The road to being a minimalist is not easy, but has its pleasures. When you look at a branded item and see the price at X and decide that you will not have it because it is ‘2 months effort’, it means you are that much closer to financial freedom if you do not buy it!! Not many people translate every amount of money to ‘time saved in the office’. Sad, but true.
And funnily we get impressed by a few wrong things too…or we think they do. Lets see what has changed:
- In the early 1990s you needed to buy branded shirts because the ‘less’ branded ones would fail at a crucial time. Not any more. Color Plus, Arrow, Van Heusen, Peter England, Cambridge – the functional utility is the same, and the quality of workmanship has gone up. I remember a 1990s conversation with a gora who was wearing a shirt..another banker looked at that shirt and said nice shirt..good finish..I am sure you got it from Marks and Spencer! It turned out to be an Indian shirt. Zodiac. Kill the branded shirt, today the brands are all equal, and the gap in pricing is hardly justified.
- The carats in the jewellery: Well, less that a man speaks about it the better. I am still searching for the ordinary woman who can find out the difference between artificial diamonds and real diamonds. Gold, at best is a wasting asset. Who is impressed? Not the kids who are in their 20s. They prefer cheaper stuff which can be used carelessly. So forget the carats and the gold tonnage!
- The brand of the car: Again a lot of technology and manufacturing catch up have ensured that the ‘brand’ of the car does not really matter much. If you must get a car (Uber, Ola, Meru,..have ensured that you do not need it, right?) go for a car that suits your need. If you need to make long journeys regularly get a big car so that you get adequate rest on the back seat. However, if you are planning to make short trips in the city a smaller car easy to park may actually make more sense. Not too many of the youngsters are impressed by the brand. On the other hand these kids do pick expensive bikes (oops contradiction, did you say). In fact as responsible citizens of the world we should move towards a better public transport instead of seeking this personalised private transport.
- The square feet size of your house: Since the day the caveman was considered a better provider if he had a bigger and better cave, we continue to judge success by the size of the home! Stop being carried away by the location and size of the house. Honestly it is a completely wrong ‘social success formula’.
- The amount of money in the bank: I keep feeling that if God had an ‘auto publishing’ of your net worth on our foreheads, we will stop pretending! To the outside world how should it matter how much money you have? or even to your family? or friends? Most of us have more than what we require. So what? What changes or what gives? Just forget this number. Only your CA should be interested in this number for your taxation.
- The number of stickers on your suitcases. Did you know that there are some people who love to keep the various hotels, and airports stickers on their suitcases for a long time? Whom are you trying to impress? the fellow co-passenger? the taxi driver in a location that you may never visit again? Gimme a break.
- A new status symbol is to ‘Retire Young’: Frankly if your retirement is a push retirement (your job is boring so you want to quit) and not a pull retirement (your hobbies are demanding) the chances are you will get bored soon. Keep the job as long as you can keep it for. Retirement is a function of many things, one of them is money. The rest is attitude. Nothing to do with ego / pride / an item to show off.
- The number of friends on Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter – unless you are converting all this to an income stream, forget it.
Lets impress people with our lives, not our things. Believe me, nobody is busy judging you. They are busy wondering how YOU are judging them!!
my most read post of 2015 has been this: http://www.subramoney.com/2015/06/advantages-of-simple-living/
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