Anything in excess is bad. Materialism, afflicting both, the rich and the poor, is in every way self-destructive. There is a strong relation between being materialistic and feeling empty, unhappy. We have a real problem on our hand when we couple materialism with our fintech boom, where you can easily get a loan with a few taps on your bank’s mobile app. A study showed that millenials today are more likely to take loans to pay for holidays.

Indulgence is not a problem in itself. Also borrowing is not a problem. But when indulgence and borrowing lead to other areas of our life getting affected and we are unable to repay loans, that’s when things start going haywire. Living beyond our means, spending when we don’t have a job that pays for what we splurge on, are often to maintain a facade of “I am doing well in life” to our friends and family.

What happens next is we fall into the vicious cycle of getting more and more things…I recall this funny video I saw sometime back which illustrates exactly what happens when we can keep wanting more.

Our worth is not determined by what we have, our worth is not determined by what we wear, our worth is not determined by the car or bike we drive. Do we really need 20 T-shirts or 10 pairs of shoes or the latest iPhone or the new Play Station?

Is my happiness REALLY going to increase in the long term after buying this new thing?

Three valuable pieces of advice I am grateful for and thankfully these were given to me just as I was about to start working.

  1. Put at least half of your salary into savings – fixed deposits, mutual funds, ppf etc.
  2. Don’t buy things when you are emotional
  3. When you want to buy something:
    • Check if you really need it
    • Wait a week
    • If you still want it in a week, check your budget
    • If you have the budget, then you are good to go

Honestly I find it very difficult to track my spending and keep a budget. I have explored a lot of the apps that are supposed to make this easy. However, the one thing I do is to ensure my SIPs are setup correctly and my utility bills are paid at the start of the month so that I don’t have to worry about having enough to save.

At the end of the day, the key is finding balance between appreciating what you have and only getting what you really need. Let’s strive to work on achieving happiness from deep within, completely independent from what we own!

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