Is owning things a wise financial decision?

I have bought many things in my life, and I think I have to conclude that owning things has been a poor financial decision.

The biggest thing I have purchased in my life is a house. I lived in the house for a year before losing my job in mass layoffs in 2009 when many people lost their jobs. I bought the house because everyone said it was silly to throw money away on renting. The thing is that I was very happy in my apartment and buying a house was a mistake for me.

I didn’t gain anything in having a house, an in fact I lost things. I had more bills due to repairs, and it took a great deal of time and effort to fix it up and maintain it. It was more costly with utilities and the only thing it provided me was more space that I didn’t need. I didn’t love it, and I will never own a house again.

The next most expensive thing I purchased were cars. In my life I have purchased a series of cars because I love technology and I love the fun features in cars. However for the most part I could have gotten along without them, and now looking back it was more due to pride than real need.

Of course I have bought cheaper things like clothes and electronics but they didn’t make me happy either. US culture says that you will be happy if you own things, but that hasn’t been the case for me. While I have enjoyed using certain things, the enjoyment of those things turned into a burden with time.

For example, since I work in technology I have to buy a laptop. I have shared before how I am using a very old laptop. Material things just are a burden, and if I could have rented a laptop and been current I would have rather done that.

I tried renting things with cars by doing a lease. That was a terrible experience because the car was unreliable. I would lease again but right now I am not inclined to ever want to buy a car again. When you live in NY the costs of having a car are so high that it makes more sense to use shared transportation.

With the US population mostly living in urban or large cities, it makes sense why people don’t want the burden of ownership. The older I get the more appealing having few things becomes.