I am beginning to realise that the stuff you buy will eventually break, tear, discarded. The fleeting happiness of owning new stuff may feel good, but it is ultimately short lived. I have also come to realise that it feeds this negative feedback loop of wanting to buy even more stuff just keep one happy. And it can be quite self destructive. More things in life makes life more complicated.
And so my mantra for 2014/2015 is to buy experience, not stuff. Experience would be attending a symphony performance, an art’s performance, a museum, a play, trying new things, travel and ultimately, certain items that would bring in new and exotic experiences. The stuff that I am going to buy eventually, have to ultimately meet these new and existing criterias.
– It would need to serve a need, or enhance a particular need.
– The need would have to be met with urgency. If purchase can be delayed, delay as much as possible or when better opportunity arises that would enhance that need even greater.
– If would have to add a new or enhance a particular experience.
– When buying big ticket items, a cooling off period needs to be met to reflect upon all the points made above. This would also allow time to explore possible new and creative alternatives that could add value to the overall experience.
An example of a particular ‘stuff’ that I bought:
Asics Gel Kayano 20 running shoe.
Top of the line running shoe.
Need Factor: Medium, as my current running $80 Mizuno running shoe that I have been using for the past year is still functional
Rational for buying: The running shoe has clocked an almost 600km of running. It is starting to wear out in terms of the level of cushioning it provided during running. In order to protect my ankles and knees, it is important that I invest in a pair of shoes that provides better, longer lasting cushion and stability, to mitigate knee problems in the future. As I have created a habit of running regularly, it is quite urgent in meeting that need. Also, investing in a better shoe would also enhance my experience in running, motivating me further to run more often and continue running in my exercise regime. Getting a better shoe would also ensure that it is longer lasting and withstand a distance of 1000km (66% further in terms of running distance than my current shoe has clocked) or more before getting a new pair, and I intend to commit to that before getting a new pair of running shoes. The Asics Gel Kayano has a long track record (20 years) of providing good quality running shoes for athletes. I intend to use that shoe for at least 2 years. I have confidence that it would last even longer than that.
Available opportunities to enhance the need or experience: Find a alternative source to buy the shoe that would provide significant savings that buying locally. In the end, after much research, Amazon is one of cheapest online store that sells the shoe. Ultimately, I saved $80 just by getting it online. As for the old shoe, I can still use it for running on really wet pavements after a heavy downpour, general outdoor sports,travel or when I am required to get down and dirty (trekking, paintballing, etc).
Total duration from research to purchase: 4 weeks, with additional 2 weeks shipping.
An example of a particular stuff that I “want”
Tissot PRS516 Automatic Watch.
An elegant looking watch from a reputable swiss watchmaker that is automatic and a transparent sapphire glass backing to allow the internal of the watch to be seen.
Need factor: Very low, as I am not a huge fan of wearing watches all the time and I already have a nice looking watch that is still functioning great. It’s been 6 years since I got that watch.
Rational for buying: Looks elegant and adult looking. Simple yet beautiful to anyone who actually pays attention to what you wear and how you dress. Complements your executive and office style looks and because it is automatic, it is long lasting, possible 10 to 15 years or more. The fact that it is an automatic watch with a clear sapphire glass backing for under $1000, makes this watch value for money.
Total duration from research to purchase: 3 months and counting.
In the end, I have decided to delay the purchase. After having saved for 3 months to get the watch, I decided to use that savings to buy experience, instead of the watch. My watch is still functional and I will continue to use it till it’s broken. I will only buy if the need is upgraded or I have extra savings to treat myself.