Saying Goodbye to Stuff and Hello to Saving
It’s hard to let go of stuff. Some things make life easier, while other items are nice mementos. Sometimes, though, stuff just gets in the way of life goals, no matter the ease or memories they provide.
Recently, for example, my husband and I sold our third car. That sounds ridiculous even as I write it, but it’s the truth. Mike and I had three cars between the two of us, and I work from home. Yes, that is right. Ridiculous, huh? That’s not the whole story, though…
The Whole Story
This year, we decided to purchase a 1962 VW Bug as a show car. It’s a cute little thing, but it is not practical for an everyday car. There is no heat and no defrost, and there are holes in the door sealants that let in snow, rain, cats, dogs, you name it. Anyway, the intent in purchasing this car was simply to fix it up, drive it occasionally, and show it in an annual car show in which Mike’s whole family participates.
Reasons to Sell
Which brings me to the ants in my pants: Once we bought the Bug, I found no reason to have our second car, a Hyundai Accent commuter car. In my reasoning: 1) I never went anywhere during the day, 2) we had not driven the Accent more than 3,000 miles in a full nine months, and 3) someone in the world needed that car more than we did. Oh, and I wanted to cushion our emergency savings account.
So, bye-bye Hyundai! Hello moola! I am very happy that we sold the Accent because we turned an unnecessary asset into always-welcome cash. We can now invest that cash and watch it grow rather than watch our asset depreciate, unused in our driveway.
Driving it Home
Ok, so the car is sold, the money in my pocket — where does this connect to you? Simply, stuff can deter you from the road to wealth. Hanging on to that third car or that jewelry you never wear because of convenience or memories can hold you back from reaching your financial goals. Also, letting your stuff depreciate, unused, in your driveway, jewelry box, or boat slip costs you money when you could be making money by selling your items and investing the cash.
Further, if you are in a world of debt, selling your stuff can turn your fortune around, or at least get you closer to a positive net worth. The balance here lies in the use you get from the item. For example, selling your wedding ring that you wear every day makes much less sense than selling the boat that you use three times per year. It’s all relative, and only you can decide if selling an item to decrease your debt is worth losing the usefulness of the item.