One Man's Trash...

Would you pay $0 for this TV Stand?
This past weekend, wifey and I took a walk to Home Depot. I needed to get some electrical tape to fix some cut wires.

During the walk, we came across a TV stand. Since we were still going to Home Depot, we ignored it and walked by.

On the way back, we stopped by the TV stand and took a look. Despite its appearance, it was actually quite heavy and well built. None of that compressed paper thing. Likely it was a sort of plywood as it sounded pretty solid when I rapped my knuckles on it. Wifey was surprised too. She was prepared to tell me no. However, when she tried to lift it, she realized it was a solidly made TV stand and not a piece of junk.

Aside from the dust and a small scratch, it looked to be very good condition. So wifey and I lugged it the rest of the way home. There were a lot of breaks in between. But 10 minutes later, we managed to carry that thing 650m. As we're in the middle of basement renovations, I threw it in the garage. Mother-in-law said she'll wipe it down once the renovations finish.

So what possesses someone to throw out a perfectly good TV stand?

I don't know.

If I had to guess, the same family that threw out this TV stand recently purchased a new television. Why do I think that? Well, there was a sticker on top of the TV stand. It was a warning that the maximum size TV the TV stand would accommodate is a 40 inch and 80 pounds.

I guess this makes sense as in addition to the TV stand, there was a couch and a matching ottoman discarded as well. So perhaps, it was really getting a new living room or rec room. Shiny, spanking new. Can't have the old stuff making the new stuff look bad, right?

We didn't want the couch or ottoman, but everything appeared to be still in great shape. At least it was on Sunday morning. It's been raining the past two days, so it's probably received a good soaking.

So is getting new stuff a good reason for throwing out old but perfectly good stuff?

Personally, no. I don't think it is.

Actually, it's a terrible reason.

You buy this new shiny stuff and you feel great, right? But then after a few weeks (or even days!), that feeling wanes. Until it eventually disappears only to be replaced by resentment and regret as you look at your neighbour's new stuff.

I should have bought the bigger model with the built in Bluetooth.

Well stop it! Just stop.

Unless you had ninjas break into your house and you had an epic martial arts battle with them that resulted in the complete destruction (a scratch doesn't count) of your TV stand, then you DON'T need a new TV stand. Actually, if you had ninjas break into your house, a broken TV stand is the least of your worries.

From a cost perspective, at minimum, this TV stand cost you $50. It's pretty solid. But I'm going to assume you got it on sale from Walmart or something (although Walmart furniture is very junky).

This is $50 you're not getting back. By getting another TV stand and throwing out this one, it's like you're paying $50 more for the new one you just got.

If the new one is $100, then that's $100 less you'll have for yourself in the future.

Assuming you're always replacing your perfectly good stuff with $100 of new stuff each month, that's $16,469.87 you're missing out after 10 years! Assuming a 6% rate of return.

This is also assuming you're buying this crap with cash!

Most people are actually charging it on their cards that in turn charge you upwards of 20% just because they can and you accept it.

You know what? That's fine. Really. It is. As long as you're buying new stuff and throwing out your old stuff, it helps me out as I don't need to buy stuff at all.

Through the kindness of your heart, you've gifted me a $50 TV stand. This allows me to keep that $50 for my investments (not like I was going to buy another TV stand anyway).

I'm not sure how or when we'll use it, but I guarantee we'll put it to good use so you can have peace of mind that your $50 wasn't truly wasted.


Popular Posts