Friday, February 3, 2017

How advertising ruins your life

According to this article, companies spent nearly $600 billion—that's billion with a b—on advertising around the world in 2015 alone!

All of this money is geared toward one thing: convincing you to spend, spend, spend! Is it really any wonder that consumer debt is sky-high, and 70% of Americans believe that debt is necessary? I'm here to tell you that it's not necessary. Not at all.

The point of advertising is to make you want stuff. And if you spend your money on stuff, it can't be invested and go to work for you. In fact, many businesses use some pretty clever psychological tricks to get people to spend money on an annual, biannual, or monthly basis. So, despite the clickbait-y title, it's true in a general sense: the constant stream of advertising ruins people's lives!

What happens if you don't buy into the advertising hype? Well, take me for example: I live on under $13,000 a year, before taxes. And I make money doing it! Not much money, mind you, but I live well below my meager means!


Granted, this won't work everywhere; I live in a Midwest college town with a low cost of living. But the point stands nonetheless: it takes far less money than you think to meet your needs! You just have to know the difference between needs and wants.

Think it's not cool to live below your income? Then I guess you don't think NFL players like Rob Gronkowski, who lives off of his endorsements in order to save his NFL salary, or Larry Fitzgerald, who has said that he tries to save over half of his generous salary, are very cool, either...

Don't be fooled by the $120 million figure—Fitz won't actually see all of that money, because of the way NFL general managers structure player contracts. My source for Fitzgerald's saving habits is, unfortunately, a magazine article, so I can't link to it here. But I do have links to support that Fitzgerald is truly a stand-up guy! He donates his time to feeding the homeless, and (like many NFL players) he has a charity to which he donates time, money, and his substantial star power. The bad behavior may get all the media attention, but there are plenty of NFL players doing great charitable work! Okay, back to the point...

I'm not advocating buying cheap stuff just to save a couple bucks. Depending on what you are getting, that approach may cost you more in the long run.

For example, I advocate buying high quality—but not overpriced—computers and other tech.
This ASUS F556 costs less than $550 new, but customers love it!

Don't let advertisers delay your freedom! Give yourself a raise by reducing your spending!

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This was my 100th post, a few months short of 3 years after this blog's beginning in May 2014!