Sold the Roadbike

Day 93 | $50,944 paid | $39,773 till freedom

I just sold my roadbike that I bought in October 2010 when I got my licence suspended. I paid $1200 for it on Craigslist–it’s full carbon fiber, and my reasoning at the time was that if it was going to be my main ride for three months, I wasn’t going to ride anything heavy.

I sold it today for $900. The transaction was seamless. The guy showed up in his truck, lifted up the bike, said, “Holy $*%#! This is so light!” He then proceeded to sit on it, say, “Hell yeah, I’m taking this!”, hand me a wad of cash out of his pocket, and ride away down the driveway. Another satisfied customer.

To recap:

I went through my house on Sunday night and got rid of some stuff. If stuff isn’t going to make me happy, I reasoned, then I might as well get rid of it. I have it all in my garage waiting to go to goodwill. It includes the following:

  • Two USB memory keys
  • Six pairs of jeans, total value $450 (4 Lucky, 1 A&F, 1 Gap) 
  • Shirts
  • Books
  • BMW M3 collector’s model
  • Nissan 350z collector’s model
  • Bookshelf
  • Floor lamp
  • Chair

Everything is in awesome condition. And since this is the holiday season and I’m not going to be donating any money to any charities, I might as well donate some stuff.

I’m still scratching my head on exactly how to get the bookshelf and floor lamp to goodwill without the Murano.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday
I found a pretty awesome quote on Gawker about Black Friday/Cyber Monday that I’d like to share:

“Why does Cyber Monday get a pass? It doesn’t produce the vivid—and, yeah, highly-enjoyable!—riot videos of Black Friday. And we’re in a tech bubble, so anything “cyber” must be good. But whatever lessons about the economy and American consumerism pundits see in Friday’s Walmart stampedes can be drawn from Monday’s office workers clicking down, deeper into debt, on a day arbitrarily chosen by corporations as Spend Your Money on Slightly-Cheaper Useless Shit Day. The pundits are probably all too busy snapping up hot deals on Amazon to write about it.”

What Is It All About?
I had a hard time finding motivation at work on Monday morning. I was in a serious post-break funk, and I was still wrapping my head around the theory of hedonistic adaptation and the interview with down-to-earth millionaire Derek Sivers. I just could not find the motivation to work. I kept wondering…if more stuff is not going to improve my baseline level of happiness–not that there’s anything wrong with it–then why am I going to back-to-back meetings and answering emails in a cubicle for 60 hours a week? Is this work meaningful to me? If I don’t really need a lot of money, then is this what I was meant to do? Is this a good use of the limited time I have left on earth? And if stuff won’t make me happier, then what in the world will? What are we all doing? What were we put on earth for? What’s the point?

The final question of the HBS admissions interview was “Why you?” I thought about it for a few seconds, then told the interviewer that people were put on earth to make each other happy, and that the best way that I could make others happy was to start my own business.

I still believe the first part–I still believe that the fundamental reason for this journey that we all find ourselves on is to bring happiness into our friends’ lives. I’m not sure I agree with the second part anymore…maybe I do…I don’t know…


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12 responses to “Sold the Roadbike

  1. GT

    Some Goodwill stores have a truck that comes around and picks up big things. You just contact them, let them know what you’ve got and when its available for pick up.

  2. Angie

    Some places, though I do not believe Goodwill will actually pick up things you would like to donate. You can call them and schedule a time for pick up. Then you do not have to worry about finding a way to get them!

  3. Congrats for selling your bike! I remember doing exactly what you are doing when I paid off $70k (it was all in less than a year, so I bet you can do it too!)

    Thanks for linking to the interview with Derek Sivers too. Such an amazing guy.

  4. Maybe the way to support one’s self in the pursuit of making people happy is by having a business.

  5. That’s a lot of questions that I don’t have a good answer for 🙂 But I’ve heard that always questioning your surrounding, the situations you find yourself in, what you do with your time, etc, etc is a good methodology to live by.

    Sounds corny, but something Steve Jobs said that I read about years ago really resonates with me still today. If you wake up and ask yourself each morning when standing in front of the mirror if what I’m going to do today is what I want to be doing (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing) and the answer is “no” for too many days/weeks in a row then you know something needs to change.

    Congrats on the sales! You’re well on your way, good to see the mindset changes – it’s why I keep reading.

  6. Kevin

    You should post your stuff on eBay to liquidate unwanted items for cash to help pay down debt. My wife and I cleaned house recently and were able to sell stuff we didn’t want or need for a cool $1k over the month of November. In October, we sold about $2500 worth of stuff on eBay, though it’s skewed because one item was a .9999 pure 1oz gold coin from the US mint I bought back in 2006 that sold for $1800. It’s noble that you’re donating stuff and I know that your work hours probably don’t leave much time to do eBay’ing, but in all honesty every little bit helps! I racked up $22k in credit card debt by Jan 2011. Since then, I have paid off my car completely, paid down to $8k remaining in CC debt and managed to build up $5k in savings. I cannot wait to be debt free and reading your blog is a huge, huge inspiration to me. Perhaps when you are done paying down your Harvard debt, you will move on to paying off your mortgage (assuming you have one)?

  7. Dan

    Personally, I think you’re way right about making other people happy. I think there are a lot of ways to do it, and starting a business might well be the way to accomplish that. I also served one of those two year Mormon missions, and while that was great for two years, I couldn’t do that my whole life. I am a university student and feel the need to get an education and a rewarding career so that I can have a family and provide for them, as well as keep myself sane. I feel like there’s some balance between what I was doing as a missionary, what I’m doing as a student, who I am as a friend and a family member, and what kind of employee I am, and if I lean too far in one direction for too long, everything will start to collapse.

    I really enjoy your blog, by the way. I’m trying to pay off some student loans and other debts, and your determination to get it all done inspires me. Good luck!

  8. Nancy

    You make me happy every time I read your blog! I think it’s really cool that this debt pay off mission has transcended money and turned into a quest to live your authentic life. I’ve had a similar experience with paying down student loans and donating unnecessary clutter. It’s been really freeing, and I think once I’ve paid off my SLD, I want my job to be equally freeing (something I like to do that helps others, but doesn’t chain me to a chair). Thanks once again for a great post!

  9. Zeona

    If those jeans and shirts are still in good condition, which you said they were, you should swing by Buffalo Exchange (2904 Guadalupe St, I looked it up for ya). They buy used clothes on the spot and give you cash or store credit. It takes no time at all, definitely worth checking out before Goodwill. I’m a huge fan of these stores. I love the idea of recycling clothes and also being able to have one of a kind pieces. Stores like this have made it so that I’m not longer attached to by clothes. I wear them for a bit and then trade them in again for something new. It keeps my stock of clothes light, while remaining exciting and new. I love not being weighed down by things.

  10. Jenny

    I think this was mentioned before, but Goodwill and the Salvation Army typically arrange for free pickup of large donations.

    Also an interesting perspective on the debt snowball theory:

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