The Great American Consumerism
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Politics and Activism

The Great American Consumerism

It's not your money to spend.

The Great American Consumerism

Do you ever just want something so badly that it somehow makes it's way on to your credit card bill? Or, how right after you buy something new, you're already looking for a new "new thing" to buy?

I'm a victim of these realities, and don't lie—you are too.

These thoughts arose after my recent purchase of a new Macbook. As you can imagine, my bank account practically cried over the fact I took out so much money for said-beautiful computing contraption (now, dear bank account, just wait until you get my first college bill).

Despite its sending my bank account in a deep depression, I honestly love this marvelous machine so much. (I don't think it has been turned off once since I could claim it as mine. In fact, I write this article from its LED-display keyboard!) However, not even within two days of receiving my new merchandise, I already found myself online shopping, looking for a new sweatshirt. I sit here and wonder, "Why am I like this?" Did I feel guilty for my sweatshirt searching? No, not at all. Should I have? Absolutely—even if I wasn't spending money that was supposed to go toward attending (a very expensive) college—I still should have felt guilty.

I notice that a lot of people in The United States of America, myself included, spend money as if they were millionaires, when really only a small portion are. The words "American Consumerism" string together nicely—surely I'm not the first one to turn the phrase. Money is no longer the reward of a hard working day, but the product people buy with it, is.

When did money become so belittled? If you yourself suffer from American Consumerism, try asking yourself, "Do I truly need this product?" It's something I can attest to—I practiced this exercise just the other day, and it actually worked wonders! In a dire need versus dire want situation, that extra pair of shoes (or that new new paint brush, for all you other art students out there) can be put on the back burner. Put food on the table first; Get ahead on college loan payments (or house payments, car payments, etc.); Put money in the bank, and build your savings.

More often than not, the things that need to be paid or bought, are the things that people want to pay for the least. This is because of the control aspect of consumerism; the ideal world of "I made this money, I should be able to do what I want with it" mentality, but, in reality, that's not how the real world works. At all.

The faster you realize that most (if not all) of your money you get on payday is already spent (on commitments such as car, college and life-sustaining sustenances such as food and water), the better you will be. Don't look at your money as spend-now-pay-bills-later. Because the money you receive is already spenteven if it isn't spent, in the buy-it sense, by you (don't forget, Uncle Sam likes your money just as much as you do).

So for me, at least at this given moment, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy my new purchase. And wait a while before taking my wallet out again—After all, there's still a hole burned in my pocket from the last time I used it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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