Our materialism leads us to acquire things. We want new clothing, tools, cars and houses. However, every asset requires a lot of maintenance and administration. The cost of ownership needs to be weighed carefully against the benefit of the asset.
Let's look at some examples:
- A cottage needs repair, paint, and spring and winter maintenance. You must pay insurance and property taxes. And there's risk of theft and vandalism.
- A suit needs to be stored, protected from moths, dry-cleaned, and replaced as your waist-line exceeds its boundaries.
- A children's swing set must be installed, painted, oiled, and there's a risk of injury and liability.
- A computer consumes real-estate on your desk, breaks down, and gets stolen. Software errors and other data loss can make the computer a source of frustration rather than a productivity enhancing tool.
- A car may save time which is money. But the costs of time for repair, cleaning, and regular maintenace can eliminate the time savings. The regular costs of gas, parts, tires, insurance, licensing fees, etc. can far outweigh the time savings and freedom benefits.