By in Make Money, Personal Finance, Saving, Tips | 11 comments

Saving Money is Easier Than Earning More

Two years ago we moved from the east to the west coast. We moved from a lower cost of living area to one that is quite expensive. Thus, we downsized our home and bought a condominium. This meant we had more stuff and less space. Although we held a garage sale before we left, donated, and threw out lots of stuff, it wasn’t enough. In fact when we moved to California we rented a storage unit to house our extra furniture.

Jr. Carina was finishing college and we thought it would be a great idea to save all this extra furniture for her next apartment. Flash forward two years and Jr. is living with us while in graduate school and we spent $2,400 dollars over two years storing stuff.

Save money- Get Rid of the Storage Unit

Save money- Get Rid of the Storage Unit

Money Tip from Argentina

Friends from Argentina moved here for a year and I was thrilled to give them some of the extra furniture. While at the storage shed my friend asked why I was paying for the shed and pondered whether it wouldn’t be cheaper to sell the stuff and when Jr. moved out, replace it. After all, she is in graduate school and will likely be living here for at least another year or more.

Our friend admonished me and said, “You’re the author of How to Get Rich and you didn’t think of emptying the storage unit?” Sheepishly I replied, “You got me on that one.” Even a master at wealth building is not perfect!

At that point I decided to get rid of the storage unit!

Free on Craigslist

We bought furniture in the 1980’s and although in decent condition, was not hugely marketable. I found this out when I got no response on Craigslist! Next I tried to donate the furniture. All the local charities wanted to charge for picking it up. That didn’t fly with me!

As a last resort, I gave a couch and chair away for free on Craigslist to someone going through financial hard times. The rest I took to the local Goodwill. Even Goodwill gave me a hard time and said they had too much furniture. My sad face finally convinced them to take a book case and parsons table. I got a receipt at Goodwill and will receive a tax deduction for the charitable donation.

How I Saved $1,200

The storage rental fee was $100 per month. By getting rid of the contents in the storage unit, I immediately freed up an extra $100 dollars per month. This amount is immediately going into savings!

In addition to the money savings, there was another benefit to unloading the storage unit. I freed our lives of necessary stuff which ultimately requires care and energy. The less excess stuff you accumulate, the less encumbered you are.

Adam Baker at Man vs. DebtĀ made a profession of getting rid of stuff. Looking for inspiration? Check out his website.

What recurring expenses can you eliminate? Every thought about buying a pay as you go phone contract? How can you streamline your life?



  1. I signed-up, but don’t see any place to download the ebook. ??

    Valerie Simonton

    July 15, 2013

  2. Hi VAlerie,

    Check your email. In the confirmation email there is a link, click the link and then we send you the FREE 20 Minute Guide to Investing

    Barbara Friedberg

    July 15, 2013

  3. Last year, I told my insurance company about my change (lower mileage) in commuting and saved about $300 a year. I constantly look at my recurring expenses to cut or change things. I should have made the change in September last year.


    July 15, 2013

  4. BY FAR, food costs get my wife and I the most. By preparing our lunches and avoiding eating out too much we’re able to bring our monthly food costs from $900 to $600/month. A $3600/yr savings. (we live in a high cost of living area…Hawaii).

    Tortoise Banker

    July 15, 2013

  5. I’m not sure you ‘saved’ $1200 but you certainly had been ‘wasting’ it before! But been there, done that too!


    July 15, 2013

  6. Great, really useful thanks very much


    July 16, 2013

  7. @Krantc-It’s tough to keep on top of everything. Seems like life just keeps getting more and more complex. At least you made the change.
    @Tortoise-AGreed. That is some awesome food savings. How do you do it? This one gets us well as we live in a high cola as well.

    Barbara Friedberg

    July 16, 2013

  8. Even as finance savvy as you are, Barb, it’s hard to part with stuff! (Unless you’re Mr. LH – he has no problem at all getting rid of things šŸ™‚ ) I know quite a few people who have storage sheds filled with old furniture that they claim they’ll use at some point, but the truth is, the longer it sits in storage, the less likely you’ll use it. Good for you for cleaning yours out so quickly (1 year really isn’t that long!)

    Little House

    July 17, 2013

    • Hi Little House, I admit, I feel amazing unloading stuff. It frees you up. I’m now letting that energy propel me to get rid of stuff throughout the house and donate for the tax deduction

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 17, 2013

  9. I’ve gotten rid of many things in the free sections on craigslist. Old recliners, scrap wood and metal. Pretty much you can get rid of anythign on craiglist without paying to haul it away, it’s pretty awesome.


    August 5, 2013

  10. @Porato- I wish I’d thought of that before paying to have the moving boxes hauled away two years ago after our move to California. I could have saved a bundle!

    Barbara Friedberg

    August 6, 2013


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