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How consumerism turns an average Indian citizen into a slave ?

When you take a bird’s eye view on the words consumerism you may find nothing odd. But there’s a lot more to it.

Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts (as per Wikipedia). New products are getting launched within a span of weeks and the companies immediately switch support from old products to new products. The market trend keeps changing in such a way that the person who has an out-dated product is no longer respected in the country. The same product , if sold after 50 years will get so much value in the name of vintage collection. Weird world.

When a guy starts working in a company, he’s immediately given a debit card and net banking account from the bank. He is flooded with offers from the bank telling that he can pay in EMI’s and he gets zero interest and all sorts of things. So, by the end of the first month he goes and buys something really expensive and uses the EMI option.

He’s taking a EMI option for two years, within which the next better version of the product is lost. All his friends will be getting it and he feels lost in the race. So at the verge of clearing his debt for the current product, he sells the old one and buys a new one. This adds a few more to his loan and he remains being in debt.

You might think it’s good. But you are losing a substantial amount in your month’s income. The Banks get a regular income from you along with added interest for the money you borrowed. When I was speaking to a friend a couple of months back, he was telling me that banks were initially introduced to safeguard the money for people who are travelling. The people who are travelling from one place to another will deposit the money in a bank and get a receipt for the money. When they reach their destination, they will give the receipt to the respective bank branch and collect the money. This is how banks worked in the medieval ages. But now everything has changed. An average Indian spends most of his lifetime in repaying loans.

 - Consumerism - (Ben Heine)

(Brilliant Illustration by Ben Heine)

He gets education loan. Completes his degree. Gets a zero percent intrest loan for buying a smartphone or smart TV. Gets a promotion. Buys a car with EMI option. Gets married. Buys a house and keeps paying his loans until he is forty or fifty. It’s like handing over your life in the hands of the banks. Scary.

What’s wrong in taking loans?

Loans will be an imposter when you wanted to do something on your own like being an artist or director or entrepreneur. You can’t come out of the job just like that. You have to finish all your loans, save some money for atleast three months and then come out. And it will take a long time.

I am not telling that using credit card is a wrong thing. You can use credit card to buy things that last for sometimes. For example, you can buy home appliances, whose lifetimes are at least a minimum of five years. Even if you pay EMI for two years, you will enjoy the benefits of the products for the next three years. That is reasonable.

When one of friends asked me “I am planning to buy a wallet for my fiancée. My budget is 3000 bucks”, I was shocked. I told her “Buy a wallet for five hundred bucks, keep the remaining 2500 rupees and gift it. He would be very happy”. They laughed at me. But it was a great idea right? People these days don’t know the value for money. You can get great wallets for three hundred bucks. Yes. If you are thinking of going for a branded one, I have a question to you. “Who cares?” As if people are gonna peep into your pockets and see what brand you have. Come out of the illusion.

I am not telling that you should control all your urges. I am telling you to plan accordingly. Make a lot of research before buying a product. Avoid using credit cards all the time. Save money every month for getting a product and when you finally get it paying full in cash, you will know the value of it. There is a lot more to discuss. I can go on and on. I will share them one by one.

Until then, its bye from Karthik

Have a great weekend.

EMI* – Easy monthly installments

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