stuff http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7402/all en-US Turn Unwanted Electronics Into Cash With Gazelle http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-electronics-into-cash-with-gazelle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-old-electronics-into-cash-with-gazelle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gazelle.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="128" height="81" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have a few old electronics lying around that we never use anymore. It seems a waste to just throw them away, but it often takes effort to sell them. Now there is a new service called <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=452726&amp;u=255320&amp;m=45652&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=1491" target="_blank">Gazelle</a> that allows you to trade your old electronics for cash with the least amount of hassle.</p> <p>Gazelle has a very simple to use website that allows you to search for the gadget you wish to get rid of. After you find your item you can input the condition it is in. For example, I typed in Palm Zire 71 and I was asked if the item powers on and what condition it is in. After that, Gazelle spits out an appraisal and allows me to add the item for checkout. It also has an estimate of how much the item may be worth in the future. For electronics the price trend tends to go down because people always want to buy the newest gadget. After I checked out, it prompted me to print out a prepaid shipping label and ship the item with a box. For some qualifying items Gazelle will even send you a box to ship the item. </p> <p>After the item is received Gazelle will inspect the item and confirm that it is in the condition you described, then you will be paid the quoted price. This process takes about a week according to the website. The company also guarantees that if you ship in an electronic with data on it they would wipe it clean so you do not have to worry about your privacy. They will also take items with no value for the purpose of recycling. </p> <p>Currently the company buys mostly electronics such as cell phones or gaming consoles, but they may expand the types of items they are willing to purchase in the future. It really seems like a love child between a pawn shop and Netflix, and I am sure it will help a lot of people get rid of their unwanted junk because it is so easy to use. Users of Gazelle will reduce the amount of junk that go to landfills and also reclaim a few bucks in the process so it really seems like a win win situation. So go ahead and <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=452726&amp;u=255320&amp;m=45652&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=1491">try it out</a>, because that pile of junk sitting in your garage may be worth some gas money. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=452726&amp;u=255320&amp;m=45652&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=1491">Click here to try Gazelle now</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-electronics-into-cash-with-gazelle">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-is-king-now-what-should-i-do-with-it">Cash Is King: Now What Should I Do With It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast">4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance electronics junk Making Extra Cash sell stuff Thu, 31 Jul 2008 06:20:02 +0000 Xin Lu 2286 at http://www.wisebread.com How much are memories worth? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-memories-worth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-are-memories-worth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/me-in-glasgow.jpg" alt="Philip Brewer on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland" title="Philip Brewer on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I get a particular negative jolt when I review a credit card bill and find a charge for something that&#39;s already over and done--a meal already eaten, a vacation already taken, a tank of gas already burned up. I&#39;m much happier paying a charge when I can pat the thing purchased and know that it&#39;ll be serving some useful purpose for years to come. Just recently, though, I&#39;ve found that I&#39;m beginning to have a little more appreciation for those purchases that are only memories before they&#39;re even paid for.</p> <p>Try this thought experiment: Imagine that all your property were destroyed in some disaster, but that you got a large check--replacement value for everything that was lost. How much of your property do you replace with exact duplicates?</p> <p>A lot of the most important stuff is irreplaceable: art work, antiques, mementos of things you&#39;ve done. You&#39;d replace it with an exact duplicate if you could--and might pay top-dollar to do so--but mostly they&#39;re just gone.</p> <p>A lot of the rest of it is stuff that you wouldn&#39;t bother replacing: that pair of old glasses that you could wear if you broke your current pair, those shoes that match the dress that doesn&#39;t fit anymore, that pot that you used to cook everything in before you married someone with really good pots. </p> <p>Most of the rest are just things you have to replace simply because you need something to serve the purpose: a bed, some chairs, a table. No need to duplicate what you had--maybe you&#39;d be better served by a bigger desk and a smaller car (or vice versa).</p> <p>For me, this thought experiment puts a different perspective on my preference for spending money on things that last. </p> <p>Sure, I&#39;m very pleased with the bicycle I bought in 1983 and that is still my main transportation vehicle when the weather is nice. Its cost-per-mile at this point is so low it&#39;s not worth calculating, and it&#39;s still in near-perfect condition--I fully expect it to go another 25 years. But it&#39;s an exception.</p> <p>Stuff that will last is great, but I&#39;ve tended to put too high of a premium on that category.</p> <p>Some of our best expenditures turn out to have been our vacations. We&#39;ve been to science fiction conventions in Toronto, Boston, and Glasgow. We&#39;ve been to Esperanto conventions in Berlin and New York. We spent a warm February week lazing about in Key West and a cool July week hiking around the coast of Wales. We took a cruise to Mexico.</p> <p>And it&#39;s not just vacations fall into this category: going to college, going to concerts and plays, watching movies or videos, hanging out with friends at the coffee shop or bar. These also are experiences that may cost some money, but that may well be worth far more than, for example, a really nice leather jacket that would last for years. </p> <p>For us, expenses of this sort have turned out to have provided some of the best value for the money we&#39;ve ever gotten. Further, in the little thought experiment up above--what would you replace if you lost everything--they wouldn&#39;t need to be replaced: they can&#39;t be lost.</p> <p>There are many reasons to to frugal--it&#39;s light on your wallet and light on the planet--but the most important is that it maximizes your freedom.</p> <p>One way it does that is by giving you more career options: The more frugal you are, the less pressed you are to choose the most remunerative career (and the less pressed you are to stick with a poor choice simply because change would be risky--the frugal person can bear risks that others can&#39;t).</p> <p>I was always in tune with that particular advantage of a frugal lifestyle. It&#39;s the one that motivates me most strongly.</p> <p>What I&#39;ve come to realize just recently, though, is that another advantage of a frugal lifestyle is that frugal people are free to spend the money they haven&#39;t sunk into <strong>stuff</strong> on <strong>experiences</strong> instead.</p> <p>There are plenty of things you can do cheap or for free. But don&#39;t let the fact that an experience doesn&#39;t leave you with a useful object make you feel bad about paying for it.</p> <p>Material purchases are about what you have. Experiential purchases are about who you are. After all, when people ask you about yourself, you don&#39;t tell them about your stuff; you tell them about what you&#39;ve done.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>On a personal note, I wanted to mention that this post marks my six-month anniversary of writing for Wise Bread. More by coincidence than plan, this is also my 100th post. I can&#39;t begin to tell you how much fun I&#39;ve had writing these pieces. It&#39;s high on my list of experiences worth remembering. The photo is of me on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland, during WorldCon in 2005. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-memories-worth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-the-most-of-your-guilty-pleasures">Making the most of your guilty pleasures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-frugal-ways-to-beat-cabin-fever">6 Frugal Ways to Beat Cabin Fever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-nifty-tips-for-getting-the-most-from-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet">8 Nifty Tips for Getting the Most from an All-You-Can Eat Buffet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living esperanto experiential purchases frugality memories stuff vacation Fri, 11 Jan 2008 18:45:20 +0000 Philip Brewer 1619 at http://www.wisebread.com No, you DON'T need to buy that... http://www.wisebread.com/no-you-dont-need-to-buy-that <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/no-you-dont-need-to-buy-that" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Heart Dollar.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Within ten minutes of arriving in the Miami airport last Christmas, on winter break from teaching school in Bolivia, I coveted at least ten thoroughly non-essential, yet mind-bogglingly tantalizing items: among them, a giant teddy bear made out of the same material as a snuggly blanket, a pocket mirror with art-deco-style cats plastered across its lid, and a $4 Cinnamon Dolce latte from Starbucks. I had been living in a country where the supermarket might just run out of aluminum foil or kidney beans, and if it did, oh well— you adjusted. Now I was standing slack-jawed in Consumer’s Paradise, and panicking. </p> <p>It wasn’t just the marketing; the price tags made me blanch. We might not have had as many material choices in Bolivia, but the dollar stretched pretty far there, and we rarely obsessed over a budget. Back home in Michigan, we have to think much harder about what we buy, and when, and what we’ll give up in order to purchase a certain item. I actually think this is a positive change. Money easily tossed around can be mind-numbing; thinking harder about it forces me to consider what’s necessary instead of what’s just desirable. I also enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel when I resist buying or when I hit on a particularly savvy sale. My husband and I truly savor dinners out when they happen, and experiment more with cooking creatively at home. We have also re-discovered the wonders of the public library and the beautiful woods and beaches in our hometown. </p> <p>To adjust to the onslaught of “stuff” marketed to me in the U.S., and to gain a little perspective on what I really needed, I often apply the same technique they tell you to use when eating. Rather than plunge into buying something, I wait fifteen minutes to see if the urge to purchase it has subsided. Usually, it has. Fifteen minutes gives me enough time to contemplate what I do have, at which point I give simple thanks and move on.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-baughman">Sarah Baughman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-you-dont-need-to-buy-that">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-45-life-lessons-youd-give-to-your-younger-self">Flashback Friday: 45 Life Lessons You&#039;d Give to Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-is-better-than-blogging-or-is-it">Giving is Better Than Blogging... or IS it?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-to-love-winter-with-some-simple-self-deception">Learn to Love Winter With Some Simple Self-Deception</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks marketing money management stuff Tue, 30 Oct 2007 16:51:47 +0000 Sarah Baughman 1335 at http://www.wisebread.com Making the most of your guilty pleasures http://www.wisebread.com/making-the-most-of-your-guilty-pleasures <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/guilty-pleasures.jpg" alt="Pens and notebooks with Ganesh" title="Pens and notebooks with Ganesh" width="400" height="300" /></p> <p> I&#39;ve been trying to come up with a way to articulate the mental shift from being not-frugal to being frugal. It&#39;s not really about wanting to spend less, and it&#39;s certainly not about making do with less. A lot of it is about figuring out what you really want, but saying that sweeps a lot of hard thinking under the rug.</p> </p> <p>It&#39;s generally useless to tell people that they should want less stuff--your wants are what they are, not what you decide they ought to be. And yet, many people have made the mental shift I&#39;m talking about. I&#39;ve seen it described as maximizing your joy-to-stuff ratio.</p> <p>So, I&#39;ve been wracking my brain for some clever advice on how to do that. I haven&#39;t had much success, but I think I&#39;ve come up with one thing I do that may help other people: Make the most of your guilty pleasures.</p> <p>There used to be lots of stuff I wanted. I wanted audiophile audio equipment; I wanted a sports car; I wanted video game consoles and games to play on them; I wanted books in vast profusion; I wanted a really good camera; I <strong>always</strong> wanted a new computer; I wanted an electric guitar <strong>and</strong> an acoustic guitar; I wanted good backpacking gear; I wanted a GPS unit and a hundred other cool gadgets; I wanted fine art, good beer, and the complete works of L.L. Zamenhof.</p> <p>Over the years I got many of these things and got over wanting many of the others. Nowadays I can browse a bookstore and leave with nothing but a list of books to get at the library. When I walk or bicycle or take the bus, I feel no envy for the poor guys stuck in their cars, and I can admire a friend&#39;s new car (and even praise it out loud) while I&#39;m thinking, &quot;I&#39;m so much happier with my wife&#39;s 17-year-old Honda Civic than I would be buying one of these.&quot;</p> <p>And yet, there are still things I want. Most catalogs I can move straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin, but a few are snares for me. There&#39;s one in particular that I can&#39;t put down. You&#39;ve probably seen it. It&#39;s office supply porn. I want that stuff. All of it.</p> <p>I own four good fountain pens, plus a couple of cheap ones. I own innumerable notebooks, large and small, with all sorts of paper for writing and drawing. I have at least eight bottles of ink within reach right now. And yet, when that catalog comes, I can&#39;t resist paging through it, thinking, &quot;You know, I I could use one of those, and it&#39;s beautiful!&quot; </p> <p>So, here&#39;s my one clever idea: Take delight in the stuff you&#39;ve already got. When the urge strikes to buy a new fountain pen, I instead get out one of the fountain pens I own and write something with it. In rediscovering the joy in it, I remind myself that I really don&#39;t need another one. Starting to do that was a key step in raising my own joy-to-stuff ratio.</p> <p>Five suggestions for making this work:</p> <p><strong>Pick a pleasure that speaks to you.</strong> There&#39;s no point in deciding to make reading the classics your guilty pleasure if you&#39;d much rather be reading romance novels, or playing golf.</p> <p><strong>Pick a pleasure that&#39;s reasonably frugal.</strong> If your guilty pleasure were yacht racing, it wouldn&#39;t be much help in the frugality department.</p> <p><strong>Pick a pleasure that involves <em>doing</em> something over <em>having</em> something.</strong> Playing a music instrument is a better choice than collecting musical instruments.</p> <p><strong>Pick a pleasure where the related stuff lasts a long time.</strong> Making a guilty pleasure of cooking would be better than making one of eating out at expensive restaurants.</p> <p><strong>Pick a pleasure that&#39;s enduring.</strong> It does no good if your pleasure this week is snorkeling and then next week it&#39;s sky diving and the week after that it&#39;s oil painting.</p> <p>The deeper goal is to figure out what really matters to you--to get away from the &quot;consumer culture&quot; idea that what makes you happy is acquiring stuff. If you can take pleasure in the stuff you&#39;ve already got, then you don&#39;t need more stuff. And if you <strong>can&#39;t</strong> take pleasure in the stuff you&#39;ve already got, then more stuff isn&#39;t likely to help. Making the most of your guilty pleasures is a tactic for finding your way to that realization.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-the-most-of-your-guilty-pleasures">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-memories-worth">How much are memories worth?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/raise-your-standard-of-living-by-focusing-your-spending">Raise your standard of living by focusing your spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-nifty-tips-for-getting-the-most-from-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet">8 Nifty Tips for Getting the Most from an All-You-Can Eat Buffet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living frugality pleasure stuff Sat, 04 Aug 2007 21:38:37 +0000 Philip Brewer 951 at http://www.wisebread.com