Emotions and Money: The Storage Unit Example

by TTMK on July 22, 2014 · 6 comments

emotions and storageSo, how do emotions, money, and a storage unit all relate to one another? I’ll tell you.

Someone I know, a nice person I might add, ended a long-term relationship a number of years ago. Actually, it was about 5 years ago. Clearly, the end of such long-term relationships can be difficult, and apparently this one was very much so.

Anyway, with relationships ending there are often issues that arise afterward. Sometimes they can involve finances, logistics, and sentimental concerns. We can come up with so many example of how each of these factors can come into play when a relationship is over.

The example I have for you involves each of them. The person who dealt with the situation had a full set of apparently really nice furniture that was purchased as a part of the relationship. Also, this was furniture that was not only nice, but struck some kind of emotional cord. It seems as if it was custom-made, highly unique, and seemingly the product of a lot of time and effort to find dream furniture. Plus, as tangible items that you can visually see, they probably represented the relationship in one way or another.

So when the relationship ended, this the couple went their separate ways – and this individual put the furniture in a storage unit. The area in which this storage unit is located isn’t cheap, and it probably costs $150 per month.

You might already see where I’m going with this.

She kept the furniture in storage for almost 6 years. I think (from what I was recall being told) this included a sofa and bedroom furniture. Apparently very nice furniture, from what I was told.

But think about that estimated $150 per month cost. That’s $ 1,800 per year. Over 6 years, we’re talking about $10,800 spent on storing furniture!

Now, I’m not sure how much was spend on the furniture, but would a bedroom set and a sofa cost over $10,000 for most people? Probably not, though if this was exceptionally nice stuff maybe it cost that much.

Regardless, the residual value at this point simply can’t be that great. How much will someone pay for used furniture that’s probably at least 10 years old – even if it’s been stored for a good percentage of that time? Again, this isn’t to poke fun of a nice and intelligent person, but rather to point out that emotions can often influence our finances in a big way.

My assessment is that at this point, money is being spent every month for basically nothing in this case. For what purpose? Emotions, apparently.

My Takeaways:

When making money decisions, try to be objective and separate out emotions when possible

Money issues can emerge in all kinds of unexpected ways in relationships (even when they’re over!)

Be careful when getting a storage unit! It’s a tangential takeaway, but worth noting that a lot of money can be very easily spent without you thinking about it once it’s set up. Recurring, automated payments have a way of lulling us into a sense of complacency!

Question for You:

Can you see how this can be easy for someone to fall into this trap, or do you have a hard time understanding situations like this?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin H @ Growing Family Benefits July 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

My guess is this person never foresaw how long the items would remain in storage. I made a similar choice thinking that only months were needed. Then the months became years. Most of the items were given away once I realized more years were on the horizon.

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TTMK July 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm

That’s a good point, and really that’s a way that people ended up spending much more on storage than they originally expected. Also, there is probably little residual benefit for doing so in most cases.

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Kasia July 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm

I can’t fathom keeping anything in storage for six years. If it’s not used within a year or so it should be disposed of especially if it’s going to cost more to keep it then to replace it down the track. It seems silly and costly to have emotional attachments to furniture especially if it’s hidden away in storage for so long.

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TTMK July 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

It does seem quite costly to do this. Quite often, it’s better to make decisions based on reasoning rather than emotion – this being a good example of that concept!

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Poor Student July 27, 2014 at 4:41 am

To be honest, I don’t understand why she kept the sofa in the storage unit… I mean if it came out of a relationship with bad ending, why didn’t she just sell the furniture? Just to be done with it once and for all then move on with life.

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femmefrugality July 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

I would have sold it after it was clear that things weren’t going to get back together. It is a very emotional thing, though, especially since it sounds like they designed it together.

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