Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Pressure To Purchase

If you live in America, you know what I mean when I say that we are under tremendous pressure to spend money.  It's no wonder... nearly 70% of our GDP ($10 Trillion of the $14 Trillion our economy produces) depends on Consumer Purchases so we are bombarded by advertisements enticing us to put down a few more bucks to make our lives a little more comfortable.

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Before my family picked up and moved abroad, I was aware of the pressure to purchase, but I didn't realize how pervasive it is in our culture until I was living in a place where is was almost completely absent.  I didn't understand just how heavy it is to walk around with that nagging feeling of being incomplete because I didn't get my child the latest Fad Toy or my Vanilla Latte today.  Being away from it was like rehab (it was nearly as rough) and at the end of the 12 Steps I felt the need to carry this message to others who may be under the thumb of Purchase Pressure.

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We can't blame the advertisers, businesses and manufacturers - they're just giving us what we keep demanding - a way to try to fill the hole in our lives that is created when we envy others' lives or when we feel inadequate as parents, spouses or individuals.  We only have ourselves to blame for this terrible pressure.

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We do it to each other, too.  We apply the pressure by always showing off our new cars, new televisions, new clothes, new toys, new 5,000 square foot homes with 2 heat pumps.  What if instead, we showed each other our credit card bills, mortgage & utility bills?  Would we still brag? What if we compared those bills with our dwindling savings accounts?  Would we be proud then?

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Now ask yourself this: Is the family who lives in the biggest house at the end of your cul-de-sac, who seems to have the latest of everything, really the richest family in your neighborhood?  Or, are they the ones who have simply spent the most money?  Do I really envy them now?  Are they really more fulfilled in life than I am because they have to pay second mortgage to keep their lifestyle afloat?

Maybe it's better to feel the pride of Self-Reliance, Restraint & Ingenuity.  Refuse the Pressure to Purchase and adopt instead an attitude of Practicality & Pragmatism.  Fill those occasional holes in your life with the Reservoir of Resourcefulness that you have in your family!

...that is what I am trying to do on this Blog and in my Life.

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7 comments:

  1. Hannah KartagenerJune 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Love this!!!!!
    Hannah

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  2. I so agree with this philosophy...I use to envy my neighbor with their in-ground swimming pool, new volvo and many other obvious extravaganza's. But I know that my family, with me staying home as a mom and staying and nurturing my children was worth much more than any amount of money. My girls are now 26 and 20 and they have turned out to be fantastic women with whom I have a great relationship!

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  3. Am blog hopping and found yours. Great post! Am now following. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back! Bonni from
    http://www.mombyexample.com

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  4. Heather, what a great post. I loved the questions you asked:
    What if instead, we showed each other our credit card bills, mortgage & utility bills? Would we still brag? What if we compared those bills with our dwindling savings accounts? Would we be proud then?

    Maybe it's better to feel the pride of Self-Reliance, Restraint & Ingenuity.

    We need to take time to think about why it is we are purchasing something instead of thinking about what it may make us look like! Thank you for this thought-provoking post.

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  5. I found your blog a couple of days ago and stumbled across this particualr post and absolutley LOVE and appreciate what you have to say. I am a Army-Brat, grew up in Germany and truly miss the way of living over there. My husband is the type of person who "needs" the newest and nicest things and things just to have them and if we acumulate too much "lets just throw it out" instead of reselling it or recycling it.
    So as you can imagine, it's a constant struggle but I do mostly win. ;)

    But thank you for posting this, reading all of these blogs makes me feel a bit more confident about trying to make the best out of everything.

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  6. great blog, you've really got a following in the USofA ... we in India are catching up with these materialistic ways , probably a full 50 years after US and will have to learn the hard way.

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  7. I am so excited that I found your blog. I have been making some of our house hold items to save $$, but it can be hard to find the recipes. You have put them all in one spot for me. Thanks! Oh I am a new blogger and I would like to put your button on my blog. Do you have one?

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