Conscious consumerism was much easier when I didn’t have the money

After arriving to Denmark, I couldn’t find a proper job. I did what any other decent student would do: cleaned, babysitted, distributed flyers to be able to pay my rent. I lived from paycheck to paycheck so it’s needless to say I never had money for the hottest FENTY shoes or new Iphone something. Honestly, I stopped craving them. By having no money I learned how to be grateful for what I already have and focus on the small things that make me happy, instead of longing for expensive excess stuff.

When I moved to Copenhagen in September my life had changed. I was lucky enough to find a proper job, I have a steady monthly income so I don’t have to worry about rent and food any more. Indeed, I have some extra money I have no idea how to handle.

For some people it’s not even a question: obviously spend it all, buy whatever comes in your way. Well, that is not something I can do. I’m not going to spend money just because I can, I want to spend money because I have a reason to do so.

In the past two years I’ve become a conscious consumer out of necessity, a budget minimalist and I loved it. I experienced all the benefits of consuming less and living more. Even though I have some money to spare now, I don’t want to go back to the old mindless spending phase. Yet I feel some kind of pressure looking at all those numbers on my account. I even tried to buy my way out of a heartbreak. Dreadful.

This shows I profoundly need to learn how to keep my mind focused and not let it influenced by artificially engineered desires. I have my process of how to stay a conscious consumer in the hard times.

After I lay my eyes on a thing

  • My conscious\minimalist side asks: Do I really need this?
  • My environmental conscious side asks: How sustainable is this?
  • My economical side asks: Can I afford it?

Then I spend days answering this questions, making lists of pros and cons, visualizing my life with and without the object, asking my friends and family for support. After all the sweat I usually decide not to buy the thing.

This is a very time and energy consuming process, but I believe it is only the adjusting period. When you suddenly have money to spend and you want to pamper yourself but at the same time want to stay true to your minimalist values. In a few months, when I got used to this new situation, resisting such urges won’t be difficult at all.

Have you experienced something like this? I’m interested in your stories so please share.

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One thought on “Conscious consumerism was much easier when I didn’t have the money

  1. Yes – I’ve experienced that too! I mentioned it at the end of a post (I’ll put a link below in case you’d like to read it) which takes a look at the questions of “is there such a thing ethical consumerism under capitalism?” and “ethical consumerism is only for the wealthy” – it’s the opposite, it’s actually easier to be an ethical consumer (or non-consumer) on limited money! https://greenstarsproject.org/2017/12/04/is-there-such-a-thing-as-ethical-consumerism-under-capitalism/

    Like

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