cheap shoe. At the end of your lifetime, ignoring the considerable human and environmental burden that your shoe parade caused, you will have spent a great deal more money than if you had just bought an expensive, well made shoe in the first place.
I not so recently made a discovery about shoes: the only part of the shoe that is really being worn out is the outsole, provided you take reasonable care of the upper. So it doesn’t really make sense to replace a whole shoe – you should just be replacing the sole. This is why I now almost always buy shoes that are welted, because they are manufactured with the intention of being resoled – meaning that their uppers will be durable and last a lifetime and a half.
Don’t impulse shop
Always wait a day before making a purchase – this is similar in spirit to the email systems that buffer your emails for a day, in case you get drunk and decide to email that girl from work about your erotic feelings towards her and attach some very flattering photos of yourself to her. If after a day, you still want it, go ahead, treat yo’ self. But a lot of the time we get caught up in the moment of shopping, of owning that particular piece of clothing, that particular piece of technology, when in fact we don’t really need it, it really has no purpose other than to make us feel happy about having swapped our hard-earned cash for the chance to feel current and hip.