Saturday 21 October 2006

"Toys" and "Stuff"

Over the years I've slowly grown out of the habit of buying "stuff" - mainly because I already have lots of cool "toys" that I don't have time to play with, and also because we really don't have any spare room to put more things. I don't count any of my "toys" in my net worth calculation as I don't intend to sell them, I don't know how much I'd get for any of them, and, if I sold them, I'd probably then have some room to buy new "stuff" so I wouldn't end up keeping any of the cash anyhow...

Some of my toys: [S=bought second hand, N=bought new, R=restored]
Item cost est. value (?= hard to sell)
A hovercraft $ 5,000 [S] $ 2,000
A boat $10,000 [S] $ 8,000
A 100 yr old steam engine* $10,000 [S] $ ? (* don't ask me why!)
Telescope, camera etc. $ 8,000 [N] $ ?
Family car, compact $12,000 [N] $ 5,000
Vintage car, restored $20,000 [R] $10,000
Computers, various $ 8,000 [N] $ 500 (the 1980 ZX80 isn't worth much nowadays)
Sports equipment $17,000 [N] $ 3,000
TOTAL $90,000 $28,500

As you can see, my "stuff" has lost over 2/3 of it's value. If I'd invested the money instead, I'd probably have around $200,000 extra by now! Thus the total cost of my toys is around $171,500 opportunity cost - or around $10,000 per annum... Hmmm - how much fun have I really had with all this "stuff" anyhow? The upside is that I have plenty of activities to do with my kids for the 20 years without buying anything else!.

ps. I'm not really that well-disciplined. After Australia qualified for the 2nd round of the football (soccer) World Cup I got carried away and ordered a team shirt signed by all the team members. When it arrived I found that the display case is so large I don't really have anywhere to hang it - so it's sitting in it's delivery box behind the couch. Meanwhile the "10 easy monthly payments" are appearing on my day-to-day expenses credit card each month.

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