Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Proud to be a really bad consumer...

This post was inspired by a comment by Ken Silver on a very inspiring older post over on Erin Doland's Unclutterer
I found out the other day what the bank folk call people who pay off their credit cards on time or early: deadbeats! Obviously that’s because the banks don’t make any money from the card users.
Gosh, I'm so darned proud to be a bank deadbeat that I feel all choked up!  We've been making banks unhappy for years now - paying off our first mortgage years before it was due and always paying off credit card debt so we get free credit days and cashback points.

I'm thrilled that both DH and I are very debt-shy.  It is possible that this has stopped us from making the proverbial "killing" in the real estate market.  It's also possible this has saved us from being overstressed and financially overcommitted and in serious trouble.

Other things I am proud of:  
  1. Shopping the grocery loss leaders instore or online and not buying lots of extras to cancel out our savings.
  2. Looking for secondhand deals on Trademe or in charity shops before buying retail
  3. Donating my unwanted stuff to friends or on freecycle so others won't have to buy more stuff.
George W Bush can go hang for all I care; the solution to our problems is not to go shopping.
  • Research indicates that George W Bush saying this may be a media legend - but I'll say it again because I like the sound of it - George W Bush can go hang for all I care.
The era of the consumer superculture is over and shown as the pyramid scheme it always had to be.

It's not my responsibility to use hard-earned money to buy things we don't need in a doomed effort to regain what we really never had.  And it's not yours either.  A healthy economy needs to build on real gains, not the cycle of continual product failures.  And we need to reclaim some independence from the money-go-round because we were never the winners.

See this great Alternet article on the topic...

What real change would you like to see to our economic base for a sustainable future?


  1. I totally agree. I felt anxious about my stupid student loan and was relieved when it was paid off. If we buy on credit card we always pay it off totally the same month, so no interest.
    Buying crap, even when the individual things seem cheap, really drains your account and it's stressful to live from payday to payday... Stopping the madness of acquiring has led to money accumulating, though we don't feel like we are deprived in any way. We get to spend on things that are either necessary or important to us! No guilt for being wasteful, no money worries, no annoying stuff to clutter our home, it's great, yep yep.

  2. Yes, what you gain from giving up stuff is priceless. And I still have so much more to look forward to on this journey.

    I was always a bit like this - I remember people asking me what I was saving for, and I just said, "I don't know, but when I find it, I'll be able to buy it!"

  3. And how do banks call people that never took a credit and don't plan too ?