Buy Used and Save To Increase Your Net Worth
By: Tom Chatham
One of the problems with the credit industry that we have is the fact that you often pay twice or even three times for the object you want to get. Many people do not take the time to calculate the true cost of the things they buy on credit or simply do not care. They want it now and are content to overpay for it as a result.
Another symptom of the society we now have is the demand for cheap products that only last a few years and seem to self destruct. Repairable metal has given way to disposable plastic and solid wood has given way to pressboard. The era of planned obsolescence has taken its toll on our society and we are poorer as a society as a result.
If you go around in life paying twice as much for everything you get and end up with inferior products that do not last, how can you expect anything but to be poorer. This is a fact that seems lost on the new disposable, must have the latest edition generation. Over the years the forgotten frugal ways of the past offer those in this collapsing financial situation we find ourselves in a way out if they choose.
When you are young you want to have the newest and most fashionable items available because things have become status symbols to our society. To have something old or out of date is repulsive to some. This is the mindset we have been programmed with by those who profit from our impulsive buying habits. We as a people must reprogram ourselves to regain the upper hand and free ourselves from this economic system we have created. We must reprogram ourselves to look upon objects that we use in a functional way rather than a fashionable way.
As I sit here and write this article I do so on my Dell laptop circa 2004 that still serves me well. I purchased an old rocking chair recently made of thick solid wood that cost me all of $25, a chair that would sell for over $100 if bought new today. My want of a good lamp led me to the purchase of an old Aladdin Lincoln Drape lamp for $50 which would have cost me over $150 if bought new. To get the most from the money you work so hard for, you must leverage it in a way that increases your net worth and supplies you with the items that provide the needed function. By doing this you will come ahead faster and with less money and that is crucial in tough economic times.
When you need a lamp, find a used one that you like that will last a lifetime or at least can be repaired if it breaks. Good quality used furniture can be found in many places today that provide the function you need at a cheaper price and much of it is built to last a lifetime. When you prepare to buy a large durable item you should look at it and determine if it is something that you could use and then hand down to the next generation.
Sometimes it is necessary to purchase new but you should always analyze the item for price and durability before making your decision. If it is not possible to buy a new item that you want due to price that is when you should search for good used items that are affordable and durable. By taking this approach you will increase your net worth by paying less and getting better items that will last. If you only have to buy furniture for your home one time in your life, that will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you only buy a car every ten or twenty years and get a used one at that, it will save you thousands that you may not have or can use for other things that you need. This is how you can come ahead in life much faster and with fewer worries and headaches that will keep you awake at night.
We are now in a situation that many younger people should take advantage of to insure a good quality of life in the years to come. Many of those from the older generations are retiring and down sizing their homes. Many of these people bought quality American products to furnish their homes when they were starting their families in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. These items are now starting to flow into the used market and those that want quality for a fraction of the price now have a golden opportunity.
One of the greatest stumbling blocks is the programming of the newer generation. Those in the know about what I am saying need to make an effort to educate the next generation before it is too late. If you have children in college and want to help them get a good start in life then why not buy them some good used furniture to give them a helping hand. If things continue to deteriorate that used durable furniture may be all they have to use for many years to come and they will eventually come to appreciate it.
I’ve said before that if you were to go back in time and find yourself living in the 1950’s you might not have all of the technology we have today but you would have a good quality of life even with that old technology and the products they had then. These older products should be a foundation you build on to insure a good quality of life while you work to improve your position. Some of these products are also a good way to store excess wealth until later.
With the decaying economic system we are faced with, it is up to each of us to make the best of what we have, and what we have will likely decrease with the years. By getting the most from our spending dollars we will be in a better position to weather the storm. While you may be able to buy more cheap stuff short term, if it does not last, you will be right back where you started from except without the funds you wasted. It is not always possible to buy the best quality but it should be a top priority when possible and buying used can help you with this. Quality is not expensive, it’s priceless.