Buying consumer goods can trap you in the Rat Race!
This article will show you how and what to do to escape.
Consumerism is very seductive and insidious. It relies on scientific marketing to prey on your emotional needs and weaknesses.
The proposition is the satisfaction of your emotional needs by purchasing the “right” products. Shopping Therapy, so called.
Example: “Want to have younger looking skin? Buy Vorsage, Extra Moisture Crème!”
They are playing on your fear of looking older, promising younger looking skin by the purchase of their product. Of course, that will be followed a year later by the “New and Improved, Extra Moisture Crème,” which, of course, you would run out and buy.
Another example is your emotional desire to be part of the In Crowd; peer pressure.
Products are featured in luxurious, expensive settings or in use by glamorous celebrities; inferring that you can be just like Mike if you buy his shoes.
Wouldn’t you kill to be seen in a $400 pair of famous designer slacks at your friend’s wedding next week? What about a $350 denim Sean Jean jacket at the concert? Retailers can actually charge you an extra 5 to 100 times more for their brands than for comparable generic items, and you pay it!
Next year, you would not be caught dead in last year’s hot brands. The merchandisers have programmed you to demand the latest, which will cost you the most. They are playing you like a fiddle, laughing all the way to the bank; while you scramble to find money to pay your bills.
Do you see what is happening? Each dollar you spend on this crap tightens the grip of the Rat Race Trap.
The objective of Consumerism is to separate you from your money, period.
Each product is a bait. Products are continually dangled before you without regard to need or safety. Think Pet Rock, the motorized air freshener, lawn darts or the Chevrolet Corvair, that 1960’s icon which Ralph Nader proclaimed, “Unsafe at any speed!”
The ultimate objective is to have you charge your purchases so that you will be able to buy more products, even if you do not have the money.
These purchases are far more expensive than they appear.
That $400 pair of designer pants actually costs you $600, if you are in the 33% income tax bracket!
In order to net $400, you must earn $600 in salary, since 1/3 or $200, is deducted as taxes.
Therefore, every consumer item you buy costs you 50% more than the price tag!
If you finance the purchase, and pay only the minimum each month, you will pay another 50-200% of the price in finance charges, (after tax!) requiring decades to pay it off!
Let’s look at the purchase of a car, probably the single biggest waste of money there is!
Take the Chevy Tahoe, a popular, mid-market SUV. Purchase price, $36,000. You put $6,000 down, borrow $30,000 for 5 years @ $607/Mo. Total financing cost, $36,420.
Add the down payment of $6,000, totaling $42,420. After taxes. You have to earn $63,630 in order to net $42,420.
That $36,000 Chevy Tahoe will cost you $63,630!
It gets worse!
If instead of purchasing the car, you invested the money in your IRA or 401(k), a pre-tax investment.
Same scenario, you have $9,000 plus $910 dollars per month deducted from your salary, pre-tax, the first year. You continue the $910 per month for the next 5 years. Remember, only $607, not $910 per month is deducted from your net pay.
If you just stick the money in a run-of-the-mill index mutual fund, you should receive a return of about 10% annually. You’ll have about $85,000 at the end of 5 years.
After 10 years, during which time you would have had to buy another car, your IRA would now have over $250,000 in it. This analysis only reflects the purchase of a car. How much more would you have spent on other consumer goods during that period?
In reality, had you spent that same money on assets, things that go up in value; like stocks or real estate, you could probably have been able to escape the Rat Race at the end of that 10 year period! You are the one who decides how to spend your money.