Being Materialistic
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  1. #1
    Registered User FrugalScott28's Avatar
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    Question Being Materialistic

    I have challenges with my materialism. I consider myself rather materialistic. I spend anywhere from $40-$100/month on items such as video games, comic books, electronics, and music (records, CDs). I have been getting better and compared to last year (I have spreadsheets tracking spending in each category) there is improvement.

    The problem is I find myself slipping from time to time. Just the other night I bought and returned something for a video game system. It was good that I returned it, but I still had the impulse and acted on it.

    My other hobbies and areas of enjoyment include hiking, reading, writing, drawing, playing bass, building things, and selling items on ebay. I'm started to really enjoy cooking and helping out around the house.

    What I would like to do is shift more towards the free hobbies or those that don't require purchasing a physical item. I could look for downloadable video game deals online and use the library for comic books and music. I'm curious to see who else has a tough time with buying things just to have and what they have done to reduce the spending and clutter.

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    Maybe try for alternative means to get the same things. A lot of new swap sites have cropped up and if you type in your area name and anything resale you usually find groups. As far as video games Game Fly and Red box are alternative to buying. Redbox gives free codes. I am at an age where any more stuff sounds awful.

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    Registered User FrugalScott28's Avatar
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    That's a good idea. Usually I like to essentially trade by selling items and buying things I'd rather have.

    I haven't used Redbox but that's an option. I have borrowed games from friends. That's just as fun as owning.

    I'd like to eventually make things to sell or buy items cheap them resell. That's what my friend does for his main hobby.

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    Registered User acidcookie's Avatar
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    Also check out the local library! In addition to books, mine has movies, CDs, and even video games I can check out for free. ANd it's part of the state library system so if MY library doesn't have it, I can get it from any other library.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    You can also develop hobbies that will save money and/or contribute to healthy habits, such as gardening. It can be expensive for start-up but you can start small and build up your garden area over time, or find items to use on the cheap or even free. There's a lot of free info at the library, at your county or state extension office and/or website, and elsewhere online including YouTube. Check out Square Foot Gardening info for suggestions how to start small and build over time, as well as how to garden with the square foot system.

    I think a lot of shopping is just bad habits. The only way to break a habit is to just stop doing it. Not always easy, but it does get easier over time. We love thrift shopping and garage sales, but prior to last year cut back drastically. Last year was an exception because we had a true need to replace old and crappy furniture, plus my elderly mother moved to a larger place and needed things she wanted us to look for for her. This year we're planning to get back on track avoiding garage sales with a few key exceptions likely to have some specific items we're looking for. It was difficult to stop going to the sales and also difficult to walk away not buying anything when we did go, but we've vastly improved both bad habits. It can be done!

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    have you checked out ETSY to sell or area groups. DD and her friends sell items on mom to moms groups,anything resale groups,their are also specific groups liek firniture only or adults not kids stuff only (not an adult site lol). Depends what you want to make and sell.
    There Craigslist but use w/ caution for obvious. Ebay is a hassle but reaches a wider audience.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    If you're planning to make things to sell, keep in mind if you're using other people's patterns or instructions, they're covered by copyrights. For example, I've thought about making doll clothes to sell but most patterns I could buy prohibit that. I did get permission from one pattern maker to use her patterns, so it does pay off sometimes to drop an e mail to the publisher, but it's rare for that to happen.

    Some pattern makers allow for the use of their patterns for charity but not for profit.

    Also keep in mind you will have to track income and expenses and have to pay taxes on the things you sell. In some cases, you would be required to collect sales tax and submit to the state or other entities as well. Not saying any of this to make things seem impossible, but you need to price things accordingly because paying state and federal incomes taxes plus 100% of SS will cut into profits. Sales tax is usually paid in addition to the sale price of the item but still needs to be dealt with. A lot of people completely forget about taxes or like to pretend they are somehow exempt from paying, and get themselves into serious trouble.

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    I just wait a few days, or longer, to think about something I want to buy. After waiting, if I still want something, I'll start looking for the best deal. If after all of that I still want whatever it is, I'll buy it. More often than not, I end up not wanting whatever it was, or I decide I can wait longer.

  10. #9
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    My husband and I have a monthly subscription on Google play. I can down load as money songs as I want a month. Well most songs are free, a few you have to buy. The catch is that we are technically only renting the music. If we stopped paying the monthly fee I would loose access to all the music.

    I do not actually own the music, but I have access to listen to it whenever I want. I can also download as much as I want. If I feel like downloading 20 albums this weekend I can. I t does not cost any more per month.

    As far a comics go...my dad used to run a place that sold new and used comics. So I would say, support your local comic store, buy as much as can there. Just kidding. The point is to check if there is a local comic shop that buys and sells used comics. The amount you get for a used comic would be less than what you would buy them for. After all the person running the shop needs to make a living. But it would save some money and also you also would have less stuff.

    Another option is to see if there are other people in your community with the same taste in comics as you. Check if there are any fan clubs in your area. Or check through on-line groups. You could coordinate things were each of you buys different comics and then you pass them around. For example, each person has one or two series they buy. If you had five people in the group, you could read 5 to 10 different series, but only pay for and collect one series. If you are interested in collecting - not just reading - this may satisfy your need to collect things.

    We I was younger, I was part of group of friends that passed around copies of books and video games.

    The passing around method works with video games as well. My husband will often lend video games he has finished with to people.

    Also think about whether this is more about saving money or more about reducing materialism. It is okay to be equally about both. But just reducing materialism also has an easier option. When you are finished with a game, give it away to a friend or family member who likes games but has less money to spend on them than you.

    ************

    On a more personal note, I really enjoy collecting things. My mother is a hoarder. My dad is a hoarder and a collector. This is a really strong aspect of my personality. Getting rid of things is emotionally difficult and can be pretty stressful. The need to collect things is really very strong, like a compulsion. It takes a lot of discipline for me not be a hoarder. To suppress this completely would just be an insane amount of self discipline and stress. I would probably need to go on anti-anxiety meds. I have had cognitive behavior therapy. I understand from a rational point of view that I do not need these things. Philosophically and spiritually I completely support the idea of anti-materialism. None of this changes the whole pile of anxiety and compulsions associated with this. So I try to compromise and keep it under control.

    The main thing is that I find things that are small and cheap to collect. That way it does not take up too much space or money. For example, I collect sewing buttons. I have about three pounds of them. It is kind of a lot of buttons. I also collect dice. I have maybe a couple hundred dice dice, but they all fit nicely into a bag.

    Books are big thing as well. I have a lot of books. I have cut down on this a bit by getting electronic books for many of them. My husband and I go through every once and awhile and cull the collecting of paper books so we have shelf space to get more. Getting rid of books is an emotionally difficult thing for me, but I do it anyway. I also have a really creative idea that helps with this. I have a library of work related and semi-work related (stress reduction, communication skills) books at work. Everyone at work is entitled to money to take training. I convinced them to let me use my share to buy books. I share the books with others at work too. And sometimes I will add books I bought on my own to the collection. Hmm...maybe help is not the right word here.

    I have also been experimenting with the idea of collecting things that I make. The idea is whether that would give me the same type of emotional satisfaction as buying things for a collection. The jury is still out on that.
    KathyB

  11. #10
    Registered User FrugalScott28's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, great stuff! Here are some of my most recent projects:

    NES Controller mod with back lit logo and A B buttons
    Being Materialistic-dscn5770.jpg

    Custom painted Megaman NES with interior lighting and swapped out power light
    Being Materialistic-dscn5773.jpg

    Being Materialistic-dscn5774.jpg

    Being Materialistic-dscn5780.jpg

    Piece of drift wood carved out with a rotary tool to fit a cell phone. Charger snaked through and glued to allow easy docking and charging. I got the idea from gift shop items, which I believe they were charging $60 for. Made mine for free!
    Being Materialistic-dscn5841.jpg

    Being Materialistic-dscn5842.jpg


    Here's a 1978 Sony tape deck I bought at Goodwill for $8. Right speaker output wasn't giving me anything so I opened it up and calibrated the output. I found a video online to locate the dials on the motherboard and turned them until I heard approximately equal sound from both speakers. Didn't need to buy extra parts. Just took a philips head and turned a dial. Easy as cake. Now it sounds awesome.
    Being Materialistic-dscn5843.jpg

    I might make more drift wood docking stations once I finish mine. Still want to find some hardware to clean up the plug area and hide the hot glue. The NES mod was a little more expensive. I bought a broken system, fixed it, bought the necessary parts and paint. The controller and NES tools included a soldering iron and the parts were the LEDs, resistors and capacitors. I took an old cell phone charger cord, cut it open and salvaged the wires for projects. They have been invaluable.

    Once I get down a system for creating quality controller mods and wood docking stations I would like to sell them. I've had good luck with Ebay but the fees are starting to bug me. I'll look into Etsy. I'm familiar with the site but I heard they have some weird fees. Something like a monthly charge?

    I have several reasons why I would like to reduce my materialism:

    1) Cost
    2) Clutter
    3) Overall enjoyment with the item

    I feel like initially I am happy with owning something like a watch or a new video game. But then I want something else. I like collecting but that affects the clutter side of things. Recently I traded thousands of gaming cards to a local comic store owner for a trade paperback I was looking for. I'm friendly with him and support his small business. I make it a point to shop there exclusively for comics.

    My wife loves gardening and just recently I built raised beds for her. Once the weather gets nicer (I'm on the seacoast) I would love to help out in the garden. I have lots of free time as I work ~35 hrs/week and my commute is short.

  12. #11
    Registered User FrugalScott28's Avatar
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    I usually do that mndtrp, I just let my excitement get the best of me and bought the item online. Then I realized, "wait, I don't need this. I could get the same effect from something that costs a fraction of the price." So I canceled the order.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Great job! I love the driftwood thing.

    I have a problem with my stereo receiver from that same era. I don't have a clue about electronics, so I don't know how to go about fixing it. It sounds like the same thing you had with your tape deck, no output on one side. Actually it's dropping the bass. It sounds okay for a few minutes and then it's gone.

    I just sold my original Nintendo and all the games for $5. It was more of a clutter thing, like you said. I still have several Nintendos left to play with. We're at the point around here that we don't care if we get any money, we just want the stuff gone. It's really hard to sell things here, too.

    That'd be good if you started to enjoy gardening. It can save a lot of money and you get the bonus of knowing where you food came from. If you grow more than you can eat fresh, then you can get into canning, which does not have to cost a fortune. I paid $2 each for my last two canners, and sold another one on a garage sale for $4. Great deals can be found!

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    Registered User FrugalScott28's Avatar
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    Thank you! My wife has done a lot of canning, dehydrating and freezing. She's made sauces, pesto and salsa.

    Do you have a chest freezer? We've been thinking about getting one for vegetables and buying sale items in bulk.

    I'm not sure how receivers work but there might be dials inside to adjust output. You could Google the model number and problem. I bet you'll find something helpful.

    If you want to sell other nintendos let me know. I'm tempted to paint consoles for people.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    LOL. I think selling you Nintendos would be counter-productive to the topic of this thread! I've purged what I wanted to get rid of anyway, and just kept what would fit on my video game stand and what I really want, so there's nothing extra left.

    I will try looking for info on the receiver, but probably not till next winter. We're into the outside work now.

    We have a side by side freezer/fridge, a 7 cf chest freezer, and a big upright. All of them are stuffed, but I'm working on it. I cook a lot of meals ahead of time (DIY convenience foods) and also take advantage of good sales, and I freeze HM dog food, too.

    Gardening is a challenge up here and very expensive because we have poor, rocky soil that can't be plowed, so everything has to be built on the surface or above and then soil has to be bought to fill whatever containers we build, buy, or salvage. We're currently putting together a greenhouse we bought last year at a garage sale for $100, and hoping it makes us into better gardeners. Here's what it looks like so far, except we just hung the doors before coming in for lunch. You can see on the ridge behind the greenhouse how rocky our soil is. We're not talking little pebbles here!

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    SD- what do you do for homemade dog food? I buy Iams dry, use 2 cups a day, is making your own that much cheaper?

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