Life lessons on buying stuff
Chad Bockius

About 3 years ago, I focused my thinking on how, in 5 1/2 years I could take early retirement. Most of the time now, I ask, is it going to make me happier to have this thing now, or not have to report to work in X years? I fell off the wagon this summer, getting rid of a 14-year-old car with 125K miles on it for a new car, but figure this will be my last new car. I have 15 year old living room furniture. An old Macbook Pro that I hardly turn on because I have a laptop from my employer for work use. Never bought a smartphone, live with a prepaid feature phone. I try to make it a practice to give away a piece of clothing for every new piece I buy, which isn’t often anymore. Getting an overpriced coffee concoction is intentionally a rare treat, not an everyday thing.

Where I DO spend money is to go away for a week every summer to art camp. I drive.

I often mentally run through what things I truly want to keep when I move, and it’s the dining room set, my first new one in my adult life, purchased 6 years ago, a newish platform bed and dresser, and a couple of other small furniture items. Lots of my own framed art.

The biggest hassle is getting rid of the big stuff. Few charities will take furniture and I am not big and strong enough to haul them somewhere.

Shortly, I am poised to let go of my past life in graphic design and throw out boxes of samples, and design books I haven’t cracked open in years.

The night Trump got elected and talk began of killing the ACA, I fell into total depression, because without affordable health insurance, no way I can retire before 65. It felt like my freedom being snatched out from under me.

Getting rid of stuff is incredibly mentally freeing. I’m still working on it!

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