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How to Stop Being a Materialist

altBuy this, buy that – this is all we hear anywhere we go. TV, radio, outdoors, malls, restaurants, bars, internet! Buy, buy, buy – it will make you happy! That’s the message we are fed, and led to believe. What that does in turn – makes us more and more materialistic. If only I had Nokia Lumia 800, instead of the Nokia N8? — though you got the phone only a few months ago. If only I could go to Greece – even though you went on a vacation to Spain just last year. Once you go down the path of materialism, there is no stopping, and no peace of mind. The important thing is you will never be satisfied. So what’s the way out — Escape materialism. And how?

Don’t let money control you

If you let money control you, it will soon start controlling you. It’s like drinking. Once you reach a point, nothing you drink after that is going to give you any more pleasure. Just hoarding money isn’t going to make you any happier. Rather look at all the philanthropists who have been giving away their money. You don’t have to do the same –you just need to understand the reason why these people felt they have to indulge in charity. It gives them pleasure to give money to people who are less fortunate than them. Always consider people who have less than you before you think of buying anything new. That’s all.

Skip commercials on TV and chuck magazines

Whenever there’s a commercial, get away or change the channel. You don’t need to watch silly commercials and get tempted. And those magazines with pages and pages of ads for perfumes and shoes and expensive suits? Chuck them. Replace them with books. They will make you more intellectual and will stimulate your mind, rather than emptying your wallet.

Don’t go to a mall to pass time

If you want to kill time, don’t go to a mall. That is no place for entertainment. Because window shopping more often than not leads to a purchase, because “that just looks so damn good.” Stay away from temptation if you can’t resist it. Go to a park, watch a movie, visit a museum, go hiking up a hill, or go to a library. Engage in something that will enrich you physically or mentally.

Make a note – every time you have an urge to buy

Making a note every time you have an urge to buy will help you in controlling that behavior. Notice if you buy things on an impulse, or is it peer pressure, or you’re shopping to feel happy, or you shop whenever you’re sad, or angry or insecure. It’s like any addiction. You need to go to the root cause of the problem and work your way through that. If you can identify when and why you shop, you can then fix that by addressing it.

Do you really need it?

Before you buy, think if you really need it. Don’t you feel that it’s only the urge, the temptation that gives you that rush, but once you own whatever it is – a pair of jeans or a new phone – you get over it very, very soon? And you want the next new thing. Figure out if you really need something.

Wait it out

If you still think you need that new phone, wait it out. Have patience. Keep a timeline, say 2 weeks, or a month, where you wait and figure out if a purchase is really going to make a difference. If at the end of that period you still feel that yes, this is what you need, then fair enough. Go ahead and buy it.

Clear the garbage

Clear your wardrobe of all that you don’t need. You will realize how much money you have wasted on things you didn’t need in the first place. Not just wardrobe, even electronic junk. Once you get to see the amount of crap you’ve hoarded over the years, you will think twice before you buy anything new.

It is okay to want good things in life, but to go bonkers over money and clothes and gadgets, not cool. Keep a tab.

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