Buying Only What You Need
11 March 2004
(U-WIRE) ATLANTA, Ga. – For a long time I have thought about giving away everything I own and starting over. Complete liquidation of assets — the creation of a tabula rasa for a capitalist system.
Living by only buying what I need. Somehow, I think you don’t miss the little things when you have nothing at all. "Boy, I sure would like to listen to my The Get Up Kids CD. Oh wait, I don’t have any CD’s."
My parents really need to take this mentality to their refrigerator. Just throw everything away, for chrissake — the dead fruits and vegetables, the forgotten jars of relish and preserves. Begin again from square one: "I would like to have eggs and orange juice for breakfast tomorrow. I will go out and buy eggs and orange juice."
Next day: "I would like to have hamburgers for dinner. I will go to the store and buy meat and bread and cheese and ketchup." Then the next time you want hamburgers, you already have ketchup. When that bottle runs out, you go buy a new one, as opposed to having two already open and barren bottles somewhere in the fridge that nobody wants to use, coupled with the brand new bottle that was bought in ignorance of the first two (please tell me everyone else’s parents do this too).
Imagine approaching your entire life like this — "I need a car to get to work. I will go buy a car. Oh wait, I need clothes to wear to work. I will go to the mall and buy clothes." Granted, you spend a few days walking around town hungry and naked until everything falls into place, but isn’t that a small price to play for a lifestyle of minimal possessions?
Just think about it-no more dozens of unworn T-shirts cluttering up your drawers. No more stacks of unread books and magazines. If you need something it’s there waiting for you. Otherwise, well, what good was it doing you anyway?
When I figure out how to get people to buy all the crap I have accumulated in two decades, you all will be the first to know.
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