Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-23-2004, 11:19 AM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
The hidden costs of too much stuff

MSN doesn't date a lot of their financial articles so this may be a repeat, but it bears repeating!

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/...17.asp?Printer
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-23-2004, 05:56 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 252
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Terrific article!

Speaking for myself... I get some flack from a few friends of mine for the car I drive (rather small, and nine years old), and the furniture that I've owned since I graduated college (including two love seats that my parents gave me.)

Them: Get something nice! You can afford it!

I just shrug. It's good enough. So what if my clothes chest is particle board with a wood veneer? It does the job. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer, but as long as something continues to fulfill the purpose I bought it for adequately, I'm hesitant to get rid of it. When it no longer does, I will get rid of it and get something that does. And usually I try to sell it or find it a good home, instead of throwing it in the dumpster. (In fact, I've done that several times this past week.)

Plus it's more environmentally friendly than buying crap every week at Wally World and tossing it a few years later.
__________________

__________________
Whakamole is offline   Reply With Quote
Re:  The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-23-2004, 09:44 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re:  The hidden costs of too much stuff

My possessions reflect my values, not my net worth...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-23-2004, 10:44 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BigMoneyJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 2,627
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Nords, good article.

Whakamole, I agree with you; if it ain't broke, don't fix it. who cares if it doesn't match or isn't the latest?

However, being an INTP I am a tool, book (reference books, essentially mental tools) and spare parts lover. So I tend to collect tools, spare parts and books that I may need someday; sometimes this works out great, but sometimes I think I may be accumulating too much.

I am able to make myself clear things out periodically, but I think I'm due again. Getting rid of books is the hardest; I used to imagine myself with walls full of bookshelves full of books, but that's too much stuff.

Do other tool lovers have this problem, too?
__________________
BigMoneyJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-23-2004, 10:50 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BigMoneyJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 2,627
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Excuse me for posting twice in a row, but here's another log for the fire: nostalgia.

I've never been very nostalgic, but sometimes I'll hang on to something because I think I might be nostalgic a couple of decades from now.

Actually, this isn't really a problem for me since my nostalgia is a very small portion of my stuff, but I expect it's an issue for others.
__________________
BigMoneyJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 03:18 AM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

I am relentless at getting rid of "stuff", usually
converting to cash. Sometimes I just wander through the house and garage thinking "What can I sell next?"
However, even I have a few things I can't bear to part with.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 05:29 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

I have to confess. I like some nice stuff. I recently bought an oriental rug and paid way too much for it. I like nice furniture as well. I like my family's antiques both for nostagia and aesthetic reasons. I like books and buy lots of them. Sometimes even in hardcover. Fortunately, my husband doesn't care about stuff. It is hard to get him to even wear clothes without holes or stains on them. He won't waste money on a barber so I cut his hair. He drives a ratty old truck. Also fortunately, we live in a one bedroom apartment so I am significantly limited in what I can accumulate. I stick to a budget and the extras have to come out of what I earn, not from invested funds. I know exactly how many hours I had to work for that rug. I also know that once I retire, I will be using the library far more than amazon.com for books.

Martha

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 06:42 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: No Where for Very Long
Posts: 747
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff



I came to Thailand with two suitcases (OK, they were big...)

And subsequently I bought a fan and reading light.

But I love living the "no stuff" lifestyle. Not for everybody but it sure works for me..... 8)
__________________

Lancelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 06:52 AM   #9
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

I doubt I could ever attain a real "no stuff"
lifestyle. It's one of those goals you keep heading
for but never quite reach, at least it's so in my case.
Interesting how much pleasure I get from packing for
a long motorcycle trip and being forced to take along
only
the barest minimum. One might well ask why
this wouldn't work for day-to-day living. Indeed,
it does for a lucky few.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 06:52 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 252
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Quote:
I am relentless at getting rid of "stuff", usually
converting to cash. Sometimes I just wander through the house and garage thinking "What can I sell next?"
However, even I have a few things I can't bear to part with.

John Galt
I've been doing that lately... went through my book collection and figured if I had the book ten years and still hadn't read it, or wasn't interested in the subject anymore, time to chuck it. Converted some other stuff I wasn't using anymore to cash too. Nice feeling

__________________
Whakamole is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 06:55 AM   #11
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 21
Send a message via AIM to Bayfield40
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

We are slowly beginning to get rid of all of our "stuff" in preparation to move aboard in 9 months. It's amazing the things you accumulate. We moved from a 3-bedroom house with a basement full of stuff to a 1-bedroom apartment 2 years ago and thought we got rid of alot then, but that's nothing like getting rid of everything! I'm getting very friendly with e-bay!

It's really very liberating. I walk around identifying which small things mean the most and deciding if they will fit the new lifestyle. Really the most difficult will be not accumulating more things from our new travels!
__________________
Bayfield40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 07:05 AM   #12
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

"Liberating" is a good word to describe this
"dejunking" of your life. I am all for it, even though for me it is a never-ending process. There is an old nostrum
about possessions expanding to fill the available space....................something like that.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 08:31 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,211
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

My father-in-law was a frugal, German extraction
farmer who collected everything. He was known
to stop on the road to pick up old tools, gimme hats
and anything striking his fancy. He augmented his
income with remodeling work which led to frequent
trips to the dump. He would always return with
something he might need some day.

Living on a farm, he would just build a new work
shed whenever the old one filled up. When he
passed away, we had to hire a dozer to dig a
big enough hole to bury most of it. This was after
an estate sale that brought in people from all over
North Texas.

Until I got married I could pack everything in my car
and move on a moments notice. Now, after 37 years
of marriage to a frugal, German extraction wife who
collects things, I wonder if I should get in the self
storage business.

Cheers,

Charlie (aka Chuck-Lyn)
__________________
charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Great topic!
Old 03-24-2004, 08:44 AM   #14
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 13
Great topic!

I have been fighting the good fight for 2 years! And that is, the wife, along with her co-conspirator MILAW, have so far, unsuccessfully, been trying to persuade me to put up a storage shed in the back yard. HA! Double HA! HA! This is my "line in the sand"! The Alamo! The last stand against overconsumption! To me, it is more symbolic than the WOT!(just kidding!) For I know what it would mean should I eventually lose this battle. Whether the shed would be a std 6' x 8' wooden shed or one the size of a wally world super center would not matter because the 2 of them would have it packed like a sardine can with more useless "stuff" before the paint dried! Wish me luck! Still fighting!
__________________
jamesgang is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 11:16 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Well, two big dogs and three cats cured me of wanting to spend a lot of money on rugs or furniture, or anything that in the presence of dog teeth and cat claws wouldnt be purty no more.

My old mcmansion had a huge dry crawlspace and a huge attic. I never threw ANYTHING away. Everytime I bought something, I kept the box, the receipt and the books and put them under the house. Anything broke, hell I might fix it some day, under the house. Old electronics, up in the attic.

Then I moved into my new house, half the size, no crawl space and limited attic access (although I have a sheetrock saw and someday soon there will be a new hole in my attic ceiling...).

Five very large hauling trucks worth of stuff to the dump. 36 big trash bags of stuff to charities. Three large trucks full of stuff to a needy friend that runs a full time yard sale in her front yard. And then there was a two car garage side sized yard sale we had here a few weeks ago.

I still have two bedrooms festooned with stuff.

Its getting smaller though. Next step is untangling a 3' diameter ball of miscellaneous wiring and cables, and going through 20 boxes of old computer parts and hucking half of it or selling it.

Then I'll only need a 1200-1400 square foot house and I can move again...
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 01:27 PM   #16
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

In 1998 I got a divorce and eventually moved into a
600 sq. ft. apartment (I did have a garage). I managed
to keep everything on site until I remarried in 2001.
Our present house is about 1000 SF and more than adequate. I know lots of people who just accumulate
ad nauseum. I am not built that way.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 02:15 PM   #17
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

I never really got into accumulating lots of stuff. I am a thrower out of junk!

I am really into Fly Fishing. Some folks I know have 40 fly rods and reels. I have half a dozen. But some of the reels cost over $500. So I tend to value quality over quantity. And if I don't fish with it, I sell it! - I am not a collector. Because as you said, stuff takes space and maintenance.

I also tend to value experiences over stuff.
Like an African Photo Safari vs. a Boat or Lake Cabin.

A few of the best things I ever got rid of were my snowblower and lawnmower, when I moved into an association.

__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-24-2004, 02:17 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Unfortunately, we are and must fight the 'creeping plague of stuff accumulation' every so
many years - with varying degree's of success.

The thought of moving 15 years or so of stuff in 92 to a new job was a large part in choosing ER(1993) - we liked where we and didn't want to move - let alone the hassle of packing.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-25-2004, 06:41 AM   #19
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

About a year ago (but before we owned any Texas
property) I put the house up for sale in preparation
for our move south. Got an offer pretty quickly, but after I accepted it reality set in. We had a mountain of stuff to dispose of or move, and no place to
go. I was up at night chugging Pepto-Bismol and
tranquilizers. The buyer backed out. He did me a large
favor.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff
Old 03-25-2004, 07:01 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BigMoneyJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 2,627
Re: The hidden costs of too much stuff

Between moving to a smaller place and having his mother pass away, my dad--then single/2xdivorced--wound up renting 3 storage units to keep stuff in. That was at least $120/month, and I know that stuff wasn't worth over $1440/year to keep! I didn't know until later, but he kept paying to store that stuff for at least 3 years; heck, he may still be paying to this day.
__________________

__________________
BigMoneyJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Costs and Benefits of Brokers ats5g FIRE and Money 0 08-30-2006 02:04 PM
LONG TERM CARE,SCAREY STUFF mathjak107 FIRE and Money 63 05-11-2006 12:28 AM
Tax compliance costs 22c for every dollar collected cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 15 01-19-2006 03:36 AM
Baby stuff cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 36 11-04-2004 12:22 PM
Hidden costs of stock fund commissions/spreads? ESRBob FIRE and Money 6 04-19-2004 06:43 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:18 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.