Less Is More

Next time you are considering a new purchase – small or large try to see beyond the price tag. What is the TOTAL cost of the item you’re considering to buy? Is it the price listed on the item? Absolutely not!

I believe the total cost of every item is significantly higher than just the price tag when you add the value you place on your time. From small purchases to once-in-a-lifetime large purchases, you commit yourself to at least the following:

  • The purchase itself – time spent getting to the store, ordering online, or with a purchase like a car or a house time spent researching, planning…
  • Disposal of your other items which are being replaced – here the costs are time, impact on the environment…
  • Sorting out what you’ve bought – time spent reading a manual, sorting the new items, or recycling away the box they arrived in, trying out your new pair of shoes…
  • Using your purchase – this does not count if you thoroughly enjoy your new item; however, in all other cases, this also costs you in precious time…
  • Storing your items – you have to heat them, cool them, organize them, move them around from one house to the next…
  • Maintaining your items – cleaning the stove top, securing that swing set every once in a while, washing your car, cleaning your basement…
  • Disposal – again don’t forget your time and the impact on the environment

I suggest that you apply this test in whatever form you choose to at least some degree to all your purchases and then see if you still need to accumulate them or perhaps it is best to rent, borrow or otherwise get your needs addressed.

The key is this: the incremental costs associated with one more item are small, but when you add up all of the costs for all of the items that most people own, you realize that many around you spend all their life tending to their purchases rather than enjoying reading a book, for example, or going for a walk, or just talking with a friend.

Your time is the most precious of all your possessions and when it comes to time, having less things often results in more time.

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