Save Money By Collecting Accomplishments Instead Of Items

Save Money By Collecting Accomplishments Instead Of Items

There’s nothing wrong with being a collector, but if the items you collect can be consumed, like books, movies, or games, you can save space and money by tracking the things you’ve completed, rather than filling your home with a physical collection.

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Take books, for example. Book collectors might fill up their shelves before they’ve had time to read everything they bought. Not only are these unread books a waste of money and space, they can also be a source of nagging stress until you finish them. Trent at The Simple Dollar broke this cycle by “collecting” a list of books he’s read, rather than stockpiling a small library at home:

Rather than collecting books, I’ve moved on to trying to build a collection of “books I’ve read.” I’m keeping a careful list and I get that same proud rush when I can add a book to that list of reads. I’m no longer worried about buying books at all — I’m perfectly happy to get them at the library or to download classics.

Rather than collecting games, I’m more interested in a list of games I’ve played or electronic games I’ve “beaten” (or played to some satisfactory level of completion). I now prefer to stick with games until I’ve thoroughly played them or else trade them with friends. I also love going to community board game nights.

Obviously, this won’t work for every type of collection, but it’s a great idea for media collections. There are even apps dedicated to these lists such as Done Not Done. Admittedly, you can’t fill a bookshelf with a list of things you’ve read or watched, but you can always revisit it with pride, all while saving money and space.

Collect Accomplishments, Not Stuff [The Simple Dollar]


  • This is what I do as well.
    I have spreadsheets with things I’ve watched, games I’ve completed/etc.
    I go nearly fully digital now since a hard drive is so much cheaper than buying a new book shelf or throwing things in the attic.

    The only physical entertainment I buy now are console games due to trade-in deals and the nature of consoles.

    You save money on not having to buy extra furniture to house the physical collections.
    You save money by not requiring a bigger house in order to have a place to put that furniture (bookshelves/etc).
    You generally save money since the digital versions are ‘usually’ cheaper. In the case of games, Steam sales are almost always vastly cheaper than buying physical.
    You save time because it’s usually a lot faster to pull up the media on your computer than it is to find the media in a vast physical collection, pull it out, then put the disc in (in terms of movies/games).
    For books, the Library = free.

    Even if you do buy physical; by using a collection of accomplishments rather than physical items – once used, you can then sell it/trade it. Saving you money again.

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