Too Much Stuff

With Christmas around the corner and black Friday just in our rearview mirrors, I decided to do some research on financials and numbers on the holiday season.

This started last week while at work. The news was on and all they were speaking of was gift ideas and black friday this and Christmas lay away that. I got thinking; how much money is really spent in the holidays season? What I found was kind of staggering. The statistics are really quite unbelievable.

The average American home has nearly tripled in size over the last 50 years yet, over 50% of us with two-car garages have room for only one vehicle inside. Our homes contain more televisions than people. (crazy)

We spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion in my findings) than on higher education. And the average American woman owns 30 outfits, one for every day of the month—in 1930, that figure was 9, yes 9. Home organization, the service that’s trying to find places for all our clutter, is now an $8 billion industry, growing at a rate of 10 percent each year. Decluttering is today’s dieting industry and gym membership paradigm. Good intentions, poor follow through.

Our living spaces have become filled with possessions of every kind: our countertops are crowded, our closets are stuffed, our bedrooms are filled, and our drawers are overflowing. And yet, this Black Friday weekend, we have accumulated more stuff. It is estimated 140 million Americans went shopping last weekend.

We spent $50 billion last weekend. And over the course of the entire holiday season, we will spend $600 billion adding more and more things to our already crowded homes.

Let’s start here: Before buying a whole bunch of stuff for your loved ones this holiday season, maybe you should ask if they even want a whole bunch of stuff. You might be surprised by their response.

This money we are spending actually holds within it enormous potential. Consider this: Nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day. To put that into perspective, Americans will spend, on average, roughly $400 per person this weekend… in just three days, we will spend more than half the annual income of 2.8 billion individuals.

Which is fine, I think, if we were buying things that actually improved our lives. But, in reality, most of the stuff we buy these days doesn’t.
If you know me personally, you know the thought of excess and extras really bother me. I try and try harder to live simple and efficient. But the pull is strong. As the young ones say, the struggle is real.

This isn’t a “trying to change the world” post. But just food for thought. I think numbers are really interesting. And the numbers and statistics I’ve found on American spending during the holiday season is somewhat crazy and excessive.

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2 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff

  1. I agree .. Those numbers are staggering.

    $600 billion

    Maybe we should be buying a whole bunch of food. As people go without while we add clutter

    Good post

    1. If collectively, everyone gave a little of that to people who are deserving and in serious need the world would be a better place I feel.

      But ya 600 billion. Insane.

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