How You CAN Afford It



If there was one activity in the world I could spend every single day doing and not get tired of it, it’s skiing. I love bombing down long, fast runs. I love the technical descents of more challenging terrain. I love the obstacles of the terrain parks.

It’s the vacation I look forward to the most all year every year.

But this year was different.

This year I couldn’t afford to go skiing. Lift tickets, skis, boots, it all adds up to a lot more than we can cash flow right now.

Facing that reality was a tough one for me. And while I knew in my heart this was ultimately where we wanted to be as a family, the pain of missing a year skiing was crushing.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Boo-hoo. My wallet’s too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!”

For me skiing is so much more than a luxury vacation. It’s a chance to challenge my physical limits! And the strength I gain from landing something I never thought possible is in fact very real!

But I knew the numbers, I knew our goals, and we just couldn’t afford it.

That’s when it clicked.

I remembered something Robert Kiyosaki taught me in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

[box]“Don’t ever say you can’t afford something. Instead, ask how can you afford it.”[/box]

So I did. I had 4 months until we left, and I committed to earning the money I needed to ski outside of our normal income. Anything goes, everything counts, but I had to come up with the money.

I was fired up about the idea at first. “I should do this every year!” I thought. But very quickly I realized I didn’t have a clue where to get extra money.

Sell Your Crap

Then it hit me – sell your crap! One of our ongoing projects around the house is to get rid of crap. We love to be organized and enjoy the freedom of only having what we need, but we’ve got a long way to go to get there.

I looked into selling stuff on eBay, but to be honest it was overly complicated. It seemed like such an easy thing, but I was intimidated by the process.

We talked about having a garage sale, but that’s even scarier than eBay! (I’ve heard about you garage sale people!)

But if there’s one thing I know about achieving goals, it’s that the WHY makes all the difference. And I had a pretty big why!

How I did it

Adam Baker is a blogger I’ve followed for years over at Man vs Debt. Years ago he and his wife sold nearly everything they owned, paid off their debt, and traveled the world for a while. It’s a very inspiring story!

As you can imagine, Baker became an expert at getting rid of crap. In fact, he wrote the book on it!

His Sell Your Crap ebook is an amazing resource that I used to help me navigate the vast ocean of ways to get rid of stuff and make some extra cash.

He helped me get a better perspective on the stuff all around me, and understand what a life free of that stuff could be like.

I’m not talking about extreme minimalism – not at all! I’m talking about the stuff that’s collected in my bookcases, drawers, and boxes year after year after year. Things I saved “just in case” I needed them again. Things I kept because I thought it didn’t cost me anything to keep it (it does, it costs you freedom!).

I did it! After one (scary) garage sale and quite a few rounds of eBay postings I made over $800 for our trip. Not bad considering it was all made off of stuff I hadn’t touched in years (and didn’t have a good place for either).

This changes everything

So I sold some stuff on eBay and made a few extra bucks, big deal.

But to me this is a BIG deal!

Because this changes everything.

I proved to myself what Robert Kiyosaki says is true:


Believing this changes everything. Living this makes it real.

Next time will be bigger.

Next time will be better.

And someday I’ll be skiing as many weeks a season as I can handle.

Have you ever limited yourself by thinking “I can’t afford this?”

(photo credit)

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  • JWFinCoaching

    Thanks for sharing that Deacon . I love how you had the end in mind and decided to figure out what you needed to do to go on your ski trip instead of just accepting it or bending on your other goals to go skiing. By doing what you did you thought of creative ways to get to where you want to go and it motivated you to sell your stuff you needed to dump any ways! Such a good reminder to me as I need to think more like that going forward!

    • deaconbradley

      @JWFinCoaching The end is the -only- reason I was able to go through the pain of learning eBay, hah. I’ve got the hang of it now though so I’m going to stick with it to earn some extra cash for the site.

      Baker’s guide is a great one if you want a boost getting started!

  • tomewer

    That’s awesome Deacon! I LOVE skiing, and am heading off to Colorado in March. As for “technical descents”, I’m not so sure about that… 😉

    Great work on getting rid of the crap. I am planning on doing the same thing – it’s going to be a Thursday evening job for me for some time!

    • deaconbradley

      @tomewer Awesome Tom! Where are you headed? March is one of my favorite times in Colorado!

      And yea, getting rid of crap goes on and on and on and on, hah. It’s something of a side-project for me to earn money for the ol’ blog.

      • tomewer

        @deaconbradley Frisco. I love March too – a bit milder, but the snow is usually still good.

        • Jeff

          Deacon,  Enjoy your blog – We recently did a video on our website on selling your stuff.  When Robin and I were working to get out of debt we sold some of our old jewelry that we had not worn in years and received $900 for it – Wow..  In fact when I asked how much he was giving me for my 1969 class ring which I bought for $30 (actually my parent’s bought) he said $90.  This ring does not even fit me any longer as I have gained a little weight (only 1 pound – per year).  Keep up the good work on your blog..

          • deaconbradley

            Hey thanks Jeff. Way to go selling stuff to get out of debt! So few people are willing to do this. Most are of course willing to talk about how they can’t get out of debt because of interest rates or other external factors, hah.
            Thanks for stopping by!

  • Sminso

    Great read!  Always a great way to get what you want, dont ever let a small bump such as time, money or lack of skills get in your way, as I aways say, “where there is a will there is a way!” (actually im sure someone else said this first, but i live by it!)

    • deaconbradley

       @Sminso it’s so easy to stop when the obvious road is blocked. Little things like this are good practice to figure out a way. Be like the ants!!!

  • Ski Homes Online

    Definitely wise words by Mr. Kiyosaki – if it’s one thing worth splurging on, it’s a ski vacation!  Cheers.

    • deaconbradley

       @Ski Homes Online No kidding – my favorite vacations by far!

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