Budgeting | Life | Personal Finance | Relationships & Family | Article

Decluttering is How This Family Pays for Their Purchases. Here’s How They Do It

by Rica | October 19, 2023 | 5 mins read

There really isn’t anyone out there who wouldn’t want the latest items when they are launched. What usually holds us back is the price tag that they usually come with and the additional space that they take up in our homes.  

However, Jay and Cal Leorna have found a solution that lets them afford the new gadgets and items they desire without busting their budget – decluttering.  

Decluttering is the act of clearing away mess or things you don’t like, need, or use anymore. And in the case of the Leorna family, for the items that “no longer serve them”, they try to sell it. Otherwise, it is given away or donated.  

Apart from making money that lets them pay for their new purchase, doing this regularly also make the Leorna home clutter free and organized.  

From a way to destress to a money-making method

Decluttering comes naturally to Jay who grew up with a penchant for organizing. Making everything neat and tidy is therapeutic for her.  

“Decluttering has been my stress reliever because it clears my mind when I clear the space,” shares Jay.  

Cal, on the other hand, keeps even old tags from the clothes he buys. You would think this might have been a problem for the couple when they first started living together, but luckily, he isn’t opposed to getting rid of things whenever Jay asks him to.  

He is also the one who suggested selling the items that Jay wants to remove each time she decluttered as “he has always been into selling preloved items, even before we got married” shares Jay. 

“I used to just throw things away or donate them, but my husband was the one who taught me how we can turn something into money and help fund the next item we’ll buy. I realized that’s actually a smart practice!” 


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Their fun money is funded by decluttering 

The money that they get from decluttering is how Jay and Cal pay for the things they deem as wants, whether it’s gadgets, entertainment systems, or toys for the kids. The main aim is to buy these items without dipping into their savings.  

“As a couple, I think we’re very practical and frugal,” describes Jay. “Although we sometimes do splurge on some things like vacations or hobbies, we try to make money through decluttering to help fund our splurges. That way, we keep our savings intact and not use it for wants as much as possible.”  

The principle that they use is simple – for every item they want, they have to sell something that can fund most, if not all, of the item they want to buy first.  

For example, Cal has sold a Cannondale road bike to get a mountain bike from the same brand. He also bought a Canon camera lens for  55,000, which he eventually sold for the same amount. It was as if he got the item to use for free for the duration he had it, and what he likes the most about the family’s decluttering habit – you get to buy an item, enjoy it, and then make money from it. 


The family practices decluttering before buying other things for the house

Decluttering is a family activity

Decluttering isn’t just something that Jay and Cal do. Their two children, Noah and Luna who are seven and five, enjoy joining their parents in their decluttering efforts.  

“Whenever I am decluttering, the kids are involved because they get to have a say whether an item, for example, a toy, is for donation or for selling,” shares Jay. “They also tell me if they’re not yet ready to let it go.”  

This has allowed Jay to teach the children about the value of money too. The kids have a “fund bank” where they store the money earned from toys, clothes, or other stuff they sell. The money in this ziplock bag is also how they buy new toys or go on milk tea dates. 

It also helped Jay and Cal introduce the concept of delayed gratification to their kids. “For example, instead of just buying an expensive toy for them, we plan [together with them on] how we can save up money to be able to afford that toy. We [then] go through their toys and clothes and decide which ones we can let go,” Jay explains.  


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This is how the family came to the decision to sell their old Xbox to get a new gaming console. As the money from the sale of the old Xbox alone was insufficient, they also sold Noah’s Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage and tracks, Luna’s coats that she had outgrown, to afford their brand new Nintendo Switch. 

These experiences also let Jay impart the importance of not being attached to material things and the discipline of handling money to her children. 

“In our case, this is also a way to control by delaying gratification. By doing so, we might eventually realize that we do not want to buy the item after all. We might have just liked it at that moment that we saw it, but later on realize it was actually just an impulse,” explains Jay. 

“It also teaches them the value of money and the hard work put into earning it,” she adds.  

Other benefits of decluttering

Other ways that decluttering helps your bank account include:   

  1. Making you an intentional shopper. Regularly going through all your possessions and how often you use them lets you discover what items you really need.
  2. Rediscover forgotten treasures. You may have unused coupons, gift certificates, gifts you’ve totally forgotten about, duplicate items, or even cash stuffed somewhere that are only uncovered during a decluttering session.
  3. Not spending on storage solutions. Since you don’t have a lot, you don’t need to spend money buying more organizing tools.  

Not only do you give yourself extra breathing space when you declutter, you also do your finances a favor!