Materialism is Costing More Than Pennies

Materialism is a cancer that is suppressing our surroundings while we allow large companies to benefit. Not only is materialism dwindling the money in our bank accounts, it seems to be eating at our level of happiness and mother Earth.

Many of us insist on competing with each other to impress our peers in order to gain an immense number of friends. In doing so, we are unable to notice the negative effects of materialism. Materialists are acting as parasites to the Earth and people they are competing with. Many are too busy focusing on their next purchase and do not notice what materialism really costs:

  • human labor
  • fossil fuels
  • water
  • increased pollution
  • harmful working conditions
  • deforestation
  • personal relationships

This means that our constant desire for new things is killing the Earth.

Personally, I enjoy my friends for who they are not what they wear or drive. I am also thankful for the natural resources that the Earth provides and the beauty in which it holds. I am no longer allowing materialism to interfere with my relationships with friends and peers. I am also going to focus more on the pleasure the Earth brings to me instead of the items made from its resources. So, instead of splurging on a Michael Kors handbag or a Pandora bracelet, I save my money for trips to the beach and dinner dates with friends. Experiences make us happier than possessions do while also allowing pleasure from the world around us.


5 thoughts on “Materialism is Costing More Than Pennies

  1. This is absolutely true. I recently got rid of a LOT of my possessions: iPad, BMW, Watches, etc and scaled back a very materialistic lifestyle. Although my reasons were financial (getting out of debt), I have found that some of the greatest benefits from doing this were twofold:

    1. I wasn’t so worried about my possessions all the time; when you have nice things (especially nice things you can’t afford), you obsess over their condition and taking care of them. For example, I would park my BMW far away from all the other cars to avoid door dings, I would hand wash it weekly, spent a fortune on cleaning supplies for it, and obsessed over the tiniest paint chip, scratch, flaw, or imperfection. I was horrified of what would happen if something ever broke inside of it, since I could barely afford to drive it when things were running smoothly. It’s good to take care of your things, but when it becomes a source of perpetual anxiety for you, you need to ask yourself if it’s worth the psychological burden.

    2. Like you said, people treat you differently when you choose to downgrade your lifestyle and put the focus on what’s important rather than possessions. Previously, the most interesting thing about me was probably my sports car or my wardrobe, I had no idea how boring this made me until after I got rid of the car and started changing my life. People that hadn’t spoken to me for 8+ years began reaching out to me to catch up. I think downgrading made me more approachable, more likeable, and more real than when I was living large. Materialism is selfish, and it alienates those who would otherwise be your closest friends.

    Great blog. I look forward to reading more, I think you’ve inspired me to start looking at other ways to embrace minimalism—it’s easier to own less than organize more. 🙂

  2. Thank you for detailing your own personal experience! I think it’s great evidence to show that when you focused on materialism your life wasn’t as fulfilling. Personally, I rely on most of my expensive possessions to keep up with my college classes (car, laptop, e-reader for books…). Otherwise, I wouldn’t really need them!

  3. It is so interesting to hear about your personal reasons for pursuing a more minimalist life. I have felt my more materialistic friends to be very boring, and would agree with the study you listed about experiences making us happier. I really enjoy reading this blog, and it encourages me to reconsider my own possessions, especially as I have recently moved into a much smaller apartment, and there isn’t room for anything that isn’t necessary.

  4. Thank you both for your comments. I appreciate the feedback, but I did have to revise my post making the comments a bit confusing to the updated version. You’re welcome to comment once more!

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