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Commentary

Is Consumerism really bad?

 

When Eicher shot up out of nowhere, a quote that was often seen was that if only the guy who bought an Enfield X years ago had bought the Stock. Today, he would be driving a Harley Davidson instead.

Indian’s are savers, Period. While the old generation feels that the new generation (the Gen Alpha) is spend thrifty and consumerist, the fact remains that even those who seem to spend a lot do end up saving a lot more than what others assume they do.

I have written about this in the past and am sure will write more in the future for there is always a balance between savings and spending. While savings are important, one earns not for the next generation to splurge but to enjoy the moments of today and live life to the fullest.

When people talk about splurging, it’s assumed to be things that aren’t worthwhile based on one’s own philosophies. For instance, Is a Expensive Vacation worth it or not? Or what about buying a Car / Bike / Gadget that one loves. Or eating out regularly not because one doesn’t want to prepare food but wants to taste different things?

One of the dreams of my Grandfather I assume was to travel to Kashi & Rameshwaram. But with many mouths to feed, his own Salary was a pittance (he was a School Teacher) and lack of travel options of today, he was forced to keep postponing until he was financially ready. But by that time, he knew it was not going to happen given his hearing & eyesight constraints.

His biggest splurge at that time was buying (via  Loans) his own home. But even there fate intervened and while he did live for a few years, once his children moved to other cities in search of Jobs, he had little option but to follow them.

Most think that we have the future figured out despite the randomness and uncertainty that bog our daily life. Planning is important and there is no doubt about that, yet because we don’t know all the paths that life may take, there is only so much of a plan we can realistically accomplish.

Retirement for example is a fairly new concept and even this is applicable today to the better off. The body and mind suddenly doesn’t degrade when you reach 60 but as recent research shows is as active

A couple of days ago, Business Insider published this interesting post. While studies that are referenced can be biased due to Data Mining / Bad Data / Sample size factors among many others, it does makes one sit and think about what is all the hullabaloo about Retiring at 60 and spending the rest of life doing nothing (Link to the Article).

If you think that you can accomplish things and earn a living post 60, doesn’t that also mean that you can take Risks at a younger age and one that was deemed not worth because you start using your savings from age of 60?

It’s easy to laugh when others fall prey to herd behavior that one avoided. Yet, in many ways, how different are we compared to the herd.

Dreams have a finite life – to me, the key is to accomplish whatever possible and not let them die. For what is the meaning of living if only to just die without living the same to our own satisfaction.

 

Discussion

2 Responses to “Is Consumerism really bad?”

  1. Agree Prashant. If everyone would have bought Eicher stock rather than buying the Bike, the stock would have become junk stock by now.

    Posted by Ashish | 5th November 2017, 3:10 pm
  2. “Dreams have a finite life – to me, the key is to accomplish whatever possible and not let them die. For what is the meaning of living if only to just die without living the same to our own satisfaction. ”

    I really really liked this. This is very pertinent to me currently, because I have been thinking about my innermost “WHY” for doing what I do, for the last few weeks.

    Many thanks for writing this article.

    Posted by amit_phy (on twitter) | 5th November 2017, 5:48 pm

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