Balancing My Consumer Existence

So much colour, so few people…

Some weeks ago I had to pick up my drivers permit. After taking care of that I went in a consumer electronics store to satisfy my vain curiosity. I wanted to check out some camera lenses and left with a music CD. No big deal and yes that Simon And Garfunkel album was worth it. Balancing my consumer existence is like hiding my wallet in plain sight.

I am a hypocrite. Everybody in a wealthy economy where even people with a low-income can still shop every once in a while understands this. My ideal is to spend as little as possible on silly and unnecessary products and services. Sometimes you simply want to satisfy that urge to bring something new home.

Additionally like myself, many people have hobbies that keep them occupied. I am a collector of music and books (among others). Because budget and time are limited I take it slow. Yet sometimes something comes along and you stretch your limits for that one exception (it happens). Ever heard of “new toy syndrome”? It is powerful so beware.

In the past years I have been broke a few times and I had to sell off some hobby valuables. Would I do it again if necessary? Yes, bills and groceries come before everything else. You learn to buy only what you really appreciate. What has present and future value becomes significant.

When there is a hobby with specific status items and or levels you can set those as end goals. Last year I caught the watch bug. I had to set an end goal. For that end goal I have to save up and work hard. When I achieve that goal I quit the hobby and enjoy my small collection. It keeps me from becoming broke.

Spend too much and you are broke. Spend nothing and you only have money (so at least invest it in that case). Fun versus cash-flow, opportunity-cost analysis and calculations follow. Good thing I bought those dark roast coffee beans.

The customer existence is a balancing act…