Author Topic: Would you be able to live comfortably if you didn't buy any more THINGS?  (Read 4682 times)

lifejoy

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I often remind myself how if I didn't buy a thing else to add to my pile of THINGS, I would still be able to live a really sweet comfortable life.

So, assuming that the things you own were not going to break down, could you live comfortably? For me this is an excellent reality check, because I think for most people in the first world, the answer is a resounding YES.

Shor

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..... I think I would live more comfortably with fewer things! *cry*

But I suppose just the current things are plenty fine as they are, yeah.
To be honest most new tech gadgets that come out these days don't really interest me. A lot of it is just recycled ideas that won't really be expanding the bounds of usefulness until at least another decade.

I bought some things a few months back, but I haven't integrated them in to my routine yet.
I think I'm broken..

HappierAtHome

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What about replacements for broken or worn-out items? If I could do that, yes, I'd be fine without more "stuff". But not all of my possessions are BIFL (yet!), so if I couldn't replace them I'd be in trouble eventually.

Playing with Fire UK

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I will always crave one more bike and one more power tool.

But I could live comfortably with everything I have. I probably need to put that on a sticker on my credit card.

Thanks for the thought.

arebelspy

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I think for most people in the first world, the answer is a resounding YES.

I agree.  I think you'll get quite a few "yes"es, and only a few "no"s to your question.

As HappierAH points out, replacements are probably necessary.  I own very few things, and if I couldn't replace them when necessary, I'd probably run out of things within a few years from them wearing out (very few clothes are BIFL if you wear them daily or every other day).

(Others I know have a wardrobe that should last their lifetime, if their body shape/size doesn't change, and they only get rid of things when it "wears out.")
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brute

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No. If you had asked 4 months ago I could have probably said yes, aside from the occasional upgrade of stuff. Also I would like a chair for the living room. But on my last (company paid) move, my power tools and electronics were stolen by the moving company. So there's some stuff I need in order to be able to live a life where I can build and fix stuff on my own.

ender

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No.

But that's partially because we just bought a house. There are things associated with homeownership that we could probably survive not purchasing but it'd be a lot more comfortable to have them.

Things like a lawnmower.

Though if the criteria is nothing ever breaks, I guess home ownership becomes really easy. So maybe we could.

Caoineag

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No, because we still need to turn our van into our "retirement home". After that yes with the usual caveat if nothing ever breaks. Also, we still need to get rid of a lot of stuff from our current home. Knowing that we will be "downsizing" in the next three years though definitely makes us consider any acquisitions very carefully.

acroy

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Yesss... a lot less actually.

Vic99

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Yes.  This is assuming that I could still get clothing as my kids grow.


I'd like to get rid of a few as well.

Prairie Stash

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No, absolutely not. I'm not going to have the same hobbies for 50 years, eventually I may want new tools. Over the past few  years I've bought random stuff like a vermicomposting kit (sold it after 5 years), a better axe, fruit bushes, canning jars (yay fruit bushes), rain barrels etc. Eventually I'd like to buy solar panels, just another thing.

I guess it more depends where you are in life, young and without anything or older with a lifetime of accumulated possessions?

For the record I count air travel and vacations as a thing too, its a cheat to lease items (hotels, cars, hostels, planes etc.) and say you don't own anything. You might only use it for a few hours but you owned the right to use it for a brief interlude. A millionaire who flies daily on his own plane or a leased plane or a commercial plane is still using a plane; its just semantics about property titles.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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This used to be pretty true.

Then my husband moved out and took half the things, some of which were useful things of which we owned only one. Like the stock pot. Off to Goodwill...

Giro

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Yep.  and I would also be able to quit and never work again.

Alas, I enjoy new toys sometimes.  So, I keep grinding away.


Erma

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Difficult to say. We certainly have enough stuff, but we will move to a house and need some garden tools. But I think with enough time I could get those for free. I have gotten pretty good in swapping things. Biput somstimes there is not enough time and buying is a lot easier then.

Larsg

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Of course you can...I so admire this site and all the young people are are coming to live and learn things that usually star to come with age. I mentioned before that I'm an old Geezer now, late 40's, and it's amazing how much all your stuff becomes a big fat burden - a list of things that have to maintained, cared for, moved, worried about, and so on. They begin to weigh on you and hold you back from complete freedom. I wish I had had this mindset in my 20's and kept it light. I would be so much richer, freer, and smarter. It's the advertising and the social reinforcement that holds many hostage into a life of material things that done' matter. When we finally woke up - thank god in time to teach our children well - our hole world has opened up - then I found this site which has supercharged my resolve and now my kids are even helping. Great question to the forum - thank you!

LeRainDrop

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So, assuming that the things you own were not going to break down, could you live comfortably?

Yes, definitely!

..... I think I would live more comfortably with fewer things! *cry*

Agree, I would probably sell off or donate some of my things.  I don't have a ton extra, but at least some extra that I really don't use at all.

Kaminoge

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I wouldn't be uncomfortable. I would probably get bored though. My life has been in a fairly constant state of flux for the last 20 years, no reason to think the next 20 will be any different. A few examples off of the top of my head...

1) As I've sadly aged my knees have got more troublesome - I invested in hiking poles
2) When I became vegetarian I started to eat a lot more beans - buying a pressure cooker made a world of difference
3) I moved countries to somewhere with far more severe winters (by my admittedly wimpy standards) and with terrible road conditions, I invested in a gym membership.

And honestly I love having a wide variety of clothes to wear depending on my mood. Thrift shopping is something I consider fun and when I'm bored with stuff I just donate it back. The clothes I've got would probably keep me covered for years if I just kept wearing the same ones but I don't really want to.

Brokenreign

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I'm going to throw my hat in with the "I'd probably be more comfortable with less" camp. Spartana posted a link to this guy in a different thread and I have been lusting after his lifestyle ever since:

http://www.bicycling.com/culture/people/ultra-romance-man-left-normal-life-behind-find-adventure

Except for the burying money in the ground. As porcupines and skunks are bastards and will eat it.

I increasingly regard most of my possessions with contempt.

Kaminoge

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I'm going to throw my hat in with the "I'd probably be more comfortable with less" camp. Spartana posted a link to this guy in a different thread and I have been lusting after his lifestyle ever since

Except for the burying money part? It's the having to drink my own urine part that would put me off...

Seriously though I know a guy who lives somewhat like this. Roams the world on his bike. Works sporadically to make enough to keep going. A lot about what he does sounds cool but I'd always be worried about what would happen when my body couldn't handle it anymore.

Brokenreign

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I'm going to throw my hat in with the "I'd probably be more comfortable with less" camp. Spartana posted a link to this guy in a different thread and I have been lusting after his lifestyle ever since

Except for the burying money part? It's the having to drink my own urine part that would put me off...

Seriously though I know a guy who lives somewhat like this. Roams the world on his bike. Works sporadically to make enough to keep going. A lot about what he does sounds cool but I'd always be worried about what would happen when my body couldn't handle it anymore.

But it's sterile! I really don't like skunks and porcupines. The latter scream at each-other as communication, eat anything with salt on it (including shoes, hiking poles, bike seats/tires) and stink terribly.

Yeah I'm with you though. I think I like the idea of it more than I'd like the reality. Even a one-week backpacking trip by myself is enough to make me miss company/comforts. I plan to do a lot of long-distance trips in the next few years (3 weeks - 3 months) but it's nice to know you have a house and stash waiting at the end.

Kaminoge

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Well I must admit I'm from a country where we don't have skunks or porcupines and they look cute on tv :-)

Funnily enough I'm sitting waiting to go home after a 2 week trip and I was just saying to my husband earlier that I know I'm truly middle aged because I'm so excited to be getting back to my own washing machine. This trip has been great but right now everything we brought with us stinks and I'm too old to find that enchanting.

Chranstronaut

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Would life be comfortable?  Absolutely.  I have a climate controlled house in a safe area with a good place to sleep and ability to cook many foods.  If things didn't break down as LifeJoy specifies, I would have a very cozy life.

Would life be optimum?  With a paradigm shift and a change in habit, possibly!

In my deepest heart, I am a creative, crunchy, independent tinkerer.  I love stories like this wonderful woman in Australia who built her home brick by brick with her own hands and continues to live a self-sustainable, usually unemployed life: https://helloasphyxia.wordpress.com/blog/guide-to-this-blog/

Even if bartering or gifts were not "allowed", I think there are action/service based hobbies that could keep me busy.

dougules

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The way I see it there are things you can buy that can prevent you from being unhappy.  Food is one of those.  Running water, also a good one.  Medication is another one.  A computer with internet I think is actually one since having easy access to all the knowledge of mankind can really get you out of a bind sometims. 

There's a difference between keeping you from being unhappy and actually making you happy, though. 

Slee_stack

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'Yes' at face value, but 'No' in reality because of the very good reasons stated in posts above.

We all change.  Change inevitably brings some expense at some point.

Laserjet3051

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Absolutely not. I'm pretty addicted to using soap on a semi-regular basis. Ever go a week without using any soap and see (feel) what that looks like?

I guess I could substitute animal fat for soap by stripping my ribeyes down but am not so comfortable with that approach.....yet.