I no longer care about “things”, “possessions,” “items”, “stuff.”  I know that sounds like such a pretentious thing to say, but I can’t help it.  I have reached my own personal end of materialism.  I can’t be sure yet if it’s a phase or something that is here to stay.  It didn’t happen overnight, but instead rather slowly, like how one loses their taste for a meal they use to enjoy.  You just wake up one day and you don’t like pork chops anymore.  It seems sudden but if you look back you realize it was a long time coming.

The End of Materialism?

There isn’t any non-essential item in the world that could make me all that much happier.  You could give me a brand new BMW and it would be lost on me.  As would a new video game system, a Rolex, an expensive set of golf clubs, or even my own private jet.

We just bought our first house and I am excited to have more space.  I enjoy being able to grill and having a fenced in yard where I can play with my dog.  But as for the new furniture or the new furnishings that fill our new home, I am unimpressed.  I can admire that we have nice bedroom set, but it does not fill me with joy or even make me all that happy at all to be perfectly honest.

I still like events.  A trip out of town.  Watching a good movie.  Hanging out with good friends and grabbing a nice dinner.  I enjoy these things as much as ever.   It is the “things” that leave me luke-warm.

In a way I feel sad.  I used to be able to get excited by a new speaker system or a new video game.  When I was a kid holiday gifts could make me happy for weeks, if not months.  But now I feel jaded. Perhaps my tremendous amount of debt has ruined my ability to enjoy any possessions, knowing how much I still have to repay to get back to having a $0.00 net worth.

Of course the other part of me is happy.  Having possession-lust is not a good way to be when you owe nearly half a million dollars in debt.  I don’t feel like this is the result of a depression or anything: I still enjoy plenty of activities and relationships in my life, just not my relationship with “possessions.”  Perhaps the new home ownership has made me realize just how much work many “things” are.  As they say, “do you own your possessions or do they own you?”

When I think of trying to build my freelance business (FreelancePF), of my day job as an attorney, and of  course most of all my time spent with my wife and dog, I feel as excited as ever.  Nor am I “above” wanting more or conspicuous consumption, on occasion.

But I can’t help but feeling like I’ve reached some new phase, whether it be permanent or otherwise.  My own little end of materialism.  Is it here to stay or not?  As time goes on I will have to let you know.

Have you ever gone through a phase such as this?  Did you come out of it?  Any thoughts on this weird phenomenon?





Chris Thomas, owner of the online freelance writing and web-copy company, FreelancePF. Chris’s interest in personal finance stems from leaving grad school with six figures in student loan debt.