The HDTV Challenge

This idea has been kicked around in our house since we moved in - Get rid of the old tube TV (its not that old) and hang a flat-panel TV on the wall. Right now, we have the TV in an entertainment center as well as a mid-century stereo cabinet in the living room. Now, we 'inherited' the stereo, but we love it. Its in great shape, though the turn table won't turn. Right now, its kind of a waste of space. So what if we used that as an entertainment center? With a flat-panel hanging above it? This would free up so much space for us, and look really cool. Now here's the kicker - my wife is the one pushing for this.

As you can imagine, I'm on board. But as you'll see on this blog, we live on a budget, we don't buy things we can't afford, and we don't use credit cards. Since the inception of this grand scheme, it has seemed like a far off dream with no real plan to get there. That is until the other day when my wife asked about what we would do with the "old" TV. Thats when it hit. Sell it. Could we make this happen simply by selling things we already had, but didn't need? What if the answer to getting something new meant purging old things? What if to get ahead, we sacrificed instead of splurging? Crazy.
So based on some quick research into models that would meet our needs (ok, and a few wants), this is going to be a $1000 to $1500 transaction, easily. Mind you, we have some stuff to sell. Not a lot of stuff, but we're coming up with more than we anticipated. So far we have a list of items for sale totaling just under $1400. I know that seems like a lot, but keep in mind that those numbers include our current TV and entertainment center. Needless to say, we are going to sell as much of the other stuff as we can before putting those two on the market.

The original goal was to get this done by Christmas, as we were starting just after Thanksgiving. That didn't go so well, but we got a good start. The secondary market in this area, while it does exist, is a tad slow. Christmas came and went. To date we have banked ~$400 in our challenge. A respectable figure, though well short of the goal. We have sold several items and feel great about them leaving our property in exchange for some much more useful cash. We'll continue the challenge but, with a more open-ended time frame. They're still making TVs, and we're in no rush. A little more time for research wouldn't hurt either. Patience is key. Tom Petty knew what he was talking about when he said that the waiting is the hardest part. We still really like the idea that to get this item (definitely a 'want') we must sell things we have. We are a bit amazed by the amount of stuff we are coming up with to sell. $400 in a month and a half, just by selling a few items, and without trying that hard. May make you think differently about some of the junk you have lying around the house and what you could turn it into.

So how are we doing this? As I said, we don't have a lot of extra stuff to sell. Some years back we started on the Dave Ramsey plan. If you are unfamiliar, he heavily encourages garage sales and ebay to purge the crap you don't need. Wouldn't you rather have the money to pay off the debt you accrued while accumulating the clutter? Well, we sold our crap, and paid off our debt. In fact, we were pretty lean. After relocating last year, the situation changed. Certain things we didn't need anymore or wouldn't fit our decor, or just wouldn't fit period. And this house didn't exactly come empty. So far, we have used Craigslist and my employer's want ads to sell items. Also, my wife has sold quite a few of her crafts (she's a great seamstress and her wares are supercool). Thats really been it. We have some items that will make their way to ebay shortly. Also, we were given some money for Christmas, but that will be going into the Irregular Income Spending Plan. We are adamant to stick to our plan and not take the easy way out.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Good luck w/ the challenge.

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