Ask the Readers: What Could You Not Live Without?

Update: Hank Coleman of Money Q & A wrote a great post on why athletes go broke and why you are too. Check it out!

If you were broke and everything was being taken away from you, what is one material thing you could absolutely never give up?

This question was brought up by Heidi and Frank from a morning show I listen to on the local radio station. They were discussing Allen Iverson and his financial situation. Iverson is a famous basketball player (that’s the extent of my knowledge) and I guess he’s broke. Despite the money professional sports players make, some of them – *snicker snicker* manage to outspend themselves. According to the news Iverson spends over $360,000 a month while making only $62,500. Damn, I wish I could make only that amount! :)

Anyway… he’s spending $10,000 a month on clothes and $10,000 on groceries not including the $10,000 on restaurants.

What the hell? Who eats that much?!

Obviously the earnings are not enough to support the spending which will only lead to bankruptcy. His house is being auctioned off yet he plans on keeping his $400,000 Maybach luxury car. I guess for ‘players’ cars are more important than homes. Oh well, that’s really not for me to judge – I’m just trying to point out the facts.

No Life Without an Internet Connection

For me, if I were losing my possessions and there is a good chance I’d be left without anything very soon – the one thing I would absolutely never give up is my laptop.

It may sound silly, but a computer is all that would keep me alive if I were broke. With a laptop I could use free Wi-Fi to get online and make some money no matter what happens. Sure, I could probably do this in a library or something, but I’d rather chill at a coffee shop instead. I’d freelance for others through writing, web design, SEO services and consulting to start a new life.

What about you? What could you never give up if you were losing it all?

Allen Iverson


  1. As a sports fan, I am always amazed when an athlete goes broke. They have to know that they can’t play their particular sport forever, and yet they spend like they are athletically invincible. Unreal…

    I would agree with you about keeping your laptop. Computers now are really like a lifeline. It’s hard to imagine life without one.
    Mackenzie recently posted..Our Tree is Fake…So What?My Profile

  2. I heard the same thing about Iverson. It’s just sad on one level, because so much of it comes from either no knowledge about money or “friends” who want them to invest their money in all sorts of hair brained schemes. There was a show about it actually on ESPN a few weeks ago that gave some crazy stat about the number of pro athletes who just go absolute broke.

    Anyway, back to the point, :) I would probably have to agree with you and say my laptop. Without mine & my wife’s 95%+ of our business would be down the drains. So, I’d have to say our computers.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..November Blog Goals UpdateMy Profile

    • I was trying to think very hard what could be more valuable than a laptop besides the wallet… and couldn’t come up with anything.

  3. That’s absurd someone would spend that much!! Assuming my apartment or home is not considered a material possession, then I would say my laptop as well, because just like you I could make money somehow from it. Even if I gave up my phone I could still make calls through Skype. lol!
    Budget & the Beach recently posted..Big Things AwaitMy Profile

    • Good point! With an internet connection and means of getting online there are always ways to do pretty much everything. Banking, calling, running a business – all can be done with an internet connection and a trusty ol’ laptop :)

    • LOL, I suppose… if they’re all small things that wouldn’t make that much difference. *and their respective chargers* LOL!

  4. I’m with you on this. I would only want to keep my laptop too.
    As much as I have strived to become a minimalist and get rid of a lot of my crap, I’m left with material possessions I love and I use every day. I could easily lose it all and regain some later as long as I have my laptop to build connections and continue seeking businesses.
    Goldeneer recently posted..Line Of Credit Emergency FundMy Profile

  5. Pretty sure I’m going to have to steal your choice: internet. As long as I have a computer and an internet connection, I shoudl be able to make some sort of income (especially if I was unemployed and had all the time in the day). I certainly hope that this never happens…in fact it’s depressing to think about losing everything. But ultimately I would say internet and a computer are essentials.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Will Young Adults opt-out of Health Insurance? Economics Lessons from Health Care ReformMy Profile

    • Everyone’s got the same idea. Iverson would rather keep his car :) I’m trying to think back to depression years and wonder what those people’s answer would have been like.

    • What’s with it with everyone and their laptops. Are we all professionals at turning our life around with a single internet connection? PF bloggers = nerd geniuses! Wooo!

  6. Many pro athletes just don’t understand the concept of large amounts of money. A large number didn’t have money when they were young, so when they receive large sums of money they don’t realize that it can run out.
    Anyways, I would have to say a laptop, PC or some type of computing device. I could care less about a smartphone because I’m not big on texting.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..Friday’s Fork in the Path: What’s Worse? Exam or PresentationMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Justin. I updated the post with Hank Coleman’s article link included. Hank does a great job describing why (in all seriousness, unlike this post) athletes go broke.

      Glad to see we’re all computer nerds here :)

  7. Have you seen the documentary Broke? A lot of people like to criticize athletes but I think many of them are making the same disastrous financial choices but on a smaller scale. Just look at our debt level, college debt, credit card, etc…

    Anyways, I couldn’t live without my mac book pro. I use that thing all the time for pleasure/blogging, etc
    Harry @ PF Pro recently posted..December Deals & Steals and a Blog Link Round-UpMy Profile

    • Harry, I have not. Either way, I agree with you that it’s not just the athletes. It’s kind of sad that people don’t pay attention to their financial situation despite being rich or poor.

    • I hope people read your article before they do this one. I kind of rushed into it without putting as much thought as the subject truly deserves. It’s the part about spending that everyone (myself included) gets caught up in. It was strange that he wouldn’t give up his car in light of other possessions being taken away though. Thanks for your more thorough post on this issue!

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