If you’re wondering like me and everyone else about the above, you’re in the same boat as the majority of people, especially the breadwinners of families! The problem lies in the fact which is stated beautifully in a Hadith [sayings of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)] – “If Adam’s son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two valleys, for nothing fills his mouth except dust. And Allah forgives him who repents to Him.” So, I hope you understood the fact of the matter. A wo/man is never satisfied until s/he dies and dust (soil) enters her/his mouth. People, at least a majority of them never stop buying things. I wish everyone adapts the management principle, Just in Time (JIT) – you don’t buy a thing unless it’s essential. And you buy it in the nick of the moment. Because ‘money saved’ is ‘money earned’.
Why should we do this? Because otherwise, you keep on accumulating things oftentimes which you don’t even touch in ages. Ok, agreed you might say – “No, I’ll use these things later” and what not! But why even buy things which you might just use once and keep away for ages only to be used later that too very occasionally. And so many things and items you keep on accumulating – all this might seem a wee bit OK as long as you’re staying in your own house. But what if you stay in a rented place after having rented out your place (i.e., if you own one). On the one hand, you might be tempted (especially if you have a large collection of items/things) to just dump everything in your place, carry only the bare essentials, and go and stay wherever you like. However, this isn’t possible – for one, we’re accustomed to semi-/luxury items like a dining table, sofa set, etc. and you want them to be available at every place we stay. So, we have to carry the great ‘circus’ of items/things with us. Secondly, if the items/things are left in your place, there’s the risk of termites, rodents, etc. playing havoc with the items. And lastly, who would want to miss out on the rent one can avail if your own house is rented out? So, this process of shifting continues until one zeros in upon the ‘perfect’ rented place! Why this process of shifting? Because numerous other actors/actresses come into play when you stay in rented places – owners, neighbors, etc. More on that in another article.
But shifting comes with its own set of problems. There’s a cost factor involved in shifting – even if it’s to a house just in the next lane. And there’s always the risk of damage/loss of items.
Some of the main problems with our society today are hypocrisy and ‘false’ prestige! Oh, how do we tend to live our entire lives bound by the rules of society? Of course, when one lives in a society, one has to follow the rules, right? Obviously, yes. But people generally ‘copy-cat’ the entire lifestyles of others (the majority of the people). No one gives a damn about another person, no one feeds anyone except the Almighty and only by His will. Then why should you live your entire life according to the rules set by others? See, less is definitely ‘sexy’ and ‘beautiful’. Fewer items/things mean fewer headaches. Similarly, money in moderate or even a little bit less than the required will never do any harm at all! Instead, it is always better and, in all ways, too. There’s this classic analogy of our life being like in a boat/ship in an ocean. An ocean is very large, it contains huge amounts of water. Similarly, we live in a world that is full of money and riches. So, the water in the ocean is equivalent to money and riches. One would want as much water in our boat/ship as is necessary – anything in excess will drown the latter. And I can give you thousands of such analogies, but is anyone willing to listen? No, not at all. Everyone wants to accumulate, or let me say, hoard as much money/riches as possible in their lives as is possible. This leads to several inherent problems – just taking care of your excess money/riches becomes a huge headache for you!
Let me give you another example – these days everyone owns a motorcycle – and every house has not less than two motorcycles. A house rarely has just one motorcycle or none at all! Yes, there are very few people who possess just a bicycle for moving around. Maybe they have one extra bicycle. But how many people have the guts to move around on a bicycle? That was the hypocrisy I was talking about earlier. People spend their entire lives thinking what will the other person think if they do like this? And speaking about cars, as all of you know, earlier, cars used to be a luxury – now, they’ve become a necessity. And let me not discuss here the number of cars/luxury cars that the ultra-rich people own!
Shopping a.k.a. ‘Shaving’ – yes, if not done properly, shopping is the shaving of your hard-earned money/savings. What can one do about this? Fortunately, online shopping is a great rescuer of this. And going out shopping can be avoided in the first place. Because the majority of the shopping is done on impulse (impulse buying). But these days, for the majority of people (especially women and kids but men too are not immune to this!), shopping is like therapy – of course, a costly one at that if one has no control over it. And with credit cards and Buy now, pay later (BNPL) concepts being made available to people, they just buy amok in shopping malls, restaurants, and wherever else possible.
What can one do about this? Nothing much except making your partner and kids understand that money doesn’t grow on trees! Usually, in a family, one partner is a spendthrift and the other is thrifty/frugal. In such cases, the spendthrift should help his/her partner and the kids understand the value of money, how difficult it is to earn it, etc. But what if both of them are spendthrifts? Then GOD ALMIGHTY save them both and their kids!