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Dealing with Materialism

Debt is quickly becoming an epidemic in Australia.
However, through the past 20 years, Australia has not seen such large domestic growth.
Our citizens have higher salaries now than their predecessors, yet personal debt continues to rise.

Why is this happening?
I believe that the number one reason of increasing personal debt is a disease that called materialism.

What is Materialism?

It is a disease characterized by the insatiable appetite of the common citizen to have more and more things in their home.
I've seen this disease first hand with my loving wife.
No matter how many picture frames, candle holders, and kitchen appliances that we have, my wife will continue to bring home more.

Materialism is this constant craving for more.
More clothes, larger cars, larger homes, bigger tvs.
The effects of the disease are easily seen in the bank statements.
With the larger homes comes the larger mortgages, and with the bigger tvs come the larger credit lines.

Why do people develop materialism?
I believe that people develop this disease because of a general decrease in the appreciation of the things that they already have.
Simply wanting something to own it has become a sufficient reason to purchase items now.
It doesn't matter if it won't be used but once a year, if that much.
The pure ownership of the item has its one intrinsic value that is worth the ever increasing debt.

Unfortunately, materialism is also incredibly contagious.
This is "keeping up with the Joneses".
As prideful citizens, our own self-worth decreases on the accomplishments of others.
We also want what is best for our own children.
If our neighbor sends their children to private schools, we feel an urging to send our children to private schools.
Our children deserve everything that our neighbor's children have, right?
What most people fail to realize is that their neighbors most likely have large credit debts that we wouldn't wish upon ourselves for the world.

I believe that the cure for materialism is two-fold.
First, we make a list of things that we need and want.
Every item in the want list needs to be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10 on how valuable it is, how many people it benefits, and how often it would be used.
Items can be added to this list only 4 times a year.
This way, whims are eliminated.
Second, you need to clean out your garage, closets, and underneath your beds.
The shear amount of things that you will find will disgust you!
I have found no quicker way to eliminate my material cravings than cleaning through what I already have.


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