Instagram Email me!
I wrote a book! If you've ever wanted to learn a bit more about creating recipes, this series is designed for you. The first book focuses on cookies, because who doesn't love cookies?
Available now on Kindle.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

How Much Stuff?!



There are some strange things about being responsible for a house. I still feel like I'm playing at "being an adult" and there are some things I haven't quite got used to yet. Mostly, it's the things like repair work and decorating, but arguably the strangest experience was last year when we came to renew our home insurance.

Up until then we'd had an "unlimited" contents policy, but our premium shot through the roof, so we started shopping around... and realised we could get a substantially better deal if we worked out how much cover we actually needed.

Being a geeky kind of couple, we went around the house with our laptops, putting everything we owned into spreadsheets with an estimate of the cost. But - and this was the scary part - we realized we needed to list the cost of buying everything new and at full price.

I almost never pay full price for anything. I buy things when they're on sale, I scour the internet for the best deal, and if there isn't a discount on a specific product then I'll wait until there's a voucher for the shop I want to use. I have loyalty cards for everywhere, and cashback on my credit card. I reuse whatever I can, and make a lot of things myself. But if (heaven forbid) my house burnt down, I'd want to be able to replace everything, straight away, no faffing.

My buying habits have two strange side-effects when it comes to pricing up the house. One is that my spreadsheet is full of numbers that are, in many cases, much higher than what I actually spent - leading to a terrifyingly high figure, far above what I would have expected. But the other is that my shopping habits lend themselves to stockpiling: I'll buy a year's worth of coffee or lentils or soup. A few packets in the cupboard probably wouldn't need to feature for insurance estimates, but we have a pantry packed floor-to-ceiling with mostly-organic food and drinks, and the prices quickly add up. (The other day I spent over £100 on tea because my favourite brand was at an insanely good price, with a long use-by date...)

And soon, of course, we're going to have to do it all again for our next renewal... thank God we saved the spreadsheets!

This isn't my house - just somewhere I once stayed - but we're redecorating so pics of my living room will have to wait!

21 comments:

LindyLouMac said...

I think you will find as you get older and gain even more possessions that a lot of them become impossible to value, sentimental value is priceless over and above any spreadsheet valuation for insurance policies. Scary though isn't it :)

Stephanie V said...

'Playing at being a grown-up' - I like that. I feel the same way and I've been playing at it for years. I love your spreadsheets - it makes perfect sense. Too bad, there's no insurance reward for saving money and being responsible consumers.
BTW, having a good tea supply is a reasonable priority, I think.

Ginny said...

What a pain this must have been!! And did it make you think that you have way more stuff than you thought? Now I want to see your living room!

smilla4blogs said...

Congratulations! This is such a sensible thing to do and someday you'll be very glad you tackled this particular monster under the bed! Also, you might consider purchasing a fireproof safe for valuables and irreplaceable papers.

Tabor said...

This spreadsheet might be a good guide just for budget purposes down the road. You sound far more responsible than many adults I know.!

Shibby said...

See now I thought I was grown up but now that I've read this I'm no where near. Which is a good thing as I didn't want to grow up just quite yet :)

Sounds like an awesome way to do it though and definitely the way I shall come to consider when I get to that stage :)

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Oh wow, I'm very impressed with how organised you are. I hate spreadsheets... Your tea buying habits made me laugh though, I wouldn't know where to put a year's supply of (in my case) coffee... Have a lovely Sunday, Love from London x

ladyfi said...

Oh gosh - you guys are so organized!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Gosh, I'm stunned at your efficiency!

Jen said...

I started a spreadsheet. I need to complete it. I doubt I would even want to replace everything, but it is good to have everything documented.

Jeanne said...

I love a woman who uses spreadsheets.

Kazzy said...

Yeah, we just paid or homeowners insurance last month. Ouch!

St├ęphanie said...

Great great post my dear friend !
http://prettydarling.canalblog.com/

A Cuban In London said...

I have to admit that when it comes to buying stuff I fall on the minimalist side. If I lived on my own I would probably be considered an ascet. But no, I ain't no ascet, I'm just damn lazy!:-)

Great post.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Spreadsheets for your stuff! WIsh we were that organized. I never buy anything at full price either but I wouldn't panic at listing the price an item is worth. Sales are not always available when you need to buy something immediately.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

We just picked a number for our homeowner's policy. A lot of my furniture is handed down from my parents so I'd hate to add up the real value of what's in here!

You guys are much more organized, hopefully you'll never need to refer to that spreadsheet!

gfmommy.com said...

I understand completely! My husband is the master of finding deals. We own a lot of things that are worth far more than we paid for them. I don't know how I would even start such a spread sheet!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm really over stuff. I dont' want anymore.

Chatty Crone said...

I liked this piece - it was quite interesting and I guess I am just the opposite - I want to play young and not grown up again!
teehee

sandie

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

I would have done the same thing - spreadsheet and inventory! I think we have very similar minds! And I shudder to think at having to replace my whole pantry ... sheesh!

Emmie said...

wow that would be a phonominal living room I felt extremely jelouse for a moment there! Phew! I am a ebay fanatic and I love pre-loved goods, bargain hunting, price comparisons. With the internet these things are so easily achieved aren't they? Heaven forbid anything will ever happen. Its a scary thought but mebe you have spurred me on to check out some insurence quotes too! xx

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...