Author Topic: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?  (Read 4534 times)


  • Magnum Stache
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Maybe it's obsessive, but I find it interesting to keep track of what items I buy and compare it to what I get rid of. Anyone else?

Here's what the year looks like for the two of us so far:

(I don't include consumables in the list - food, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, oil for the bikes, bus tickets, experiences, etc, or digital things like e-books or video game downloads)

New stuff bought that do NOT replace something we already have:

Wall clock
Good Housekeeping monthly magazines (subscription)
Photo developing for some travel pictures
Cookbook holder
Onion holder
Hiking first aid kid
Paper shredder
Watering can
Over-the-door towel hooks

Stuff bought to replace something - i.e. we got rid of the old one, so "net-zero" stuff:

Shower curtain
Bathroom rugs
Bathroom scale
Running shoes
Kitchen table
Cell phone (cheapo flip type)
Bike seat

Other stuff we got rid of and did not replace:

Bed frame
Big table
One of three sewing machines
Lots of "real" books (switching to e-books)
Big bags of clothes
Excess towels, blankets, and linens
Extra monopoly game

Having been in our old apartment for way longer than any previous place, it was a great reminder how much moving helps you get rid of stuff.  Hoping to downsize a lot more as the year goes on as well. How about you guys?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 12:18:02 PM »
I keep track. I graduated college and moved so... some furniture, an awesome PC, some tools, and wasted some money on camera gear because it's fun. I still save 50% pre-tax so fuck it, I'm happy I got the camera stuff. The rest was more or less necessary.

I had lived a very nomadic life, owning almost nothing, so it's sort of nice to finally have tools and stuff.

Cheddar Stacker

  • Magnum Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 12:45:07 PM »
I honestly can't think of more than 2 or 3 "things" I've purchased all year. I shop for some consumables like groceries and such, but not much else.

I know I purchased some building materials since we had to replace a bathtub and some tiles. I bought a FreedomPop modem to replace the overpriced cable company charge but that's a net win. This is interesting, but I really can't think of anything else other than food/drinks and building materials. Zero clothes, zero shoes, 1 electronic gadget. I almost bought a new big outdoor trash can but decided it was too expensive and I would just try to outsmart the raccoons visiting our house at night.

I never bought a lot before but I didn't realize how little I was purchasing.


  • Bristles
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 02:00:18 PM »
Oh no, you're not alone. I do this too! I always make a note of what the purchase was in the 'notes' section of Mint for each transaction. This list includes household 'stuff' and my own personal purchases. My spouse basically buys a shit ton of woodworking tools, and brewing equipment, not much else. This doesn't include all the home reno/garden stuff, which is quite a lengthy and pricey list. No kids either, but 2 cats and a dog!

New stuff:
-bottle of perfume
-plant stand + new pots for houseplants
-day pack for hiking mountains
-set of AMC maps for said mountains
-water shoes
-two art prints
-automatic pet feeder
-set of 4 books from a kickstarter
-my road bike!
-eight instances of shopping for clothing (some is net zero since I'm acting like an adult and purging all of the clothes that don't fit and are crappy looking, but not necessarily 1:1 yet)
-wall mount for TV

"Net-zero" stuff:
-snow shovel
-kitchen light
-dining room light
-running shoes
-iphones to replace iphones when switching to Ting

The above totals about $1700. I don't know how I feel about that number. Neutral, I guess? I don't regret any of those purchases. Purchases from 5 years ago? Definitely. I'm at a point where I'm very mindful of when I'm spending money on a new 'thing' that's going to take up space in our not-giant house. I've been getting rid of box after box of stuff (especially books!), and some of our cheap furniture pieces.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 02:10:38 PM »
Wow, I am not nearly that obsessive, but I am fairly confident I have less stuff at the end of the year than from where I started. Less is more.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 02:46:40 PM »
I also find it interesting, but am not sure what everything was...  I am doing great since January, but I'll be honest and track all the way back to 8/1/13 which is before I buttoned things down.

New stuff
Sewing machine (Craigslist)
MIG welder (20% off retail -- worth it if only for the look on their faces when they realized they forgot to exclude welders on the coupon)
Ceramic casserole dish
Manual food processor
Adult Footie Pajamas
Novelty T-shirts online
A few pieces of clothing

Net zero
Work clothes (shoes, shirts, pants, sweaters)
Jeans and shorts
Underwear and belt
Running shoes

Loss of Stuff
Lots of old clothes
Ironing board
CRT TV and accessories
Pots and Pans

We got new pots and pans as a Christmas gift, so it's really more of a net zero in space, but we didn't pay for them.  The sewing machine and dumbbells are my only purchases since January other than net zero clothes.

For the record, I fully recommend adult footie pajamas.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 02:49:35 PM by ChransStache »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 04:38:20 PM »
Maybe it's obsessive, but I find it interesting to keep track of what items I buy and compare it to what I get rid of. Anyone else?

No, but you've made me want to.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 06:34:26 PM »
Our daughter moved out.  Does that count as a net gain or a net loss?

This year we took that opportunity to do some major minimalizing (yeah, I know, oxymoronic).  She graduated from college and started her Navy career by driving her ship across the Atlantic to their new homeport in Rota, Spain.  One of her military benefits is a one-time move of her personal property from her home of record (Oahu) to that new homeport, up to the weight allowance for new officers.  We've known about this opportunity for months, so last Christmas my spouse & daughter went through the whole house and made a list of the things she'd need to set up her own apartment.  It wasn't just her room and a couple of chairs-- everything was on the table.  She added the guest bedroom, some livingroom furniture, half  the contents of the kitchen cabinets, Christmas decorations, wool rugs, and a lot of wall art.

So, at the end of June, the movers took away four wooden crates (~4000 pounds) of her stuff.  Ironically some of it is furniture & decor that my spouse purchased when she was a new ensign in Rota over 30 years ago.  Personally I think our daughter might have overdone it, but that's not my problem and she can deal with that when she unpacks and gets ready for her next move in 2016.  She's thrilled to have it, and we're thrilled to get rid of it!

As everyone went through the house, we set aside the things that our daughter decided she'd grown out of.  That was another entire carload to Goodwill, although admittedly our daughter had been stashing some of those things for over a decade. 

By the way, parking a moving van at the end of your driveway is a great way to get back in touch with the neighbors.  We got major love that day.

Since that move, spouse and I have emptied the rest of the furniture out of three of our four bedrooms.  We removed the carpet & padding from two of them (10 years old and 25 years old) and completely repainted.  Once the new carpet/padding is in, we'll gradually refurnish from Craigslist-- or not.  Some of the furniture is not missed by us at all, and I'm certainly happy to get rid of the excess kitchen contents.  One of the rooms will be used for the photo sorting & scanning project from hell-- 30 years of our own photo albums, all of the albums I've acquired from my parents, and another century of family portraits.  That'll probably take the rest of 2014 and part of 2015, and provide a lifetime of Throwback Thursday posts.

I wish we'd put this entire house on a truck scale before we started, and then weighed it regularly during the process!  I continue to get rid of books that I no longer need.  My spouse has started getting rid of her 1980s textbooks & notes, and we've moved a six-foot stack of paper to the recycling. 

The only major purchases we've made this year have been plane tickets...


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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 06:38:42 AM »
We've probably gained a small amount of stuff. Some new books, a decent number of board games, bike specific tools and parts, garden supplies.

Then again, we recently did a major purge of books earlier in the year and we are going to have a yard sale sometime in the next couple of months to offload all of our kids clothes.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2014, 06:53:31 AM »
I'm not actually obsessive enough to write it down, but let's see if I can rememberů

- replaced a cell phone (cheap one, ca 50$)
- bought new hiking pants
- bought new shoes (150$)
- bought an inflatable bed including a pump (more guests than stationary beds)
- bought various small clothing items (socks, underwear, t-shirts etc)
- sent away a big box of clothing for charity and some books for my father

Maybe a small increase, but not really anything that I don't need. A total might be a bit under 400$. I spent a lot more money than that on plane tickets, hotels, restaurants etc.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: What "stuff" have you bought this year? Net loss or gain of "stuff"?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2014, 09:22:32 AM »
I have been thinking about this for a few weeks because  I have spent a lot of moolah this year, but don't really have any new stuff. Just bought stuff to replace old stuff. Plus I spend the most money on traveling and eating out with friends, so not a big accumulator. I love purging and have been doing it routinely all year. Have less stuff now than when the year started for sure.

New stuff bought that does NOT replace something I already have:
Bottle of Essie Nailpolish
2 Ceiling Fans
1 Light
1 financial calculator
1 hard cover book
A few work dresses
1 pair casual pants from GAP

Stuff bought to replace something - i.e. I got rid of the old one, so "net-zero" stuff:
End Table
Coffee Table
Milk Frother
iPod running case
Sports bras
Wireless router (boo)

Other stuff I got rid of and did not replace:
Bags of old clothes