Hello, I’m a recovering consumer. I have used several techniques to battle my disease and I thought I would share them with you. Hopefully I can save just one other individual with this horrible disease.
First off, what is consumption addiction? I don’t know what the technical definition is, but for me it’s a cross between an obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. It starts when I get depressed and I want to feel better. So, in order to do that legally, I shop. I may shop for books, gadgets, online/offline, whatever. Doesn’t matter. The pattern of how it starts and refuses to stop is the problem.
What happens is, I get depressed, then I get a wild hair that I have to have something. It can be anything. I then start a very deep plunge into researching that thing. I’ll look at consumer reports, google results, online reviews, ebay and craigslist items, new, used, local, remote, everything. I’ll then make an absolute decision regarding the purchase and stop. Dead. I back off the whole project and tell myself: If I still want it this badly in 7 days, then I’ll buy it.
That’s how I cured myself of obsessive compulsive consumption. If I still want it in 7 days, then I’ll give in to the urge. 99% of the time, I have no interest 7 days later. This mentality has saved me a fortune. First step? Realize you have the same problem (if you indeed do).
The reason I bring this up now is my wife just did the very same behavior. She didn’t know it at the time, but she successfully short circuited the desire to buy. She went into an Ikea looking for bedding and came out to the register area with a whole shopping cart full of random goodies. She stood in line and had a moment of clarity: do I REALLY need any of this? She pushed the full cart aside and walked out of Ikea.
Now, it’s true that some store workers will have to place all that stuff back. But isn’t that the purpose of a job in the first place? To have purpose? So, I don’t see this method as a particularly bad thing.
So, there you go. The solution to the consumption problem is to indulge your mind in the IDEA that a purchase is being made then to quietly back away at the last minute and simply walk away from the purchase. Your mind gets the rush from the hunt, your pocket book gets saved from the onslaught, and the earth is saved from refuse that it does not need.