Letters to the Editor

Americans are spending money on the wrong things

Being a business administration major with a concentration in finance at Cal Poly, I am fascinated in how others spend their money. Instead of minding my own business, I decided to research why we decide to spend money on different things.

The average American is spending money on the wrong things. The American Dream has us chasing luxurious cars, fancy houses and expensive gadgets. A multitude of studies has revealed that when people spend money on experiences instead of possessions their overall happiness increased. There were even studies showing that materialism, a belief that material success and possessions are the highest values in life, cause negative effects on our mental health, learning motivations, wastefulness through industries like big fashion, and others viewing us as unfriendly or hostile.

Although highly materialistic values can be troublesome, owning possessions that lead to learning a skill, experiencing new things, or simplifying our lives can have positive influences on us. For example, a tennis racket can give us endless hours of enjoyment, a concert ticket allows us to experience live music and a cellphone simplifies our communication immensely. We should try our best to avoid unnecessary material possessions to help ourselves and our planet.

Ryan Gomez, Cal Poly