6 Ways To Conquer Materialism


maseratiIt’s a staple of our world. We love stuff. We measure our wealth in stuff. We show off our worth with stuff. But, wouldn’t it be nice to conquer that materialism and rise above the rest? What would it be like to live in a time and place where we didn’t waste money keeping up with the Joneses?

Having a nice home with all the trimmings is great, don’t get me wrong. However, if we all started to focus on what really mattered, we could save so much money in the long run, and our net worths would go through the roof.

Of course, it’s never easy navigating through a world where advertisements encourage us to buy things at every turn. So, below I’ve listed 6 ways to conquer materialism once and for all.

1. Limit Watching TV

TV is one of the worst contributors to materialism. Our favorite stars wear beautiful clothes. Our favorite movies have fast cars. 16 year olds are having million dollar birthday parties. And, let’s not even talk about the commercials in between. While it’s unreasonable to request that everyone turn off the TV all the time, limiting the time you sit in front of it can do wonders for your outlook on life. (I speak from experience. I haven’t had a TV in my house in over a year.)

2. Take a Walk

Walking through nature is a great way to experience the beauty of the world. Breathe in the fresh air. Focus on using all five senses. Remind yourself that your worth isn’t measured by how much money you make or the possessions you own.   Go home feeling refreshed.

3. Chat About The Weather

One of our biggest downfalls when it comes to materialism is unfortunately, our friends. Some of them just can’t help talking about their latest purchases, their new watches, or their expensive furniture. While we know intellectually that these friends could have outrageous debt, constantly talking about possessions can make us jealous, bitter, and worse, make us want to catch up.   Switch the topic to something more neutral, and if they don’t get the hint, try to minimize your time with them.

4. Unsubscribe to Deal❠E-mails

I seriously used to get about 12 e-mails a day from all these deal sites. The worst ones are the deals❠that go away every few minutes. These sites are brilliant in that they make us want to hurry up and buy something. And, unfortunately, many of us can easily justify a purchase if it really is on sale. Most of the time, however, you wouldn’t even know you wanted the item until you saw what a good deal it was. Unsubscribe to the e-mails one at a time and breathe easy.

5. Don’t Shop For Fun

It’s been engrained in our culture that shopping is fun.❠Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a 25 year old chick. I used to think shopping was a great time. However, more often than not I would regret my purchases. I would buy something just to keep up with a trend or because it was on sale. Malls are like one big advertisement for everything our culture says we should have. Use the money you would have spent on clothes for a date night with your favorite person.

6. Choose Classic Accessories

A nice leather bag or a dark pair of dress pants go a long way. Although all of us would probably like to have nice labels on everything we wear, have confidence in classic designs. You and I both know we don’t need a special tag that tells everyone how much we spent. Plus, many items are made in the same factories in the same places; they just have different tags. This is the hardest lesson of all to implement, but success in this endeavor means you’re well on your way to conquering materialism once and for all.  

What are some other ways that you try to stay away from materialism?

photo by DeusXFlorida

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Written by Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for various personal finance websites, she enjoys sharing her frugal and fabulous adventures on her blog, BudgetBlonde.com.

Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for various personal finance websites, she enjoys sharing her frugal and fabulous adventures on her blog, BudgetBlonde.com.

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