I was working with a client recently (I could start every article this way as most of my inspiration comes from people like you and me)…
I was working with a client recently who got me thinking more deeply about how we view money, belongings, and what things are worth.
We were going through a pile of clothing. The clothes had been in bags stored away for at least a year. The owner of said clothes has more than enough clothing in her closet and dresser to keep her clothed with plenty to spare without the clothes that we just pulled from these storage bags. As we went through the clothes she kept wanting to keep piece after piece. Now, I do want to say that I fully recognize that letting go of your belongings is difficult and clothes are near the top of the list. This is why I prefer to work side-by-side with my clients to walk them through, hear their thoughts, and encourage them to reach their goals in decluttering.
As we were decluttering we were talking about our weekend’s activities. This client and one of her children went to see a movie. The movie was on their family’s must-see list because it was a part of a series that they enjoyed. It likely wasn’t on anyone else’s must-see list, however. I’m sure the movie itself was fine but I haven’t heard anyone else talking about it and they themselves didn’t rave over it. For this family, it was money well spent to have that time together.
Stick with me, I’m going to pull these two seemingly unrelated stories together.
If they only saw the movie and didn’t purchase any concessions they spent at least $20, and that’s if they went a matinee. That is money that they spent for an experience. It was spent and the only thing they brought home from that $20 is a fun memory, no tangible items.
We might expect to pay $20 for a movie and feel like we got our money’s worth (well, at least the going rate). That same $20 spent on a shirt? We think the shirt needs to last our entire lifetime. So let’s change how we think about things.
Since it might be a stretch to compare movie prices (entertainment) to a shirt (clothing) let’s change to comparing other items that are meant to entertain. Let’s think DVDs, CDs, books, games (all kinds), and sports equipment to name a few.
So now when you are going through your belongings you can ask yourself, “Did I get my money’s worth?” And if you have used the item even one time the answer is probably “yes” if we use the movie ticket way of thinking.
You might still decide to keep the item because it is beautiful to you or it is functional but at least you have now thought through it a little more clearly.
And for another day, think in this same way when deciding to purchase something or not.