Monday, March 28, 2016

No Wonder I'm Broke!

     We've been doing some spring cleaning around here, and my job has been to focus particularly on the basement where our kids are still storing a lot of their old stuff.

     I don't think this needs a lot of explanation . . . just to say that as I was tossing old papers and notebooks in the trash and boxing up books and artwork and other memorabilia, it suddenly dawned on me that at some point along the way, I paid for all this stuff. No wonder why I'm broke!

     Here's just a small sampling of the sports equipment they used when they were growing up -- and which they haven't touched in years. All that money down the drain, spent on ski equipment, lacrosse, golf, baseball, hockey, soccer.


     You see the baseball mitt? My son played Little League. But when baseball started to conflict with the tennis season, he decided to go all in on tennis. He didn't know or care that tennis costs more than baseball. A lot more. The lessons, the court time, the travel to tournaments. Then, he was good enough to get recruited by a college in Pennsylvania . . . good enough to be accepted and play on the team, but (of course!) not so good that he received an athletic scholarship.


     But as we all know, girls cost more than boys. And I also had a daughter. My investment in shoes alone was probably bigger than the gross national product of an average country in Europe.


     And don't think that box of shoes covers even the half of it. She had a pair of shoes for every pair of socks, and as you can see that drawer holds at least a hundred pairs of socks Then there were the old dolls, the stuffed animals, the art supplies, boxes of books and trophies and clothes. It's no wonder my paycheck disappeared faster than I could say, "IRA," much less actually open an account!

    
     I don't even know what these things are . . . some kind of ceramic animals. Hundreds of them, at probably eight or ten bucks a piece.


     And I knew you'd want to see a few stuffed animals. They are cute. And I'm not complaining. I keep telling myself, if you don't spend your money on your kids, why then, it'll probably just go to waste!


22 comments:

christina neumann said...

Ha, you should see our barn with the bins of Legos that we bought our son!!!! I could probably have my husband retire if we hadn't bought them. he's 65 and still working full time probably another 4 years. Plus, all the books we bought both our children over the years.
Just start getting those boxes ready for Goodwill!!!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Oh that is a very familiar scene and it continues on as they have kids and we send them stuff. Did you get into laptops and desktops back in the day ? First car?? Help with first house??

Tabor said...

Not so much in my basement as we have moved and had garage sales. I just have baby stuff for new grandchildren, if and when that happens. A few bits of furniture and that is all! Except for old school papers. I do need to clean out the basement still!

Barbara said...

When I moved from my house I had to go through all of that stuff and decide what to take or toss. Needless to say, moving to an apartment made the decision easier in that there would be no garage, not attic, no place to hold anything that was not an every day need. I was so funny. Begging the kids to take their drawings from 3rd grade or to keep their baby shoes. No, they didn't want to clutter their houses! So moved the garbage can into the garage and started there. One pile for the church sponsored thrift store and the rest to garbage. It took forever. Part of the reason was because there were many items that got passed over to think about - once, two, three times. In the end, most of it went. Recycled everything I could and had to toss the rest. Still think about some of those things but if they were in the garage I have now, I'd still only think about them and never go down and get them.

Stephen Hayes said...

Looks like it's time for a garage sale my friend.

Anonymous said...

Our only complained as she went to school when in middle school with wealthy peoples kids, so she thought she deserved everything, well I gave lots of toys, and stuff to kids who never got anything and they said thank you and thought we were millinaires I got a big laugh at that..but it illustrated to me how poverty has been in our neighborhood for the past 38 years yes it has, the elementary school where our daughter attended has breakfast, lunch and dinner to take home the dinner meal in backpacks they bring back for food..The middle school it used to be a junior high has the same program and the high school whereby we live near the athletic field gives food to kids at early breakfast and lunch and backpacks to take home in the afternoon..We cannot get over the amount of kids who are starving..I should not be surprised as our town Vancouver Washington has the highest rent outside of Seattle some 200 plus miles away in the whole state, and poverty is alive and well..I cook for a food pantry, I do not belong to the church that sponsors it but I feel badly for people who do work 60 plus hours a week and mid month are starving as they are the only person in their home working and rent is soaring and gasoline is still very high here..You must have done well in your life to afford all those toys for your kids and gave it to them, here if people are able to buy food for their family they are doing very well, rent is exorbitant and the landlords keep raising it greedy as they are, taxes have not gone up that much..my good ness sakes alive, no wonder Bernie Sanders did so well in Wasington and ALaska and Hawaii, very expensive cost of living states, Alaska the cold that used to be there is globally hot now and we had the hottest year in recorded weather history in Washington state from 2-014 thru 2015 and they say it will be wet and warm, the snow has eluded us and it will have a deleterious effect upon the whole state! oh, my goodness sakes!

Anonymous said...

Boy, you really hit the nail on the head with those pictures because I can relate, 100%. Hurry up and get rid of it all so you don't have to be reminded where all your money went (was wasted). !! That's what I did. Out of sight, out of mind. Sort of, but still, OUCH! (Sandy)

Olga Hebert said...

yard sale? trip to goodwill? the next episode of hoarders?

Wisewebwoman said...

I downsized a few times so got rid of where all my money went back in the day but I sure hear you :)

XO
WWW

Tom Sightings said...

Thank you all. Somehow it makes me feel better to know that others have gone thru this same exercise. Hmmmm, next episode of hoarders? That's a good idea!

Meryl Baer said...

You can't fool me. You are advertising your new eBay store, right?! Another career selling all that stuff...

Sally Wessely said...

Insightful. I guess I never thought about what all that cost me originally when I told the kids to come and get it all or it was going to the dump. I actually set a deadline and they all complied because they knew I meant it. No kidding no wonder we are broke! I guess we can tell them that their inheritance is in boxes in the basement. If we hadn't given them all the stuff they wanted, we could have put a lot more money away. This is so true.

I am also reminded of when my daughter got a divorce and we had to empty out her house in a short amount of time. I can not even tell you how much valuable stuff I had to pay to have hauled off. It cost me a fortune, but we had no choice. She couldn't move it to a small apartment. I couldn't take it to my house. She had no money. The house was full of so much furniture, dishes, glassware, etc. I had to just have it hauled off to help her out. It was terrible.

American Media said...

It goes to show time and again, the golden rules for managing finance:-
(1) Never spend more than we can earn
(2) Live a moderate life
(3) Be humble and grateful for what we have
(4) Giving is a blessing.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

So true, Tom: when we look at our accumulated belongings -- whether these belong to our kids or to ourselves--it does add up to a lot of money. My husband and I have 13 floor to ceiling bookcases crammed with books. A friend came over some years back and said "Don't you wish you had a dollar for every book in these bookcases?" When we thought about it, it was so depressing! (But then we rationalized that a book is never a waste of money...well, some books!) Looking back, I wish we had been wiser at times. Fewer clothes and shoes, fewer toys. But it does feel good to clean out that basement. When you let superfluous things go, you feel so much lighter..and free...

Anonymous said...

I helped a woman clean out her grandmothers home, it was immaculate and had little toys of her many great and grand children, she gave most of her possessions away before her death..she was a smart person, I think people need to give away things they no longer can use to let others have a shot at some happiness!

Janette said...

We had two large garage sales. One was before we moved from Arizona and the other before moving from Kansas. We made well over $5000 at each sale. What a lot of junk we had- considering most items sold for about a dollar!
Clean it out now. Your kids will thank you in the end.

Jono said...

Give the kids a chance to collect "their stuff" in a limited time frame and then off to garage sale, ebay, or Goodwill. You can't get much money back, but time to reclaim your space.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I'm not sure its a good thing to take note of what we spent on kids, or grandkids, or even great-grandkids. A lot I am sure. As my SIL died when his and daughter's kids were 7, 5. 3 and 1, you can imagine what David and I spent on not only the stuff you have pictured, but prekindergarten, ballet, piano, appliances (kids wear our dryers), bedroom furniture, beanie babies, clothes, and shoes, etc. At least some of them can play the piano And yes, we bought the piano. Kids = cars, insurance, college fees, etc. Although I helped pay for college, their new father had the car and truck issue to contend with.

gigihawaii said...

Well, I don't have a basement. Doesn't that say it all? Lol.

Jeanette said...

During the past 3 months we purged and de-cluttered our basement in preparation for selling our house. Much of the clutter was stuff our son stored in the basement over the years. We moved it to one area and provided a deadline for him to collect what he wanted. He spent a long weekend sorting through memorabilia of all types, books, CDs, tapes, sports equipment, and clothes. His station wagon was loaded to capacity when he left. We still lugged 20 garbage bags to the curb, boxes and boxes of clothes to a donation centre, and pitched 6 large boxes of sports trophies. My advice -- start now and give deadlines!

joared said...

I've recommended that one of the kindest things oldsters can do for their adult children is to downsize belongings beginning as you describe. I've not been doing a very good job of practicing what I preach though no attic or basement filled with items.

Cheryl said...

There are stores that take used sports equipment for those who do not want to pay full price. You might get some money back. Cheryl