I'm Keeping My Stuff - it's valuable

People sell stuff to make money, but I'm keeping my stuff because I find it to be more valuable than money. I have lots of tools and materials and books and such, and some of it isn't used very often, but it's mine and I find value in it. Others view me as having pack rat syndrome, and that's fine. It's something I'll live with.

I'm familiar with many individuals who sell what they have to make money. As you can imagine, I'm generally against something like this, but then others can do as they please. Let me tell you why I'm against selling things to make money. It's a contrary view and one you might find interesting.

My perspective won't necessarily fit your style, but it's worth considering. I'm keeping my stuff because:

  • Selling personal items is a way of compensating for spending on other items, and the best thing to do is stop spending money and enjoy what you have. I focus on using and enjoying what I have, even if I don't use it that often.

  • It can cost to sell an item. Whether you need to clean it, repair it, or just take time to get it ready to sell, there is a cost involved. If you consign something or work through an auction house, part of the money you might get is peeled away in the form of a commission. In essence, that's another cost to sell it, and that cost erodes the value of the item that you see returned to you in the form of cash.

  • What you're getting in terms of return on investment of your time is usually not nearly what you could get for working that same amount of time at gainful employment. If you make $22 a hour at work and you spend 20 hours sorting, organizing and setting up things for a garage sale, and then spend 12 hours managing the two day garage sale and another 2 hours getting your garage back into shape after the sale, you better make somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 or it really isn't worth the time you've invested.

  • Eventually, you run out of stuff to sell. Then what do you do? It's not like you have a continuous stream of products to peddle. Chances are when you run out of things to sell, you still have a need for money. The better approach is to fix what is causing you to have a need for money.

  • Having things allows you to barter for other things. Instead of changing your stuff for money and then exchanging your money for other things, you can go directly from things you no longer want to things you do want. It can be a more efficient use of your assets instead of converting them to money. The reason is that money is a bit like energy - every time it changes form, there are losses. And, those losses are yours.

    I'm keeping my stuff so I can barter. Consider that rarely, if ever, would I get the retail price paid for an item, and there is usually someone there to take something off the top - taxes, commission, booth fee, delivery costs, etc. If I barter, the value isn't converted to money, and if no money changes hands, then it's likely that less of the asset value will turn to losses.

  • Sometimes having your own things is far more comforting than having money. It's the main reason that I'm keeping my stuff. Personal possessions are tangible and can be used. They tend to have staying power, whereas money doesn't - it tends to be spent. How many people do you know that have "burn a hole in your pocket" syndrome? In my book, that's far worse than pack rat syndrome.
Selling your stuff makes sense if you're trying to make more room in your home, or you're trying to reduce or eliminate storage fees. Giving your things away also accomplishes those goals, so make certain you know why it is you're selling your things. Is it the need for cash, the need for space, or the need to stop bleeding yourself dry with storage fees? I have plenty of space, so I'm keeping my stuff, and I don't require any paid storage facilities.

The key is to stop and think about why you purchased the items to begin with, and make certain that selling them isn't just part of a consumer oriented cycle that you're going to repeat. If that's the case, then you're focusing on the wrong end of the equation - fix the reason you're trying to get more money and then learn to live with what you have because it's probably all that you need.

Done with Keeping My Stuff, take me back to Making Money

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.