Discovering the past

Before I watched the minimalist documentary, our minimalist starting point, I had already discovered why my wife and I lived the way we did, with so much stuff. My grand parents lived through the Great Depression. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and rising levels of unemployment as failing companies laid off workers. (History) I feel like the children that grew up through this wanted to provide for their families and wanted their children to have what they did not. Thus, the baby-boomer era gave birth to a sense of collecting, gathering, and a need for more. I remember my mother and father telling me once that when they were married, my mother would buy tons of groceries because she didn’t want our family to be without food in the cupboards like she grew up with. “Baby boomers were collectors,” says Elizabeth Wainstein, 50, owner and president of Potomack Company Auctioneers in Alexandria, where lots of unwanted family treasures end up being sold. “They collected German porcelains or American pottery. It was a passion, and they spent their time on the thrill of the hunt.” She says younger people aren’t really that interested in filling shelves. (Washington post)  I can recall when I was a child, every weekend, we would go to Wal-Mart and my parents would buy me a new star wars action figure. It seems like there wasn’t a time that we went to a store and I didn’t get anything. My parents just bought things because they could, because they wanted the best for my brother and I. However, My parents were raising spenders. 

Once I got a steady job, I bought a new-ish car on a loan. I got my first credit card and almost maxed it out on a new radio for my car. (You know, one with a sweet touch screen) Unknowingly, I signed myself up to be just another slave to the credit card companies. I’m hoping that with our new lifestyle, with buying less, my wife and I will pay off our debts and live a simple life. I’m hoping to break the spending habits my parents gave us as we grew up. 

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