Monday, November 30, 2020

This Weekend...I'm Not Shopping

It seems I may be the only person not shopping this weekend based on social media and news reports of everyone going nuts with their shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday but there is literally nothing I need!

About a week before Thanksgiving, sale ads started inundating my email box, blasting through social media, and popping up on every website I visited.  It seems like right after Thanksgiving, these ads increased ten-fold.  By that point I was fed up with the entire idea of shopping.

The reasons I don't feel like shopping this year include...

  • I have everything I need.  Clothes, check.  Cell phone, tablet, laptop...check, check, check.  Shoes and walking/hiking gear...check, check.
  • I feel better about my phone.  I always like to have the latest and greatest cell phone but at $1000+ for a new Samsung Galaxy phone, the price is getting pretty ridiculous.  Especially since I really don't use my cell phone for much more than texting and calling a few people as well as taking pictures.  Besides, one of the top tech guys was asked what his favorite Android phone is and he said that the three-generation-old Galaxy S8 is his favorite which is the phone I have!
  • I want a specific tablet which isn't available.  I have a great tablet (a 10" Galaxy Tab S6...a tablet many people think is better than the newer S 7s) but what I really want is an 8" Android tablet with great specs.  Currently my only options for an 8" tablet are an Apple iPad Mini (I don't like Apple products) or a Huawei M6 8" (due to the government ban, Google play and US apps won't work on this tablet) so I don't want to settle on a tablet that is "just OK" which means no tablet buying until they come out with something I really really want.
  • We are generally low-tech people.  Aside from the usual cell phones/tablets/laptops, we are pretty much low-tech.  No Roomba (I actually like vacuuming), no smart assistant like Siri or Alexa devices, our TVs are around ten years old and are still working fine, and hubby keeps asking if I want a Kitchen Aid mixer because I bake a lot but I prefer to use my hands.
  • Good enough is good enough.  There will always be something better out there but most often, something that is good enough is better than continually buying the latest and greatest.  Take ear buds for example.  I have a pair of generic earbuds that cost around $25 and work just fine for the infrequent times I use them.  There are a lot of good ear buds on sale now--the Galaxy buds Live, Galaxy buds Plus, and Galaxy buds Pro--which are on sale for $100+ but based on how often I use them (hardly ever), how I use them (listening to YouTube videos, not listening to or editing music tracks), and how much I care about what other people think about the name brands I use (not at all), there is really no need to upgrade to a "better" pair of earbuds.  Then there are the WTF were they thinking earbuds that cost $2799(!?!) that I guess are for the wealthy who have run out of things to spend their money on.  Buying what meets your own unique needs is better than being swayed by the media to continually buy more and better (read more expensive) things.
  • Hubby is the voice of reason.  It's our 30th anniversary today so for 34 years (the length of time we have been together...we met the weekend before Thanksgiving in 1986 and moved in together the weekend after Thanksgiving in 1986!), hubby has been the voice of reason and knows me too well.  First I will see something I like, then I will research it to death, then I will decide I really need the item, then I will tell hubby I really need said item, then hubby will say "but you already have similar item", then hubby will say "go get it if you really need it but you know we could put the money to better use...".  Then I will stew about it and decide that spending money wisely is probably better than spending it on something I will be bored with in a few months.  Occasionally I will decide that I definitely need to buy something (like the $800 I spent on a Dell XPS laptop which was more than I had ever spent on a laptop before but I am happy to report it lasted me for four years then I passed it on to a relative who is still using it eight years after I purchased it!), but more often than not, after much thought, I decide not to buy every item that snags my attention...which is a good thing in the grand scheme of things.
  • I am surely and steadily moving towards a more simple living/minimalistic/anti-consumption/buy-it-for-life/zero-waste lifestyle.  This means less shopping, less wastefulness, and buying one good product (hopefully with multiple uses) and using it for a long time instead of buying several of the same or similar products that just take up space, waste money, and aren't used often.
This is just my take on cutting back on consumerism in general.  For some people, shopping is their happiness and if they can afford it, they should make themselves happy.  For many people, however, their shopping woes can be summed up in 'The Overspent American', 'Affluenza', and 'Your Money or Your Life'.

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