As we were getting ready for our last move, Sarah and I boxed up most of our DVD collection. It fit pretty nicely into a few moving boxes, so we loaded it on the truck and left.
Because we were so busy with the move (and dealing with the arrival of a new baby a little over a month later), we didn’t pop open those boxes for quite a while. In fact, we didn’t even get to those boxes until the middle of the fall.
When we did open them, it was like Christmas.
We found so many great DVDs that we were excited to watch again. Over the course of a couple of months, we re-watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Godfather trilogy, and about twenty other movies that we loved and hadn’t watched in a while.
Most of us buy DVDs (or CDs or games or books….) because we want to enjoy them. We keep them because there’s something we liked about them and we believe we’re going to enjoy them again in the future.
(If that’s not the case, why keep them? Sell them and get some money in your pocket!)
Yet, the reality is that we don’t have unlimited time. The DVDs and books and other items we love end up getting stuck on a shelf somewhere and forgotten about. We have other things going on in our lives and we don’t have time to enjoy these things again.
Thus, our shelves end up filled with things that we enjoy, but that we don’t have time for.
If you have any media collection that you haven’t looked at recently, dig through it before you even consider buying something new. If you have the time to enjoy the new thing, then you have just as much time to enjoy the old thing, right?
Go through these older items and just look for ones that tickle your fancy. Pull them out and enjoy them instead of the new item you’re thinking about getting.
What if you can’t find anything you want to enjoy in your current collection? You might want to start by asking yourself why you have a shelf full of movies/games/CDs that you don’t have any interest in exploring – and you might want to consider selling them off.
That’s not to say you should never buy or rent a new thing, but you shouldn’t do it as a reflex whenever you have an evening to spare to enjoy a DVD or a book or a game. Instead, take a look through what you already have. You might just find something deeply enjoyable that is already in your home and thus you’ll save yourself some dollars while still having an enjoyable evening.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.