Deconsumption or the art of getting more for your money

Deconsumption or the art of getting more for your money

Do you know deconformation, this trend that entered the Petit Larousse 2021?It is, in a way, a modern version of voluntary simplicity, fueled by a series of new technologies, the climate urgency and the chronic lack of time of workers.

Publié le 12 sept. 2021

The pandemic has gained weight to Quebecers, and on their bank account, in many cases.In fact, the savings rate exploded in 2020. Particularly among the wealthy who no longer had the opportunity to spend as much.In 2020, although Quebec household income increased by 27 billion, their expenses fell by 13 billion.

This vast experience of forced deconstation has made several of them think about their lifestyle.The others still have time to get started.

Some quickly reacted, as evidenced by disconcerting reports of the Toronto Life site featuring young couples who were able to buy a condo in the heart of the Queen city ... thanks to confinement.One of them frankly admits having saved $ 38,000 between March and September 2020. Just by reducing his purchases of clothing, gadgets, electronic products, his visits to the hairdresser, his outings and by canceling his vacation.Another couple had put $ 50,000 side after a year.

Mathematically, consuming less saves and reduces debt.I do not teach you anything.But the phenomenon of deconstation is far from being just about a better budgetary balance.

Moreover, the prospectivist and strategist Eric Noël devoted a 68 -page bushy study on the subject at the request of the Institut du Québec, an organization which is interested in the socioeconomic challenges of the province.The causes and consequences of this trend that is gaining momentum are dissected and encrypted.He had already written on the subject in 2010 for Ottawa.And has observed it since the start of the millennium.

Technology at the service of deconformation

Eric Noël notes that economists spend a lot of energy to debate consumers' purchasing power."I think it's time that we add the will to buy to our calculations," he said.It is not because you live in an abundance society that you still want to fill your basement, your garage, your shed and your chalet with a crowd of good quality goods, impossible to repair andharmful to the planet that only serve once every three years.

La déconsommation ou l’art d’en avoir plus pour son argent

In fact, it has been realized that there are ways to use your money in a more productive way than by consuming in a traditional way.And it has developed tools that allow us to have more for our money.With Airbnb, for example, an owner can make his real estate investment more profitable, while his client takes advantage of the premises without having to contract a mortgage to acquire a chalet.

A pleiad of online platforms now allow consumers to rent maternity clothes (, the car of an individual (, its parking space ( and even its Cruy swimming pool (!For the holidays, it is possible to exchange your home ( and to reserve a dinner with the inhabitant (

You can also borrow a sandblaster in a tool library and use a sewing machine on site to do its pants stockings ( barter sites are multiplying, just like the babbles where you give its surplus.All of this is added to the known services of Communauto carsharing, bicycle rental and Uber transport.

Online, the sales of used products explode.In the United States, in 2019, the clothing trade already worn has increased 21 times faster than the new clothing market, reports Eric Noël.Another paradigm change: this is well seen socially - regardless of its income - to find a boon on Kijiji or Lespac.Not for nothing that Facebook has put itself in the game.

Des détaillants comme IKEA, H&M et Simons ont aussi flairé la bonne affaire en se lançant dans la vente de produits de seconde main.

In short, technology now facilitates responsible purchases.

Counter "temporal poverty"

"We can understand why the concept of property, however dear to our grandparents, gives way to" all-to-and-partner-and-poseser ", writes Éric Noël.Not only is it economical and ecological, but it also saves crazy time in an era of acute "temporal poverty".

In fact, the acquisition, maintenance and management of goods consumed many hours.

Like former owners of sailboats, motorcycles, condos or fishing camps know it, stop being the "property of its properties" offers significant time benefits.

Extract from Eric Noël's study

And if there is something that the pandemic made us aware, it is the value of time ...

I would like to add that each dollar saved by choosing better and less consuming (in quantity, frequency, cost) can be invested in its future.In addition to the immediate benefit (including the gratuity of acting in adequacy with its values), the famous "freedom 55" becomes more realistic.Moreover, this is the basic principle of the Fire (English acronym for financial independence, early retirement) that is also gaining popularity.

All this is encouraging, but a marked decline in consumption would cause economic consequences, especially on public finances (less taxes collected, increase in unemployment) and would affect post-pandemic revival.So should we feel guilty of going into deconstation mode?I asked Eric Noël."You can't be ashamed to be productive!»»

A question of maximizing the productivity of his hard -won dollars, the expert suggests also investing, on the stock market, in companies which already understand the phenomenon of deconstation and which adapt their business model accordingly.It would be stupid, in fact, to ignore the consequences of his own behaviors on his investments.

So, tell me, after deconstation forced by the pandemic, will you opt for voluntary deconstation?

Consultez l’étude d’Éric Noël « La déconsommation : une microtendance à ne plus négliger » Lisez l’article du Toronto Life « A Toronto couple saved $50,000 during lockdown » (en anglais) Lisez l’articledu Toronto Life « This couple paid $1 million for a Riverdale condo » (en anglais)