Many poor and middle income people complain about the rich getting richer, but never stop to ask themselves why this is so. Granted, many wealthy individuals have access to resources–capital, expertise, social networks, and education–that some people don’t.
But a huge contributing factor that enables the rich–more specifically business owners and their shareholders–to become wealthy is the fact that millions of the poor and middle class buy things they don’t need.
These things are manufactured and marketed by business owners and sold in retail stores. The buyers give up their hard-earned cash for a moment’s pleasure, and the business owners reap the rewards.
I’m not advocating the life of a joyless miser, but if you’re trying to become financially independent, a key part of the Old Money life, there are many things you can live without that won’t impact your quality of life in the least.
You’ve seen them advertised, and may have already bought them. You may even at this moment remember some of the useless things you’ve purchased and a day, week or month later wondered, “What was I thinking?”
I don’t know what you were thinking, but, as a public service, I’ve included a few below in hopes that it doesn’t happen again.
Things We Can All Live Without:
The Iced Tea Maker.
The Bread Maker.
The kitchen apron with something clever written on it.
The Food processor (In Old Money kitchens, this is called a knife.)
“Collectibles” of any kind, or anything with the word “commemorative” in its description.
“Must-have” fashion accessories.
The “new look” in fashion that is “trending” this winter/spring/summer/fall.
Any product that promises to make you look younger.
Any product that promises to organize your life.
Any product that promises to be “the last __________ you’ll ever need!”
99% of exercise equipment.
99% of home electronics. (I can’t tell you how many wall-sized flat screen televisions I’ve seen in the living rooms of people living paycheck to paycheck.)
Customized automobile tire rims. Customized automobile anything.
“Collector’s Edition” DVDs, CDs, and anything you pay to keep in “the cloud”, wherever that is.
Glasses, dishes, cookware and silverware that are not used on a regular basis.
Novelty items such as: the Pet Rock, the Singing Big-Mouth Bass, the Chattering Teeth, the Monkey That Plays the Cymbals, the Hula Girl Who Dances on Your Car’s Dashboard, etc.
(The only novelty item that I can endorse is the Edgar Allen Poe Action Figure, which makes me laugh just thinking about it. But that’s just me.)
Any product advertised on television after midnight.
Any product that promises to keep your drinks cold or your love life hot.
And finally, anything you see in an airline magazine.
We buy things we don’t need because we have an emotional void in our lives. That void can be filled by purposeful work, healthy family relationships and friendships and charity.
But don’t worry, if you don’t buy things you don’t need, there will still be rich people out there. The only difference? You just might become one of them.