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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

The Actual Cost of Owning a Thing

Pull any item off a retail shelf, carry it to the corrals of cash registers, and you can exchange the money you’ve earned to bring the thing home with you.

But the true cost of a thing goes well beyond the price on the pricetag.

The cost of…
Storing the thing.
Maintaining the thing.
Cleaning the thing.
Watering the thing.
Feeding the thing.
Charging the thing.
Accessorizing the thing.
Refueling the thing.
Changing the oil of thing.
Replacing the batteries of the thing.
Fixing the thing.
Repainting the thing.
Taking care of the thing.
Thinking about the thing.
Worrying about the thing.
Protecting the thing.
Replacing the thing.

When you add it all up, the actual cost of owning a thing is nearly immeasurable. So we better choose carefully what things we bring into our lives, because we can’t afford every-thing.

Of course, letting go is not only freeing, it’s free—no purchase necessary.

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