This is going to be a fairly long post, split into two parts.
The next part of my self improvement adventure is to reduce my consumer behaviour. I already talked a lot about reducing the amount of money I spend on food in an earlier article, but I am going to continue in this vain, reducing my consumer behaviour and increasing my productive behaviours.
What is my motivation for reducing/eliminating my own consumer behaviours?
Western society is fundamentally miserable. We want, want, want. We spend aimlessly and thoughtlessly with no thought for our future. Buy consuming we put more money into the pockets of corporations who seek to influence government legislation and have us buy more and more of their products. Spending money is unfulfilling. Producing content, creating and selling products and improving ourselves is much more fulfilling. I’m sick of seeing those around me consume and I’m sick of seeing some of those traits in myself too. Above all I’m eliminating my consumer behaviours in the hope that I can be a happier person. Apologies if this sounds like a rant – That’s because it is one!
The first step in eliminating my own consumer behaviour is looking at what I consume that can be eradicated or reduced to as little as possible:
- Caffeine drinks
- Social Media
- Time spent in nightclubs/bars
- Pop culture
I will happily admit that I have spent a lot of money on clothes. I own entire collections of various brands. Buying these clothes makes me temporarily happy and I will admit I get a long term enjoyment from wearing nice clothes and people telling me how well dressed I am and asking where they can get the threads I wear. On the negative side I have spent far too much money on clothes and realised the other day that realistically I could go a whole year without having to buy any new clothes, with the exception of suits. I may do just that. People buy clothes because they like the feeling of novelty and guess what? That feeling dries up the longer you have your once new clothes for, so you have to buy more clothes to get that feeling.
Again, I’m addicted to Diet Coke and am partial to a lot of other junk drinks. I’ve gone four days without a Diet Coke at the time of writing and I honestly cannot remember when I have gone this long without. If each bottle costs £1, I estimate that I am spending somewhere in the region of £350-£500 a year on this addiction alone. That is staggering and unbelievably it’s something I’ve never really thought much about. On the plus side, I own shares in Coke and Pepsi, so…
This isn’t really financial consumerism but more of a time sink. I shudder to think about the amount of time my use of social networks adds up too, but it must be a lot. Even checking your Facebook for 20 minutes a day adds up to five days a year spent on Facebook. Most people have Twitter, Instagram, etc. Spend 20 minutes each every day and that’s FIFTEEN DAYS a year spent browsing those sites. I discovered what I call Facebook withdrawal – A sinking feeling that happens when you don’t check your Facebook for several days that I suspect is due to lack of Dopamine and possibly a secondary feeling of “Thank God, I’ve escaped”. Who knows. 120 hours of working even at minimum wage is almost £800. When you think of it like that…
Admittedly, these days I’m not so much of a drinker, but I still spend money on booze and it also causes/encourages a myriad of consumer behaviours such as spending money wastefully, eating crap food and doing nothing. Even buying as little as a four pack a week costs £250 a year. And I know people who drink that much every day.
E-Liquid costs nothing compared to cigarettes but if you buy expensive liquids it can still add up. For me kicking cigarettes was the start of a renewed interest in consumer behaviour because it is addictive, costly and not good for you; the three characteristics I think makes up so much of reckless consumerism. I buy all my juice wholesale so I pay about a third of the price and I’m looking at mixing my own juices.
Time spent in nightclubs/bars
I spend a few hours a week at least inside nightclubs and bars. I spend money in these places so I can consume more pussy. That is almost the sole reason I go out. I have plenty of friends and I make plenty of acquaintances and associates anyway. What’s worse is it has held me back from meeting higher quality women because you won’t find quality women in the places I frequent. It’s a harsh truth. When I’m in bars and clubs I’m also spending money on alcohol too. I don’t spend much, but it adds up. Frankly I’ve spent the best part of ten years going out and getting hammered and pulling girls in those kind of environments. I’m bored of it and I don’t want to be hanging out in bars when I’m thirty, either.
We all consume pop culture on some level. Social networks practically shove it down our throats. The same with mainstream media too. Does anyone in the western World not know about Kim Kardashian fathers sex change? More worryingly I know people who know more about the goings on of the Kardashian family than their own. I’ve never been a big consumer of pop culture but I still watch junk on the Internet from time to time and find myself clicking on pop culture related clickbait. Fuck that.
Part II will be published ASAP.