When it comes to consumerism, most of the middle-class fall in one of the three categories below:
Today’s feature is a basic description of how the middle class looks like. The whole feature is written as one very long paragraph with improper punctuation – a deliberate endeavor to capture the nightmare that is consumerism – a state of affairs most of the people dream about until they get there only to realize it’s a nightmare.
CONSUMERISM: How deep are you?
The typical middle class to upper-middle-class household occupies more than 2000 square feet of floor space, owns at least two cars, a couple of couches, numerous tables, chairs, and beds; more than two television sets and paid cable TV.
The kitchen contains a cooker, microwave, oven, fridge, dishwasher, blender, coffee maker, sandwich maker, toaster, kettle, food processor, so many pots, pans, cups, cutlery, other kitchen utensils. Kitchen cabinets are full of spices, teas, sugars, sauces, breakfast and lunch boxes, and bags.
Elsewhere in the house are PCs, laptops, MacBooks, printers, telephones, mobile phones, iPhones, calculators, sound systems, DVD players, musical instruments and many pieces of art.
In the bathrooms are hairdryers, weighing scales, toothbrushes, manual shavers, electric shavers, and cabinets overflowing with cosmetics. The wardrobes are stuffed with shoes & clothes of all types and don’t forget the jewelry.
The floors are covered with carpets, rugs, and mats. Other pieces of furniture that accent the house – cabinets, antiques, side tables, artsy furniture with more vases with fresh flowers, dried flowers. if
In the balcony or garage are bicycles, old tires, suitcases, garden tools. In addition to these “durable products”, households spend heavily on services such as child care, restaurants and bars, hotel stays, airplane trips, haircuts, hairdos, massages, SGR to Mombasa, insurance premiums, ‘planting seeds’ to church and sometimes rental of storage space for “important stuff” you can’t get rid of but don’t have space for in your house.
You work really hard to sustain this lifestyle and it keeps sucking and it keeps sucking you in, it keeps sucking you dry!
If you are a typical consumer, you didn’t always have so much, there was probably a time in your adult life that you lived in a small studio, DSQ or extension with a bed, mattress, and a meko. A time when all your things could fit in a car or a small pick up (or just carry them with friends).
Now you need ‘professionals’ to transport your things. There was a time when all you prayed for was a job – any job, and all you worried about was the small loan from your friend. Now you have a big job you hate, but can’t quit, even bigger loans, credit cards, a nasty boss you must smile at, bigger budgets you must meet to maintain the status quo.
There was a time when you ate simple meals, drank the beer your cousin bought for you and slept deeply, dreaming of a glamorous future.
Now that the future is here, you drink expensive liquor in lounges, eat choice meats but sleep little due to stress wondering how you got into the rat race and how you can get out of it.
This is consumerism; the most successful movement in human history; more successful than politics, religion or all philosophies put together.
What is delaying you from your Financially Secure Future is what you spend your money on that does not give you a return and we discovered four key areas that most middle class spend their money on:
1.Malls & Bars
Most of our income is spent on Fast Moving Consumer Goods, fashion items and booze.
“I shop therefore I am”
2. Homes and Cars
Almost all of us mistakenly think that a home is your greatest investment and your car is your status symbol – almost everyone’s first loan is a car loan.
“We must keep up with the Joneses, appearance is everything! Your first impression is the only impression that matters”
3.Plots & Shares
These two asset classes are now acceptable and fashionable investments, but very few people understand them. They buy plots without understanding their future value, plots they’ve never visited just because they heard on the radio and buy shares just because their pal in the bar said it was a good deal.
“My plot will double in value by August next year. This share is the hottest thing right now”
Most people spend their money on these four areas without critical analysis or understanding, because of what they’ve always been told, because it’s what everybody does because it feels good because they are greedy or scared. But, is it the wisest way to spend your money? Will it lead you to what you truly need; your financially secure future?
Is there a way out?
YES there is a way out but there is no shortcut. Fear, greed or blind faith won’t get you out of this quagmire. The only way out is to educate yourself. The illiterate of the 21st century are not just those who can’t read and write but those who will not learn, unlearn and relearn natural laws that govern their lives.
1.DO NOT get deeper into the consumer lifestyle. It will kill you (literally)
2.DO NOT just invest blindly and without knowledge.
3.Working harder, for a bigger salary will NOT guarantee you a financially secure future