I've been wanting a new laptop for a while now, but have continued to tell myself that it is just a want and not a need. Since we are saving and investing for other things, most 'wants', especially those with hefty price tags, are put on hold. But you know how sometimes a want just won't go away? Yeah, that's what happened to me with this desire. I seemed to find myself dreaming up reasons that I could justify the purchase as a need. I also began to try to justify the purchase since we could easily buy it without having to dip into savings. Even with all the justification going on, the practical side of me continued to win out.
After some handwringing and thought, I brought the idea up to my wife, who again helped me realize that this was definitely a want and not a need. We continued to talk about it over the next few days though and came to the conclusion that we would buy a new laptop if I found a way to pay for it other than just reducing the amount we planned to save this month. Enter Craigslist.
As time goes on I've gotten more and more apprehensive about using Craigslist (there's a lot of crazy people out there), but I figured this would be a good use of it. Like many people out there, I have several things lying around the house that I rarely, if ever, use. Curious to see how much I could potentially sell them for, I went over to eBay and searched for 'completed listings' of the items to see what other people have been able to successfully sell things for. Imagine my surprise when I found that by selling 4 things that I never use, I could bring in about the same amount of cash I needed for the new laptop!
Thankfully, the rest of the story is pretty boring and I don't have any stories to share of crazy people I met up with from Craigslist who tried to rip me off, rob me, or worse. To help keep things safe, I always make sure that I meet people in public areas (this morning I met someone inside a CVS where our entire interaction would be witnessed by a cashier and security cameras), and never give out my home address.
So far, I've only sold two of the four items I originally identified, which together brought in around 60% of the funds needed. I still have a few things outstanding, but have now begun to think of other things I have that I could be selling to get all the way there. For now, it's close enough that I did go ahead and make the purchase. I view it as a win-win-win situation. I got a new laptop (win!), de-cluttered the house a bit (win!), and paid for the laptop mostly with Craigslist cash (win!).