Sunday, January 17, 2010

Be Content With What You Have

Tip #224 - Be Content With What You Have - Strive to be happy with the things you have. If you are not content with what you have, then you will spend money on things that you think will make you happy. Having the latest and greatest of anything - whether it be kitchen appliances, fashion, or electronics - will only cost you money. And wanting to have the latest will only set you up for a cycle of buying and discarding to upgrade your possessions every few months or years. Years ago, when families made a big purchase, the purchase was usually a thought-out, planned purchase. In addition, the things they bought were intended to last a long time. A kitchen appliance was bought to last a decade or more. The same could be said for a television or telephone. Today the life expectancy of a product is much shorter, and not just because it might not be built as well, but because the features on them are imporoved upon much more quickly.

It is these features or styles that many of us feel that we need to have. Last year's model isn't good enough for us. Black kitchen appliances? So 1990's. We need stainless to make us happy. A cell phone larger than our fist? How can we lug around such an outdated electronic? Two-year old car? We need one with the latest gizmos on it. This discontent with older models of items are costing us lots of money.

I find that the less you watch "Home and Garden" shows, the less you want a big, fancy home. The the less you watch t.v. about upscale families, the less you want the fancy cars and and expensive appliances. The less you read fashion magazines, then the less you think your things are shabby or out-of-date. The less you read electronics magazines, the less you want the latest t.v., GPS, IPhone, or other gizmo. Let's stop thinking about our purchases as short-term products, and let's learn to be content with older models or not the latest styles. Be content with a car that allows you to drive from point A to point B. After all, that is the function of the car, not the latest GPS unit inside. Be happy with classic styles; you don't need to look like you are walking down a Milan runway when you go out to dinner. Be content with a kitchen that has appliances that do their job. It is unlikely that you need professional-grade ones unless you are opening a restaurant. When we learn to be content with what we have, we will spend a lot less.

In Real Life (IRL) - I am not one to be on top of the latest fads. I am driving a 2002 car. I have white appliances in my house along with 50-year old cabinets and a laminate floor. My cell phone is two years old and cannot access the Internet or take any pictures. My clothes consist of jeans and pants and simple shirts. I am okay with all that. Do I ooh and aah when I see a home on t.v. with granite counter-tops? Sure I do. Does my husband dream of owning a car that has fold down seats and the latest tracking devices? You betcha! Do we talk about replacing our cell phones with a fancy Blackberry or Iphone. Of course, we do. But we will do those things when our current products are no longer working. We are happy that our cars are running, our appliance help us cook our meals, and we have a cell phone to use in emergencies. While all of the upgraded features would be nice to have, they just fulfill a temporary need for the latest and greatest and becomes out of date when the new "latest" comes along.

Our items generally get replaced when they wear out, not when we tire of them. So we learn to be content with what we have. Doing so keeps us from spending money needlessly on products we don't need. How about you? Are you happy with what you have? Or do you want to spend mony on the latest and greatest products?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So true! I have a 4 year old cell phone that works perfectly well (although it doesn't access the internet or have a texting keyboard), and I'm holding onto it until it beeps its last beep. We just bought a "new" car - a 2002!