Does Having More Stuff Make You More Afraid of Losing It?


Have you ever found yourself getting worried about the possibility of losing all of the money and possessions you have so painstakingly built up over the years?

I know that in my own personal experience I felt a lot freer and more relaxed back when I had a lot less stuff. These days, I sometimes worry about thieves, bank crashes, economic woes, depreciation, natural disasters, fraud and all sorts of other things.

If you are in the same kind of situation then you presumably don’t want to give it all up in order to feel more relaxed about life. Sure, those hippies all look really chilled out but it isn’t the right lifestyle for all of us. Instead, maybe you could consider the following ways of trying to make sure that the stuff you own doesn’t take over your life.

Know the Value of Everything

One of the most difficult things in life is to work out the true value of everything. The first step to take is that of separating “the things money can buy” from the things it can’t. If you think about it, the things which money can buy can be replaced, while the other items can’t. This means that the most valuable things in our life should be the likes of our health, our family, our happiness and anything else money simply can’t buy, no matter how much you have of the folding stuff. Everything else can be bought. I know that starting over and buying a new house or a new car would be a huge deal but it can be done.

See How Lucky You Are

Do you know how lucky you are? For a start, you live in an age in which many of us are richer beyond the wildest dreams of the vast majority of humans who have ever walked the Earth. Just go back a generation or two in most families and you will find tales of hardship which make you realize how much things have changed for the better. Then take a look round at the modern world and you will see that there are millions of people with a lot less than you. To begin with, we can see that about a billion people live on less than a dollar a day. This is a staggering figure and brings home how little many, many people have. Possibly even worse is the fact that 8 in 10 people on the planet earn less than $10 a day. How could you live on a dollar a day or ten a day never mind dream of saving up to buy possessions? If you have enough money to live well and not suffer from hunger you are one of the fortunate ones.

Enjoy Your Possessions

What I discovered is that the less I enjoyed my possessions the more worried I was about potentially losing them. This sounds weird but starting to enjoy them made me more relaxed about them. For example, I started using my car to go on more little trips and trying to use all of my clothes and gadgets as much as possible. The only way I can try to understand this is by thinking that I was getting use from them, so they become useful items I was getting value from rather than an investment which only made sense financially. This made me feel more relaxed about the idea of losing them as they were no longer purely financial things anymore.

What other ways of not being afraid of losing your stuff have you found?

17 Responses to Does Having More Stuff Make You More Afraid of Losing It?

  1. This is a really thought-provoking post. I’m intrigued by the idea that the more you use your stuff, the less you fear losing it. I’m going to have to reflect on this a bit, since I cannot come up with an immediate example in my life- but I don’t think we really have much extraneous stuff that does not get used. I’ve often felt that one of the advantages of not having a lot of “stuff” is that we worry less about break-ins- why would a thief target our rather small home over the really fancy and large ones on the other side of town?

    • Robert Bell says:

      Thanks for the comment Dee. I just think that when I use something I get my money back in some way, so it is no longer purely a financial investment but rather something which has helped me in some way

  2. moneystepper says:

    In the past, I’ve pretty much lost every single watch I’ve ever owned. This has stopped me ever owning expensive gadgets or jewelry as I know I’ll physically lose them! An easy way to avoid spending money on fancy things!! 🙂

  3. Good post. I find myself not worrying much about these material things. Yes, I have worked hard for them, but they are replaceable. I have insurance coverage for most of my stuff, so I don’t need to worry about them.

  4. I’ve never really been a possession person, if that makes any sense. I just don’t value items very much, so I have never been worried about losing stuff or breaking it. It used to drive my mom crazy when I was growing up!

    • Robert Bell says:

      I have an uncle who simply couldn’t care less about money or possessions and he drives everyone in the family crazy because of it. I think that it is important to find the right balance

  5. When “stuff” is the focus of your life, then yeah, I would think that the threat of losing your stuff would scare the crap out of you. Personally I’m more interested in what kind of experiences my stuff can bring me. Stuff wears out, memories and experiences last forever and make up the fabric of who you are.

  6. I’ve started becoming more minimalistic so I don’t have a ton of possessions, but those that I do have I cherish, use, and love till it can’t be used anymore.

  7. Great article with a timeless message. A long time ago, I heard a phrase that’s always stuck with me – “Do you own your possessions or do they own you?”

  8. I think we can all fall into the trap of constantly buying things without realizing what we already have. So I definitely agree with your advice to just enjoy what you have, instead of worrying about what you don’t!

  9. Kathy says:

    I don’t worry about losing possessions like a DVR, TV etc. But I do worry about losing our money. We’ve really scrimped and saved to accumulate what we have and while we could survive losing possessions, we couldn’t survive losing all our money. You know the old saying I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich….rich is better. It’s true 🙂

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