If any one thing defines me, besides supreme awesomeness and authentic gangsta flavor, I'd say that it's my materialistic bent. The fact of the matter is that I usually love buying things. I love finding the best deals, I love buying the best of things (yeah, sorry... had to put that project on hold for a minute). There have been weeks where I've gotten a package every single day. Check part of my intro in the game :
In his spare time - which was basically all his time - he explored caves, recorded extremely catchy rap songs, and surfed the Internet for unusual items to buy and then never use.
It's true too. I have a $500 fountain pen. I don't even handwrite anything ever. I have three japanese LED watches, one watch with a GPS, another that tracks my sleep patterns, another that monitors my heart, and I don't wear a watch. I have the best toaster in the world (Dualit), the same one the queen uses. I use that a few times a year.
In my old house I converted a bedroom into an equipment room. In it is an 8' tall rack (yeah, the kind used in server farms) with 7 computers inside it. The other wall is completely covered with shelves with tupperware boxes labeled and holding some of my unused items. There are digital cameras, computers, boxes of remote controls, miles of cables, three portable printers, etc.
This leads me to my point. Now that I'm finally selling that house I'm faced with a major task - get rid of all my stuff.
It never occurred to me before that I'd have to sell this stuff. I got used to hoarding it in my mini warehouse so that I could use each thing that one time a year that I wanted it. It was like having a mini Fry's. If any of my friends or I needed something for our computers, chances are that I had it.
Now I'm keenly aware that I somehow have to get rid of everything I buy. Either I sell it or wait until it's depreciated and donate it or throw it away. The few times I've been tempted to buy something online recently I immediately think, "Ugh... some day I'm going to have to sell that."
Then I close the window.
You might remember that I moved about 6 months ago, but still hadn't sold my house. As a result I took what I actually needed/wanted and left everything behind. It wasn't intentional, I just brought stuff as I wanted it. Needless to say, the house is still full.
So now I'm selling everything. I have more than a dozen ads on craigslist. I'm trying to sell FOUR robotic lawnmowers. Seriously.
My new philosophy is that I want to have as few possessions as possible, but to have them be as high quality as possible. Getting there is basically just a process of selling off my extra stuff. I want to be as portable as possible without sacrificing functionality. I used to have over 20 computers working. Now I have one, and it's a laptop. I even want to get rid of my clothes. I want two pairs of jeans, 7 identical t-shirts, some outerwear, my hats, and a pair of shoes. I can't even tell you how many shoes I have. I'm not at girl level or anything, but I have at least two pairs of Ferragamo shoes I haven't worn in a year. I've spent thousands of dollars on these clothes. Now I wish I just bought some black t-shirts and saved the money. That could have been a couple extra shares of Berkshire Hathaway.
When I see people buying things now, I almost cringe. I was in Best Buy getting movie theater equipment for the woman buying my house and I felt bad for everyone there. Most of them were buying crap they didn't need. I used to read bensbargains.net and fatwallet.com several times a day. Now they're deleted off my bookmarks. During some months in the past I've had $10k/mo credit card bills. I have no idea how I even spent that much. This month I think I've spent $700 so far, and almost all of it is advertising and setup costs for my book.
I've been thinking about moving to Panama recently. That thought alone makes me wish I didn't even own a bed. Too bad the ladies frown on aerobeds (because I have two.) Some of my best times are when I travel, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that it's simple. I have a few very necessary possessions (laptop, phone, etc.), and no extra clutter. I bring my favorite clothes and leave the closet filler behind.
I'm a little worried that people might thing I'm turning into a Bona Fide hippie between this and the Vegan thing. If it makes you feel better, I am still hell bent on becoming a millionaire and then billionaire. I think money is the best thing in the world and I am working on making as much of it as possible. Some day when I can live off of the interest I will have a huge mansion with a warehouse with every product under the planet and a person in charge of maintaining my inventory. I'll have a plane, a submarine, a yacht, an island, and a host of low paid help from a third world country. I can't wait.
But until I have all that, I want to live as simply and unburdened as possible.
My recent war that I've been waging has been against stuff. For a while (and by that I mean since 7th grade), I've produced my own income and spent most of it on things from the internet. I've talked about this before so I won't bore you with the laundry lists of my posessions.
Then when I sold my house in North Austin, I was faced with the prospect of moving all that stuff. My most financially productive years were while I lived there, so I bought a ton of stuff. During that period of collection it never occurred to me that I would eventually move. My garage as well as one of the bedrooms in the house because warehouses for my things.
When I moved, I took a pretty extreme approach. I went through every item in the house and made a decision - either I needed it or not. If it was worth more than $50 or so I sold it. If it was worth less than that I put it in a bedroom. If it was worth less than $5-10 I donated it or threw it away. I posted my address on craigslist and let people go into the bedroom and take all that they wanted. Within a few hours the bulk of my stuff was taken away.
Photo is a very clean dinner table set up before a legendary Christmas Party with some very old friends.
I love efficiency. I always love figuring out the most efficient way of doing things. Whether it be packing for an overseas trip or simply figuring out a better way of cleaning the sink, I am all about efficiency.
However, I also love stuff. Too often, I'm tempted to buy things that eventually turn out to be unnecessary. In my quest to be efficient, I tend to buy many products that seem to make things more efficient but in truth, don't. You stop being efficient because you now have too much stuff. This real
Whenever I'm confronted with the urge to buy a new item, I now put myself through a 5-stage process to ensure that what I'm buying, I really need.