Why stop buying stuff

Following up from this post, here are the main reasons that come to mind for me to quit buying stuff:

  1. To allow more free time: I don’t shop much, so I reallocate that time to other pursuits I enjoy. I also don’t have to spend time earning extra money to buy the extra stuff. That’s time saved too.
  2. To buy more experiences: Since I have more time and cash as a result of not spending both to accumulate more stuff, I can spend my time and money on doing things, exciting things, instead.
  3. To give more away: Or if I don’t want to spend more on myself, I can give more away. I can give stuff, like jackets and purses and DVDs or whatever, but that kind of conflicts with not buying new stuff. So I prefer to give experiences – like tours or traveling or theme parks or regular parks – or just buy lunch more often.
  4. To save more stuff: I’m not really a conservationist, in the normal sense of the word. But if a habit I would change anyway can further benefit the environment or society, I’m all for it. Think of this more as a benefit, a bonus even, than a reason for buying less.
  5. To live more flexibly: Without stuff, I can move. Anytime. Sure, social commitments can seem even more challenging than physical commitments, but without the physical limitation of having to haul around, say, a love seat, the social ties feel much more flexible.
  6. To appreciate more: I’ve never purposely gone without running water, but I know when it happens on accident, I definitely appreciate that water more. Same thing when I need to use a restroom. Same thing when I hold my breath. And same thing when I stop buying.

Conventional wisdom says more is better, which is why a lot of us continue to buy more and work more and stress more to get more. In a perfect world with no trade-offs, maybe more would always be better.

In this world, though, you and I have to trade. I like this trade more.