You wouldn’t normally think that giving away your stuff as saving money, would you? Well there are plenty of reasons that donating your un-needed items can actually save you money!
I am a big believer in donating stuff. When my husband and I married, we basically had two households to combine into one. Later, after my mother passed, we had another household full of stuff. And just recently, we moved to another home, and I started donating like crazy, since moving extra stuff can get costly. So, I have a lot of experience with dealing with extra items and donating them.
Even now, when our lives are basically settled I still get a thrill at finding things to bring to the thrift store (or pass along to friends). Outgrown toys and clothes, household items, etc. I’ll willing take almost anything that is in good condition, just so I can pass it on to someone or some charity that I know is in need.
Through my years of donating stuff, I have found at least five reasons that donating our old stuff has saved us money. Here they are:
1) Donating items can be a great tax write off. You can deduct the amount of money that the thrift store or charity will get when they sell that item, which is usually more than you can sell if for at a yard sale. Look for a future article that gives you a good guideline on how much to deduct and how to keep track of it all.
2) Donating items helps keep the thrift stores in business and available to you for your own frugal shopping.
3) Donating items is good karma or stewardship. This is the principal of believing that good works will come back to you. So, if you get into the habit of donating items for people who really need them, there may come a time when something you need miraculously turns up.
4) Donating items that you aren’t using can save you money on storage space. I once knew a coworker who stored her hand-me-down furniture for three years until the time when she could buy a house to fit it. In that time, she could have bought a set of brand new furniture and still saved money.
5) Donating items means that there is less stuff in your life. This can impact you in terms of being able to be comfortable in a less extravagant house and all of the savings that go with it. You can read all about this in my previous article, The McMansion Phenonmena.
Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Computing Blog here at Families.com where she shares everything from the latest news on technology to cool downloads and fun websites.