That might seem like a strange thing for a minimalist to say, but it’s true.
Not too long ago I read an article on the Wall Street Journal website about how more than half of Americans wouldn’t be able to come up with $2,000 cash in 30 days if they needed to. Here are the exact stats (obtained via survey) from the article:
The survey asked a simple question, “If you were to face a $2,000 unexpected expense in the next month, how would you get the funds you need?” In the U.S., 24.9% of respondents reported being certainly able, 25.1% probably able, 22.2% probably unable and 27.9% certainly unable.
So that’s 50.1% of Americans that would at least “probably” be unable to scrape up $2,000. That’s scary. All things considered, $2,000 isn’t all that much.
Since December 2010 I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of my possessions. Some I’ve donated, others I’ve sold. I’ve made roughly $3,000–$4,000 in the process. If you had asked me back in December if I’d be able to come up with $2,000 in 30 days, the answer would have been “Pfff, of course!” I could just sell some things and bam, $2,000 in hand. No problem.
But I’m not so sure anymore. I mean, I could still do it (I still have a lot of climbing gear I could get rid of of I *had* to) but it wouldn’t be nearly as easy, simply because I’ve kind of run out of other stuff to sell. If I didn’t have money in savings, I’d [almost] be screwed if I needed to come up with cash fast.
There is security in stuff. For some people it’s emotional security, but for almost everyone there’s additional financial security.
Moral of the story: If you’re no good at saving money, you might as well buy some cool, expensive crap that’s easy to liquidate if necessary.
Best personal finance advice ever, right?