Ever since I was a little girl, Iâ€™ve been a saver. I got my first bank account when I was five, and I loved to deposit my nickles and dimes and watch my very small balance grow. Iâ€™ve never liked to spend money. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I love to get new stuff. But over the years Iâ€™ve come up with creative ways to have the stuff I want and entertain myself and my husband without spending much money. So it stands to reason that the few times Iâ€™ve spent a lot of money for something, I tend to remember it for a while.
Several years ago, when my husband and I were first dating, he was trying to get me interested in snowboarding. I found out that he didnâ€™t have a helmet ( Iâ€™m also a very cautious person, and safety devices are my friends). So one day we went to a winter sports store and I paid $100 each for two snowboard helmets. I didnâ€™t do any research beforehand, I didnâ€™t shop around – I made a purely emotional purchase. And it turned out that the helmet I got for him ended up being too small. By the time we discovered that it was uncomfortable after a long day on the slopes, it had been several months since I had bought it, and we couldnâ€™t return it. So we bought another one (after some research, for $40). But the unused helmet sat in the back of a closet, reminding me of the $100 I had spent on it. Around the same time I bought the helmets, I also got into rock climbing at my local gym. A girlfriend and I decided to climb together, and took the certification class together. Then we each went and bought our own climbing gear. Normally this would have been something I would have shopped around for, and probably bought used. But in the excitement of the moment, I went to a specialty sporting goods store, and shelled out top dollar for all my climbing gear. For about 6 months, I used it two or three times a week, and had a great time. Then we moved to a different city, and I no longer had my climbing buddy. So the rock climbing gear went into the closet with the helmet. All of this was about four years ago.
Yesterday, I packed up the helmet and the climbing gear, and took them to a local consignment shop that sells sporting goods. They were happy to have the stuff, and Iâ€™ll get some money for it once everything sells. But the best part was the liberating feeling of letting go of things that I had been keeping just because I had spent a lot of money on them. Never mind the fact that they were of no use to us anymore, and were just taking up space in a closet. The memory of the helmet and climbing gear are enough to remind me to always shop around, especially for big-ticket items, and to not buy impulsively. I donâ€™t actually need to keep things that are no longer useful to me, just because I feel that I didnâ€™t get a good deal when I bought them. And selling them at a consignment store sweetens the deal, because Iâ€™ll get a little money for them when they sell. So thereâ€™s more room in our closet, a load off my mind, and weâ€™ll get paid for the stuff weâ€™re selling. A good day all around.
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