A few years ago, after decades in our family home, my parents could no longer handle the physical upkeep of a large single family home. It turned out that the trauma of selling our family home wasn’t nearly as bad as what us ‘kids,’ now middle aged ourselves, had to do in order to make it happen.
One Friday we ordered one of the big commercial dumpster bins to be delivered to the house. After giving away stuff family members, friends and neighbors wanted, we knew there’d still be a lot of things that had to be thrown out: sleeping bags to tools, furniture to books, and extra dishes to everything else, none of which could go into a one bedroom nursing home unit. What we weren’t prepared for was the visual impact of a huge and full bin being hauled away, then a second bin, and a third bin. In total, the stuff accumulated over a lifetime added up to over 14,000 pounds – in the dump. Few things in life have had such a powerful and visual impact on us.
Literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of stuff, purchased one thing at a time, over a lifetime, boiled down to 14,000 pounds of trash. It sure put things into perspective. You’ll now understand why I’m just not that excited about buying that newest whatever, the next model of some gadget or another, or running up my credit cards. Hopefully it won’t take that kind of experience for you to look at “stuff” a little different in your life, or with Christmas presents this year.
When you decide you want to reach financial independence and become debt free, it needs to start by turning off the buying and borrowing tap, to end your continuous borrowing and payment cycle. That decision comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that ending your borrowing cycle rapidly accelerates the date of your debt freedom. After all, you’ve now stopped digging and stopped making things worse. Besides, if you look at all the debt you have, there’s a good chance that today, most of it couldn’t be sold on e-Bay or given away on Kijiji.