I'm often tempted to spend a large sum of money to upgrade to a new fancy truck. Something with more power, better handling and better features than my debt free, low maintenance 09 Jeep Wrangler.
The daydream drags on for a while and then reality starts to set in.
Utility is defined as the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial. So often temptation lures us into purchases that have little to no utilitarian benefit.
Vehicles serve different purposes for different people but for me I want something that is reliable, fun to drive and ascetically appealing. My debt free, clunky jeep does exactly that. I could spend $30,000 more on a beautiful new truck but in the end it brings marginal utility.
Stoic philosophy encourages people to think hard about what they fear most and then attempt to live that situation. When you do this you find out that what you feared most isn't that bad.
Imagine an economic collapse where you lose your job and your house. That would be awful, right? I thought about this recently and most likely I would move in with family members, we would share resources, and get by with the same level of happiness if not more due to greater personal connection.
We spend a lot of money to live in isolation but if we had to we could spend much less, live as a group and reap even greater utility from the situation.
Make conscious choices that add value to your life and enjoy the dividends for years to come.