These days, it can be difficult to juggle family expenses. Your kid wants the newest video game, your partner wants a new car, and you want the new iPhone. While alone, one of these purchases isn’t going to break the bank, the accumulation of purchases can result in financial strain.
In order to save money, you need to realize that not all purchases are necessary. Oftentimes, you’re replacing an old product that didn’t need to be replaced. A good example of this is when you find yourself buying new clothes when you already have an expansive wardrobe. To improve your spending habits, it’s important to recognize the dangers of perceived obsolescence.
Perceived Obsolescence Defined
Perceived obsolescence is when you feel the need to purchase an updated product even though you already have a version of the product that works fine. This phenomenon usually happens in the industries of automobiles and fashion.
When you continually act on the urge to make new, unnecessary purchases, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always searching for the next best thing. You find yourself never satisfied with what you have. This can lead to financial strain and unhappiness.
Examples of Perceived Obsolescence
Once you recognize what products typically trigger obsolescence, you can learn to avoid it. Here are some examples of products that cause perceived obsolescence:
- Technology: People update their perfectly functioning TVs, computers, and phones all the time. Around most houses, you can find an assortment of old electronics that simply gather dust and take up space.
- Clothing: When it comes to clothing, the trends are in constant flux. One year skinny jeans are in, the next you have to buy new baggy jeans to stay fashionable.
- Automobiles: Car companies are constantly releasing updated car models with new designs. This can make the consumer feel the need to buy a new car even when their previous one drives smoothly.
Ways to Beat Perceived Obsolescence
While most people suffer to some extent from perceived obsolescence, once you recognize the phenomena, it becomes easier to combat. Here are some ways to fight obsolescence:
- Upcycle: Recycle your products for new uses. For example, you might use an old boot to pot a plant or a used lightbulb as a candleholder.
- Thrift: Instead of buying clothes from malls and brand names, consider taking advantage of thrift stores. With some patience, you can put together a unique, stylish new wardrobe on a budget.
- Wait Before You Buy: When you see something you like at a store, resist the temptation to buy it immediately. Think over the purchase for a day and make sure that your existing product needs replacing.
In order to save money, you need to be conscious of how perceived obsolescence impacts your spending habits. Don’t fall into the trap of making consistent unnecessary purchases for the wrong reasons. To find out more about how to defeat perceived obsolescence, check out the infographic below.
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