After seven years of marriage, Chris Durheim and his wife sold her engagement ring.
It wasn’t to fund an emergency or forget a failed marriage. Their relationship is strong, and their finances are in good shape.
Instead, they sold the ring as part of a larger move toward focusing on living the life they want.
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With their basic needs and wants met, “Over the last few years, we’ve pushed ourselves to dream bigger. We’ve stretched to identify what our priorities are, continuously asking what’s most important to us,” Durheim wrote for Keep Thrifty.
Their list of priorities include quality time with family, travel, faith and living their passions.
Not on that list? An engagement ring that spent most of its time on the shelf.
What’s more important is the immense value their family is getting out of selling the ring.
While it seems like a loss — Chris bought the ring for $6,000 more than seven years ago, and they sold it for just $1,900 this year — look at the difference it’s making:
“By selling the ring, we have more money to do the remodeling necessary to sell our house. When we sell our house, we’ll downsize into something smaller and will hopefully be able to purchase that house mortgage-free.
“By having no mortgage and saving on electricity, property tax, insurance and all the expenses that are proportional to the size of your house, our financial needs become much smaller.
“With much smaller financial needs, we open up a world of flexibility that will allow us to spend more time together as a family.”
All that opportunity for their family has been collecting dust on a shelf.
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Minimalist to a fault, I admit I barely understand why the Durheims spent $6,000 on a piece of symbolic jewelry in the first place.
But we’re all entitled to our priorities.
And, regardless of personal wealth, Durheim’s point is important: “What’s your real dream?”
“I hope you spend some time dreaming big,” he writes. “Think about what you really want out of life. Then think about what you could give up today that isn’t a part of those dreams.”
What are you still holding onto that isn’t a part of your big dreams?
Could you sell a wedding dress you’ll never touch again?
Could you stand to live in a smaller house?
Are your shelves and closets full of small junk you could sell?
How important are your antiques and family heirlooms compared with the experiences you can share with your family’s next generation?
Not one of these questions has a correct answer.
You and your family have to set priorities together and decide what it takes to align with them.
But if you’re asking me? Dude. Sell the ring, now.
Your Turn: What sentimental items are you not willing to part with — and which are you willing to reconsider?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).