Succumbing to materialism Start making smarter choices

Being fortunate enough to buy costly items, such as nice clothing or new gadgets, seem great, but it may not be as worth it in the long run. Photo Credit: Noel Sarte-Saad

Walking through a store, the younger version of me would point at a plush animal that I was convinced I absolutely needed. I would pull on my mom’s arm, dragging her towards the toy begging her to buy it for me. After yelling at the top of my lungs, I would then succeed with the plush animal victoriously in my hands.

Although I am grateful for my parents, I have taken advantage of the fact that I am the youngest and only girl of all my siblings. No matter how expensive the clothing item, toy or art supply was, I would always end up getting what I wanted. At times, I felt guilty, but the feeling went away instantly after my parents offered the next big thing to me.

When I was 14, we took a trip to New York; I ended up spending over $400, which was above my initial budget. The same guilt, as mentioned before, came over me and I knew these weren’t items I needed. However, I never told my parents how I felt because I didn’t want to go through the trouble of returning the items. 


When scrolling through Instagram I saw posts of popular clothing pieces. Simply because the person in the photo inspired me, I would think to myself that I need that item. I would do anything to feel content and comfortable with how I looked; nonetheless, that all changed very quickly.

One day, I noticed my friends weren’t as troubled with how they dressed; they were carefree and satisfied with their looks and I wanted to have the same mindset. I visited multiple clothing stores, even thrift stores, that I usually wouldn’t go to and came to the realization that I find the tomboy style interesting. This style was easy to find anywhere, but eventually, Goodwill and other alike thrift shops became my go-to clothing stores.

All this time I was worried about how I dressed and never stopped to ask myself, “Am I truly happy? Is it worth all this money?” I eventually answered that I’m only genuinely happy for the moment.

Personally, I’ve encountered kids my age who spend money on unnecessary items which later becomes a problem. People buy expensive things because they want to fill their emptiness with the satisfaction of having an item other people aren’t able to have.

Being content and grateful for what you have is much more valuable than material items that hold little value. Instead of relying on overpriced or unrealistic items, prioritize saving money, being reasonable with your funds and pursuing what actually makes you happy. Take a moment to step back from the fast reality of life, thoroughly thinking through certain actions and making better choices.

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