A few weeks ago, I was discussing with my daughter why I think money spent on jewelry (in general) is not an investment. We discussed that even jewelry that’s inherited is still a waste of money because their value is probably at 20% of the original cost if sold to a pawn shop and maybe 40% of the original cost if sold to another individual or a jewelry store. It can’t be considered an investment, but rather as some expensive trinket with very little real function. That’s when she remarked that “it should not have been bought in the first place”. Now, isn’t that statement brilliant? It took me a few seconds to fully understand the simplicity of that statement.
Just a two months ago, online and department stores were all excited about the holiday season which started with Thanksgiving, then the Christmas season. It wasn’t because of the chance to reunite with family members, some of which are living thousands of miles away. There was excitement because they expected the customers to come in droves and beat last year’s sales record which was considered one of the lowest in recent years.
The Holidays themselves were considered second-rate only to the selling of their wares. In fact, the term “Black Thursday” was substituted to “Thanksgiving Day”. I reckon that it is their way of saying – the most important things in your life should be the material things you will buy this coming holiday season.
Isn’t that a sad state of affairs?
There are so many ways to brainwash a person to buy something from a big store. One of the ways is the “discount sale”; 10% off, 50% today only sale, 70% off on selected merchandise (which are normally the ugliest, unfitting, unsold things on display).
To this kind of propaganda and brainwashing I offer the same tact to improve our finances: the 100% discount. To participate, one must stay with the family and engage in other activities other than shopping (Sitting in the living room while everyone is checking their cell phones don’t count as an activity). The credit card balance stays the same, wallet stays bulged with all the cash, and no need to stress about paying when the bill arrives because the balance is still zero.
Additional benefits: not spending money on fuel to drive to the store, No stress from the holiday crowds, no waiting in line for anything.
There is a mass tendency to copy or to acquire what is popular. This normally results in bad financial decisions based on temporary error in judgment. After buying something,things end up in garbage bins a few months later due to the low quality and low price of the bought items. Other items sit in cabinets unused for years.
There is a growing movement on avoiding buying things just for the sake of buying. The goal is to stop spending for a week, a month or during the Holidays season on non-essential items. I hope this spreads like a wildfire.
On a personal level, I still have a few items that I would like to still sell, give away or recycle. Last year, I got rid of many of the items I have sitting in various nooks and crannies around the house.
It should not have been bought in the first place.