Wise Consumption: Saving Ourselves Out of Debt Through Quality and Limiting Waste

Our consumption is being financed through debt and no longer sustainable. We have too much debt and paying too much to carry it. Among other ways, we can help save ourselves out of debt through wise consumption.

Our debt carrying charges pay for all the banks on every corner. Much of this real estate is very expensive meaning we are paying dearly to the carriers of our debt. The billions of dollars in bonuses paid to money managers also increases our debt. This occurs because we are not being given all of our earnings but instead some are paid out to the money managers. Less earnings mean more debt or less debt repayment for us.

Therefore limiting waste means selecting financial institutions with the lowest charges. Low credit card interests and no load funds with low service charges are best. These are easier to find than most people think. We must learn to shop and bargain for financial services just like we shop and bargain for other things we buy. Maybe it’s time for the return to credit unions or establishment of mutual banks whose interests for the customers rather than for stockholders.

Besides limiting financial wastes, Americans must buy quality. Quality cannot be quantified (because then it is a quantity and not a quality!) but it can be described. Buying efficient, durable, reusable and recyclable products is wise and certainly saves.

First, our products must become efficient and stop the current massive wastes of energy. We need highly efficient cars, homes, appliances, etc. All light bulbs must be florescent, cars hybrid or with high miles-per-gallon (certainly over 40 mpg) and we need to build solar panels into every new weather-tight home. Also, water heaters need be tankless and the use of trickle charges must stop. Quality means high efficiency and no waste.

Second, we need to make our products durable. Throwing something away to buy new ones is no longer an option. “Quality time of use–QTU” metric should be developed to compare products. This metric would predict the length in time that the product would keep at least 80% of it usefulness. Non-durable product consumption not only increases debt but also creates waste that is expensive. Quality should include durability.

Third, quality must include reusability. The throwaway products that abound are for convenience only and meant to increase consumption and thus increase costs. A alternative to the disposable diapers is needed. There is opportunity and saving in this and any reusable alternative to disposable products. Quality means reusability.

Finally, quality means recyclable. Once a product cannot be reused, it must be recyclable. Products made with non-recyclable components need to have a “waste tax” added. This tax would pay for the costs of disposing of these products.

Saving ourselves out of debt is possible through wise consumption, i.e., buying quality and limiting waste.

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