Post consumer problems

I generally wax and wane between two different consumer states. In one I don’t want any ‘stuff’ at all, I dream of a nomadic life with everything I need being carried with me. In the other extreme I build up a list of stuff that I want all at once. Now these two states are not opposites. I have very very rarely ever bought something on a whim without any thought at all. I have always been very conscious of what I am buying and why, but the reasons I make these choices has changed over the years. Even with this approach to consumerism I still have a lot of stuff!!

I currently have a list of things that I want to buy, so I thought I would break from book based posts and blog my current feelings and thoughts on what I want, why I want it and whether I should consume or not?

To consume, or not to consume: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to buy, or suffer The slings and arrows of outrageously complicated decision making, Or to take arms against a sea of advertising, And by opposing end them?

I have always flip flopped between being a minimalist and being a hoarder. As a teenager I once put almost everything I owned in the loft so that my bedroom wasn’t cluttered. I suppose this no clutter tendency coupled with an understanding of the impact that all that stuff has on the planet and other people is why I’m trying to consume less. When I started this blog I consciously decided that consuming less is what I want. I wanted to consciously decided, even more than before, what I bought and why. I always spend a lot of time reviewing and researching the things that I buy. I tend to look at price, functionality and the ultimate question of whether I will use whatever it is. I have tried to add the ethical consideration and where a thing is made to this list, but that is not always obvious or an option (can you but an ethically made mobile phone?) The upshot is that I spend a lot of time looking at what to buy. This feels like time well spent if I buy the best thing to suite my needs or if I decide not to buy something.

So, below I have written about what I am thinking of buying at the moment along with a sort of stream of consciousness about what I am thinking about it…

These things to travel light (it takes stuff to be the 21st Century)

I want to be able to use my mobile phone to do a lot more. I also have a work requirement as I can use a virtual desktop on my phone so I could basically have my full windows desktop running via my phone! To do this wizardry I will need:-

  • HDMI from phone to TV
  • Bluetooth keyboard
  • Bluetooth Mouse

But, I’m about to finish my mobile phone contact and although my current mobile (galaxy s4) is still a good phone, it’s battery has usually died by lunchtime and it has starred to get very hot in my pocket. N.B. this isn’t because I’m running the universe from my pocket 🙂

So, do I get a new mobile phone when my contract ends?? This is a dilemma that I have at the end of each contract and I am quite proud that the answer is not always a yes. My options are:-

  1. Keep what I have
  2. Get an older iPhone (5s)
  3. Replace with new (z3 compact or nexus 6)


So as you know I’m an adventurer… I really enjoyed the camping I did over the winter, but the pop-up tent I used was bought for the kids in the garden and I have already repaired it twice (make do and mend) that tent isn’t anywhere near the end of its life, but if I want to do more solo or “adventure” camping (note the obvious quote marks there) I need a tent that doesn’t let water in through the ground sheet when you kneel on it (yep, that actually happened.) We already have a 6 man tent for family holidays, and I own a good sized 3 man tent that I bought about 15 years ago before we had the kids. This is still used if the small people and I camp in the garden… I really feel that I can justify a smaller tent for single nights and expanding my camping experience, and if I get one it should be of a half decent quality to allow me to camp across a longer part of the year. I could keep what I have, but the two other tents are so big they won’t fit into some of the places I have in mind (the pop-up only just fitted in the garden I used in January!) And I want it to be as small as possible when packed. If I could fit my tent, bed and sleeping bag into a more or less standard sized rucksack I could sneak in a camp a lot more often! I have so far whittled it down to either the Vango Blade or Helix; that might change though?

So I’m planning to consume. I’m in a quandary because I don’t want to just buy because I can or because “I want”. I want to buy things I will genuinely use and that will last.

The End (of my thought process for now…)

p.s. In writing this post I think I have confirmed that I’m getting the tent and not the phone. Maybe a new battery is in order?? If I don’t upgrade the phone I can reduce my tariff and therefore justify “spare cash” for the tent; yes, I can actually swam extra minutes that I don’t use for a tent to go outside in 🙂

Oh the problems of the first world eh!

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