Walking the Walk

As with most things, it is a lot easier to talk the intentional living talk than to walk the walk. Each of us has our long ingrained financial decision-making weaknesses.

For some, including myself, letting go of stuff you no longer need is really hard. I got my first sailboat when I was 13. My parents gave it to me as a kind of bribe to get over the heartbreak of moving. It was probably really for all of us kids but I’m the one that wanted it and the one that used it. I loved that boat and it did have its intended consequence. Getting that boat changed my life, after spending 13 years landlocked; I developed a deep love for the water. And, that love affected every aspect of my son’s life.

Even though I sailed that boat a bunch when I was young; in recent years it was seldom used. This past weekend it was one of several boats that were sold (actually I gave this one away) in my long-postponed Fleet Reduction Sale. I had tried several times in the past to force myself to sell my unused boats, but I couldn’t quite get it done. This time I did.

Letting go of things is psychologically hard for many of us. When the item has memories attached, it makes it even harder. There is an unreasonable desire to keep the stuff in order to relive our happy experiences.

If you have a hard time letting go, it may help to ask yourself these questions:

1) Why should you sell?

If you have an immediate need or a use for the money, that is an excellent reason to sell your unused stuff. I know I have some home improvement projects to fund from  the sale proceeds.

Upkeep: Stuff takes space, it takes time, and it requires upkeep and maintenance. I asked myself if I was really willing to allocate the time to wash and wax and repair these boats I rarely used.

New: Keeping the old makes it hard to get new. If there is a new model or style that would suit you better, that might be a good reason to sell the old.

2) Why are you reluctant to sell?

I might want to use it one day is the thought many people have. But, what if you did not own it anymore and you wanted to use it – what would you do? Could you borrow one, rent one or use a substitute?

Sentimental Value: Will selling the stuff destroy your happy memories? Of course not! Taking pictures of the stuff you hold dear might just help you bridge the gap so you can let go.

Finding a good home for the stuff you love is not as hard as it sounds. A good home is a place where your things will be used and valued.

I saw my old boat out on the lake Sunday, changing some new kid’s life.