Buy Less Shit

Buy Less Shit
Photo Credit: James Patrick/

I want to buy less shit.

We all need to buy less shit.

Shit? Things. Stuff we don't need. Items of frivolity. Fashions of fun. Fabulous fantasies. Irrelevant status symbols. Practical conveniences. Indulgences that hook the unsuspecting man and woman.

Particularly the young man. There's some science to this idea 1 2 3.

Do we need so much stuff? Of course not.

Do we need new things? Only if the old things have an inappropriately short lifespan. Only if they are engineered to need replacement. 

Be discerning. Define quality as the item that will last ten or twenty years. You will be surprised at how many items that can be put to daily use will last that long. You will be unsurprised to know that the vast majority of items are designed to last only as long as one short season.

Why is it so hard to give up buying? That small drop of dopamine that hits everytime you hand over some cash. Every notice how the desire wanes the moment you buy that thing you have been pining for, longing for, thinking of too much? That's your endocrine system - your hormones - satisfied for just a moment.

And of course retailers, marketeers, and sellers of all hues know the signs, the cues, and the tricks to keep you buying. They want you to have a habit.

Why let them win?

Buy less shit.


1. K.Motoki, & M.Sugiura, 2017, "Consumer Behavior, Hormones, And Neuroscience: Integrated Understanding Of Fundamental Motives Why We Buy" Psycholgia, 60, 28-43. Retrieved 3 September 2021 from

2. Cueva, C., Roberts, R., Spencer, T. et al. Cortisol and testosterone increase financial risk taking and may destabilize markets. Sci Rep 5, 11206 (2015).

3. Stanton SJ. The role of testosterone and estrogen in consumer behavior and social & economic decision making: A review. Horm Behav. 2017 Jun;92:155-163. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.11.006. Epub 2016 Nov 11. PMID: 27840103.