I was reading comments by a user on Slashdot and he was talking about how he lives a very simple life. He carries around very few things and he owns very little, however the things he does own he can do a lot with, such as his single computer, a laptop.
It made me start thinking about how much I would like to live a simple life. It made me realize how we accumulate so much stuff because we think we need it, or because we think it will make life easier. Instead of asking ourselves what we could buy to complete a specific task, or to fulfill a specific desire, we should ask ourselves what do we already have that could be used to complete a specific task, or what will we do with the object when our desire for it is gone in a few weeks (or days).
I've started to ask myself, "Do I see myself using this 6 months from now?". If not, then maybe buying it is a waste of money, and peace of mind! I've saved myself from buying lots of things by simply asking myself that question.
Children will often pick something up in a store and say they want it. They will cry and scream until their parents buy it for them, as if their very life depended on having it. And then, the very next day, if not the very next hour, they will put it down and forget it ever existed. They will loose all interest in it.
The sad thing is, most adults grow up and continue the same pointless routine. They see something they want, justify to themselves why they think they need it. Then, after putting down the cash, or the plastic, they add it to their already growing collection of stuff they rarely use, as if they're in a race for less space, trying to collect as much stuff as possible before their last day on Earth arrives.
What a waste. A waste of money, a waste of space, a waste of natural resources, a waste of the peace of mind they never knew they were giving up. And for what? You don't take any of that stuff with you when you're gone.
So next time you're about to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it.