Who are you to deny me my two-car garage filled with junk, an elegant dining room I’ll never use, and massive heating/cooling bills?
That’s the basic response from critics when greens question McMansions in particular and our consumer culture in general. I mean, isn’t newer, bigger, better the American way? Didn’t President Bush urge us to go shopping more?
But one financial advisor says trying to look rich by buying so much stuff is keeping some Americans from being rich. And while he never once mentions the environment, his prescriptions for building your savings have a lot in common with tips for cutting your environmental impact.
Among TheStreet.com’s 10 "possible reasons you aren’t rich":
You care what your car looks like: A car is a means of transportation to get from one place to another, but many people don’t view it that way. Instead, they consider it a reflection of themselves and spend money every two years or so to impress others instead of driving the car for its entire useful life and investing the money saved.
You buy things you don’t use: Take a look around your house, in the closets, basement, attic and garage and see if there are a lot of things you haven’t used in the past year. If there are, chances are that all those things you purchased were wasted money that could have been used to increase your net worth.
Your house is too big: When you buy a house that is bigger than you can afford or need, you end up spending extra money on longer debt payments, increased taxes, higher upkeep and more things to fill it. Some people will try to argue that the increased value of the house makes it a good investment, but the truth is that unless you are willing to downgrade your living standards, which most people are not, it will never be a liquid asset or money that you can ever use and enjoy.
Find the full list here. I wonder if Jeffrey Strain even realized how green so many of his tips sounded?