I’ve written about J. Money’s Sell-O-Meter, where he tracks how much money he’s “made” by selling off old items he’s no longer using, and how I’ve been inspired to also keep track of the money I’m bringing in by selling off things that have been sitting on a shelf or hidden in a closet (a painless $67 in under 2 months).
This week, J.D. at Get Rich Slowly posted his version of the idea – a Stuff Replacement Fund. Same general idea – sell off your things and track how much money you’re making. But rather than spend the money immediately or put it into a “fun fund,” J.D. suggests creating a Stuff Replacement Fund. If you’re hanging onto something because you think you might want to use it someday, by putting the money into a Stuff Replacement Fund, you have the money there to replace it if you so choose. His theory is that a few years later, if you’ve not needed the money, you can just fold it into your regular accounts, because clearly, the items you sold weren’t items you needed.
This isn’t a bad idea for people who find themselves holding onto things because they might need them again. Sure, you won’t be making enough money to replace the item if it were new, but you’d probably be able to buy another used one.
What’s the point of selling then, if you’re just going to stash away the money? Well, you’re earning interest. All your item is collecting now is dust. Additionally, you’re simplifying your life. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that one of my problems is that I have too much space to store things. I’ve kept stuff just because I have room for it, not because I need it. Plus, the item is better off in the hands of someone who will use it.
I’m not sure if this is something I’m going to try or not. I’m pretty good about getting rid of things that I know I won’t use again, but there are things I can’t bring myself to sell, even though I’m well aware that perhaps they are not items that I need. I find more incentive in creating a “fun fund,” as J. Money has done. But maybe I should take another look at what I own, just to see what else might be ready to leave the apartment.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.