Consumer incentives and the buy buy buy cycles

People spent a lot of money on things, and mostly on things we don’t really need or even want. Commercials, buy cycles, specific targeting and about a million other marketing tricks make you believe that, you’re always out of fashion, if you buy product X your life will be complete. And the best part of it, it works. And it works really, really well. Take fashion as an example, 4 seasons is what we decided on a while ago. The old industry was basically divided into 2 seasons, warm and cold. Because of the production time it took to make all basic materials and time for the tailor to make a suit. Industrial revolution and a few commercial inventions later we now have 8 seasons or cycles. New colours , slightly changed designs and you need to be on top of things. So off to the store.

All new shiny commercials, billboards, banners and mails come along with it. Even the good old pre sale , or post season sale. Now I am a sucker for a nice jacket, which means I have many, and now I am on a self imposed ban , which is good for me. And hard. I really don’t need another jacket , in fact I don’t really need any clothes at the moment.

Most clothes I have are of some quality and last a considerable time. My oldest cardigan is 14 years old and still looks good. For me the fashion part is not an issue. Buying quality means I just replace stuff that’s worn and has wholes in it. Now that the industry has 8 cycles, at least most of the brands do nowadays, what happens to the stuff that isn’t sold ? Which is quite a bit.

Is it going towards homeless people or other less fortunates ? Most does end up with good causes one way or the other and some stuff gets tossed as it’s broken and can’t be fixed. But do we really need 8 cycles and 10 different colours of more or less the same article in our closets ? We don’t , we really don’t. What’s wrong with just 2 ? Or 4 cycles even ? Looks like a waste of raw material and energy.

But let’s not try and be over reaching and solve the global environmental problem just yet. Even on just a pure personal level it’s useless, and a waste of money. First off most people have one or maybe two favourite jeans. the rest gets a turn when the others are out of sight. So having 8 pairs of jeans or whatever isn’t efficient , it’s a destruction of perfectly good cash. Which can be spent on other stuff , like cool experiences. Learning a new sport or taking a short trip or whatever you fancy. Not even mentioning investing here see.

And that’s just fashion, never mind the overpriced items of ‘luxury’ you really need , expensive fashionable watches also matching the season. Fancy dining experiences with lousy food and expensive bubbles. The list goes on. The funny thing is, once you buy any of these items , the next is always there. In the next buy cycle, the next trigger. And after a few years we end up with boxes of stuff we only wanted and never needed.

It’s hard not giving in to al these impulses , but there is a way out, only focus on absolute quality in everything you buy, even if it means overspending in the beginning.

Discipline is everything

It really is, I have quite a bit of self discipline. Reaching goals has always been fun for me. But I somehow lost the fun in setting goals, maybe there was a point I reached and everything just seemed more of the same or I just lost interest in the race, I am not really sure.

Now my recovery is going slowly and steadily upwards I am slightly letting go of rigorous planning the last few weeks. Which has been a mistake. Had a few bad days of all out fatigue and feeling very weak.

The reason is I need too plan everything to keep my energy level up, and letting this go was the root cause of me not feeling well.

It was a slow process over the last few weeks that I started not taking it all so serious. Just planning activities and not really sticking too them and just doing what I wanted for a few days. It starts slowly, one afternoon, one day, two days. And then the lights went out.

Not a very nice experience, so maintaining and keeping with the program is all about discipline. It’s what not to do in order to reach the goals. And being very strict about.
Discipline is everything, and practise makes perfect. Even with discipline.

Bureaucracy part three, final episode ? Climbing towers.

After two weeks of talks with different specialized and not so specialized firms for my road too work the unanimous decision of all the company’s is, bunny and drums……. it’s too risky.
Lot’s of risk of getting a serious relapse without the proper time and guidance towards work. Even the most enthusiastic one got back to me today and told me they also think the risk is more then they are willing to take. Granted they had a lot less experience with people who suffered brain damage and after asking around they got the full scope and decided it wasn’t for them either. Fair play for calling me and owning up to that.

So now finding a way towards getting all the treatment and guidance I need is a new goal. Without any assistance from my caseworker at the government agency, which is fine by me. But I cant’s simply skip them, because they have to approve everything I do towards work , leaving me a bit clueless on what to do next.

Strange thing is, in hindsight , I should have done nothing , absolutely nothing at all. Just wait and see. But that’s not who I am and not how I am wired. I always want to keep moving forward. The new goals are shifting back to recovery and finding a way around all the rules and regulations. Hopefully there are ways around it. So next stop the health insurance and other knowledgeable people.

As always I will keep you guys updated.

Just a few pictures

On most of my walking around town I take my camera. Simply trying to shoot stuff I see. It helps me slow down and I also remember more when I slow down. All in all just a nice way to make a walk more pleasant. Some pictures from the last few months. All made black and white which I really like at the moment. Unfortunately my camera is dying a bit , so I am hoping it survives until I buy a new one.

December 2016 – Dividend

Last month of the year, and final round of dividend. Nothing special, just a nice month overall. So without further delay the numbers.

29-12-2016 Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF EUR 1,39
19-12-2016 Icahn Enterprises LP EUR 1,42
16-12-2016 RDSA dvd reinvestment plan EUR 44,13
15-12-2016 Coca-Cola EUR 5,04
09-12-2016 Emerson Electric EUR 4,54
08-12-2016 Microsoft Corp EUR 7,38
07-12-2016 Unilever Certificate EUR 3,20

Total EUR 67,10

For 2017 the new positions in the portfolio will also generate dividends and I will keep working on a more diversified portfolio.

Happy 2017 !

May all your dreams come true in 2017. Most importantly stay healthy and happy. 2017 will be a year with a lot of changes, all good. That’s the plan anyway.
The new goals for this year are in no particular order, get better at controlling my energy and planning. Finding a new career path in which I can do the things I like.

The first steps towards the proper guidance were rocky , but it’s a new year and I have some new people lined up for interviews and meetings to see if they can help me. Otherwise it will have to ask the revalidation for some more help. It’s been a learning experience so far. One I could do without to be honest, I can’t imagine how hard it is for people who are far worse then me and don’t have friends or family they can ask too help out. Maybe that’s something I would like to do in the future. Help people with brain damage find their way around the numerous rules and regulations.

First things first, if all goes well I will have a few new proposals by next week. I keep you posted.

May the force be with you. Enjoy 2017 people!