On spending money better

While writing yesterday’s post, I started on a tangent about the process of accumulating stuff and decided to develop it into its own post.

Even as a person who is not big on shopping and has done multiple purges of stuff over the last bunch of years, I still have too much stuff. Some of it has been gifted to me (hooray!), and some of it is hand-me-downs (hooray!), but most of it I spent money on.

And now I’m getting rid of it. Surely, there are things I’d rather spend money on. Taking classes or lessons, taking trips, save it up to buy a good camera.

Seriously: if someone said, “Fill up this little dumpster with stuff from your house (yours only! none from The Climbing Daddy or The Kid) and if you can fill it, I’ll give you a high-quality camera with a couple of accessories that you’ll want to start learning to take good photos,” I’d fill it! (Hmmmm… depending on the size of the dumpster.) Which means that I’ve spent a bunch of money on stuff that I could have spent on something better.

Now … some of that stuff was useful when I bought it and just isn’t being used any more. But some of it isn’t.

In the given fantasy above, I’d finally get rid of clothes that really need to go and for whatever reason, I’m not getting rid of them. Because the external push would be strong enough. (I’ve purged many clothes—not sure why I’m stuck on some of the ones that are left.)

I’d bet—though I haven’t conferred with him—that The Climbing Daddy would take that exchange as well, though I’m not sure what would be an enticing enough trade for him to do it.

I’d bet that The Kid would, too. He couldn’t fill a dumpster—he doesn’t have that much stuff in total—but I bet he’d get rid of a lot of stuff for a LEGO kit expensive enough that he doesn’t get it even for his birthday. (He doesn’t have tons and tons of toys, but he rarely plays with anything except LEGO.)

I bet either of them would trade excess stuff for a trip, depending on where it was to.

All I’m saying is: if I didn’t spend $20 here and $35 there and $10 on the other, that adds up and I could buy one thing or experience that I’d rather have than that collection.

Jeeze, even mundane things would be better than some of the clutter. Windows. A mattress. Random scattered house renovation daydreams.

All that said … I still have a wish list. I got things for Christmas that I’m happy to have. We just ran out of Home Depot and Lowes gift cards from our wedding and I’m sad that we’ll have to spend money to make acquisitions there.

It’s not a matter of not wanting but of being mindful with acquisition, especially of the little stuff. Because there’s a lot of it. And it doesn’t cost a lot. And it piles up and takes space and time (to deal with in cleaning and organizing) and ultimately takes money away from places I’d rather it go.

My current plan (that is hit or miss with implementation) is one in, one out. So, for example, I bought a new skirt. One skirt or dress goes in the donation box.

We also have a box all the time that is the donation box, so any little thing that’s ready to be outgoing but not trash or sell can be tossed into the box. It helps things to go.

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