Is Spending Money on Too Many “Things” a Problem?

I like to treat myself to expensive products four or five times a year. Last year, I bought an iPhone 8, an Apple Pencil, and a laptop. (Plus, one more item I’ll talk about later.)

Some people would look at me and say, “Do you really need all of those things?”

No. I don’t need them.

But I wanted them.

I don’t want “stuff” because I believe they’ll bring me joy. I don’t think they’ll solve my problems and compel me to take action I’ve been too afraid to take.

I wanted the Apple merchandise, yes, but I also believed they would help me.

I bought a phone in January of last year because I hadn’t owned a phone in two years. Having a phone helps calm dads who like to know you’re, you know, alive when you’re out with friends.

I bought a laptop because it made working with UpWork clients easier. This was before iPads got a much-needed update.

The Apple Pencil was — okay, that was an unnecessary splurge. (What can I say? I fuck up now and then.)

The point is: I like buying what the world considers “unnecessary things.” For a long time, I wondered if that was an issue.

Was I trying to prove something to myself? To others? Was I too obsessed with materials?

The answer, yet again, is no. It’s not that deep.

I value efficiency.

Late last year, I bought a Freewrite — a nearly $600 modern typewriter that has no access to the Internet for distraction-free writing.

The Freewrite is an absolute miracle. I went from writing one article in too-long of time because of distractions to writing two pieces in a little over two hours every morning.

I can focus on writing, which is all I ever wanted.

My first “expensive” purchase this year will be a Kindle. It’ll be easier to read on the go and check out books from Libby when I can’t go to the library.

See? Efficiency. I love products that make my life easier. I don’t spend because I like to waste money, but for a reason.

You probably spend just as much money as me but in different ways.

Perhaps you value fashion, so you’ll spend a couple of hundred bucks on a beautiful sweater. There’s nothing wrong with someone who has a closet with too many clothes if they value them.

Any readers out there? Some people buy new books every month, and let me tell you — books ain’t cheap.

Everyone enjoys spending money on different “stuff.” My mom thought I was insane for buying a Freewrite, but I think she’s crazy when she spends money on makeup.

There’s nothing wrong with buying what you want unless you’re doing it to prove something or because you think it will make you happier.

The things you buy can, technically, make you happier as long as you enjoy them. I adore reading, so purchasing a kindle will bring me joy because I’ll have easier access to books. (I don’t like reading from my phone because of eye-strain.)

If you dislike reading, and you buy a kindle because you like the idea of reading, it won’t make you happy. It’ll stay on your shelf and gather dust.

“Things” and happiness are difficult to talk about as a pair. However, one thing is for sure: materials won’t fill the hole within you.

If you’re deeply unhappy, and you purchase expensive goods you don’t care about, you will remain unhappy. That’s why people say money can’t buy happiness.

Money can buy happiness, I believe, if you spend it right. You can’t purchase items for no reason. Either you purchase a product because:

  1. You need it
  2. It will genuinely make you happy, or
  3. It will make your life easier and add value.

That’s it.

So, don’t spend money on shit you don’t care about. Invest it in something that will genuinely bring you joy — no matter what that may be.

There’s nothing wrong with buying “things.” Just don’t spend more than you have, and you’re good to go.

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