So, do you belong to Costco? Do you frequent Sam's Club? Do you delight in having a year's supply of toilet paper and canned beans at arm's length at all times?
Shopping at these stores can be fun~ we feel we are saving money AND preparing for Armageddon all at the same time. How efficient! But because I spend a lot of time helping people manage the items in their homes, I would like to invite you to think about buying in bulk in a different way...
At this time there are two things of which I would like to remind you:
First, despite what the media may tell you, you are NOT a "consumer," but a human being. Hopefully you know you are so much more than your ability to consume and accumulate...
Second, as you shop for your needs week in & week out, keep in mind your goal is not to run a storage facility, but to create a home.
If you are wooed by the thought of saving some coin, and made giddy by the thought of all that abundance right on hand at home, let's think about the real costs involved in investing in palettes of paper towels and tons of toothpaste:
- Carrying inventory (which is what you are doing, just like a store or factory) requires time...time to make sure it is stored properly, that it is used in a timely way, and that it gets used at all...it is easy to forget what is on those shelves way down there in the dark basement.
- Carrying inventory requires space-- space that could be used for other productive things, or enjoyed with other activities. How many of us feel our houses need more space? Create some elbow room by not having so much of it occupied by things you aren't currently using.
- Carrying inventory has a built-in percentage of waste--we are busy people with lots of things on our minds. There will always be a portion of things that we are storing that we simply forget about. We will buy duplicates. The product will get dusty, spoil, pass its expiration date or just become undesirable as it waits on the shelf. It will end up in the trash unused.
- Carrying inventory ties up cash in things that aren't currently being used, which maybe can make sense if we are investing in something like real estate or gold, but we are talking about things like shampoo and soda. Enjoy your money now, or put it in the bank so that it is there for a rainy day. Don't tie it up in things that are readily available at the corner store that you won't need for months, or maybe never at all.