Have you ever realized that regardless of the amount of money you are making, you actually never have enough? It’s as if as your income rises, there are always more needs.
Most people across different income brackets live in cycles. On the week of payday, things are often good. However, near the end of the month, there is often an overwhelming sense of being broke. But why is this so?
Consider this; some years ago you might have been earning less and your current income would have seemed like the end to all of your struggles. But once you started earning that amount, there were more needs than the money could satisfy.
So What is the Cause of All This?
In most of the cases, the increased needs arise due to continuous lifestyle upgrades. You may look around and say that:
I have not changed much. Or better yet, you might say that the few changes would not have merited the effect on your income. To understand this, let’s review a phenomenon called Diderot’s Effect.
The Diderot Effect
In the mid-1700s, a French philosopher and writer by the name Denis Diderot came up with an essay titled “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown”. In the essay, Diderot expounds on how a new cloak sparked an overall lifestyle change in his life.
As earlier stated, Diderot was a renowned writer. He was famous during his time for having written the most comprehensive encyclopedia. This did not earn him much and he could be regarded as just a regular guy with just an ordinary lifestyle.
Diderot’s fortunes changed when Catherine the Great decided to purchase his library for about 1000 pounds. At the time, this a significant amount and it did actually earn him some money to spare. The joy of it all was short-lived up until when ho acquired a scarlet robe.
In the essay, Diderot points out that when he got his robe, he started noticing that the rest of his things now looked mismatched. The robe was good looking, but among his items, it felt out of place. Consciously or unconsciously, he started buying things that matched his robe.
He got a new rug and even started furnishing his house. In summary, he implies that some purchases cause a spiraling string of purchases and upgrades.
Diderot Effect in Real Life
In real life, we often find ourselves buying things we did not really need before a rise in income. For instance, you might relate with one of the following scenarios:
- After getting a pay rise, there is an urge to move to a bigger or better house. However, after moving, you realize that the couch does not match with the house and there is a need of buying kitchen equipment to cater to a “need”.
- After getting a good job, you desire to get a car to get to work and move around. Or, at times you get a new car to upgrade from your previous one and all of a sudden you feel a need to buy a car washing machine. Things that you generally did not think about in your previous car.
- After getting a better job, you get a desire to taste different dishes in different exotic places.
Harnessing Diderot Effect for the Good
Sometimes, we find ourselves buying things that we really do not need. That is human nature. But we can actually harness this unconscious response for the betterment of ourselves.
Moving to a bigger house does not necessarily improve you as a person. Yes, there is some level of comfort that comes with it, but it does not often develop you as a person. If you are employed, moving to a more expensive house actually increases your bills.
One way of harnessing the Diderot effect is by working on your health. Sometimes all it takes is buying a good looking Hydrate Factory water bottle. Such a purchase encourages you to drink more water and makes you health conscious. There are various benefits associated with drinking plenty of water but using a water bottle can make you to consider healthy food options and ways of saving money. Check out how a water bottle can help you save money here: Great Saves from Hydrate Factory Bottles
You can also start a side hustle and consider ways of increasing your revenue streams. In the article: Unique Business Idea for a Side hustle and As the Main Source of Income , we have outlined how you can start and grow a business.
The beauty of the Diderot effect is that, when you start a side business, you get an urge to improve it to the extent that it becomes a big business. This is why the rich and successful keep accumulating more wealth while the poor keep on purchasing things that they actually do not need.