Money Mistake Monday – The I Bought Way Too Much Music Syndrome.

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Back in high school, I was a guitar playing athlete who loved music. I mean LOVED music – I think I bought every tape that came out from anyone making rock music. Moving on to college, when that miracle called a CD came out, I bought every one of those too. By my second or third year in college I had amassed about 600 cassette tapes and about 350+ CD’s, requiring 2 bookcases and a giant CD rack to hold them all. Looking back on it now, I cannot believe how much money I wasted on some of that music which I probably only listened to a handful of times.

Over the years, I have slowly started getting rid of all this stuff I no longer listen to. And trust me – most of it no one would want to listen to, so it was difficult getting rid of it! The tapes I had been lugging around since high school were just sold this year…to a college student. Why a college student in 2007 would want tapes from bands like Poison, Metallica, Motley Crue and all the other hair bands from the 80’s, is beyond me. But he was more than happy to take the 2 giant plastic bins home with him for a mere $25. What a deal – if you both A. like 80’s metal and B. own a tape player, which I do not.

As for the CD’s, I have been using a two-pronged approach with them. I have sold a lot of them on half.com over the years for mere pennies on the dollar, and the rest of them have been imported into iTunes, stripped of their plastic jackets and paperwork, and filed away in those black CD books that fit in your bookcase. Each one of them hold 100 CD’s and I have 3.5 of them filled. I have not bought a physical CD in years – these are all just the old ones from before the days of downloads became popular.

I know some people are real audiophiles and take their music seriously and I can appreciate that. When you buy music that you will listen to for a very long time, it’s a worthwhile investment. But I bought anything and everything in the genre of music that I liked – and wasted a ton of money in the meantime. Thousands and thousands of dollars down the drain on songs and artists that have long since disappeared from anyone’s radar – what a waste. But what did I know? I thought I would be listening to Autograph for years and years!

The same thing happens today to teenagers – these 1 hit wonder bands come out with a single hit song and 9 other horrible ones on the album – and everyone buys the music. Fast forward 6 months and no one even remembers these artists anymore. I fell for it too – maybe some of them will figure out it’s a waste of money earlier than I did!

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Comments (10)

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  1. Oh man…I’m in the same boat! I look at my CD collection and ask myself ‘did I really need the best of Ratt?!?’ I have to look into a way of getting rid of a lot of my CD’s. I heard somewhere about selling them on Amazon?

  2. David says:

    Well, I might keep the best of Ratt 😉 You can sell them on Amazon, but I did have better luck selling them on half.com.

    Oh the pain…

  3. Clare says:


    I was blushing through the roots of my hair reading this post: what you described sounded exactly like me and my indie-phase. And if one puts it in perspective, it wasn’t as long ago as I’d like to think!

    A friend once said (of indie music) that there is a lot of good music out there that never makes it to the radio. My addendum: there is three times the garbage for every decent tune. Fortunately I saw the light but now I’m paying for snobbery by sitting on a large(mostly useless) collection of tunes. They are going to go soon.

    But the 80’s metal discs are staying put:)

  4. david says:

    Clare – I didn’t say I got rid of my 80’s metal discs, just the tapes. 🙂

  5. DebtDieter says:

    swap music for DVD’s and books and that’s me in a nutshell!

  6. Mrs. Micah says:

    Lol. I did that. As for the student–what you’ve got on those tapes is classic stuff! Hope that doesn’t make you feel old…but 80’s is classic in its own way, and I could see wanting to get some of the less available stuff.

  7. boomer says:

    You mean there’s other music around other than the Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon? LOL. Just kidding BUT those guys make up most of my CD collection and the CD’s are still valuable. To me.

    Today, I use iTunes for most of my music choices.

    But, who knew?

  8. Add me to Mrs. Micah’s overspending on books club. My husband could probably match you on the music, though. In fact, we just went through our CDs, and I have two bags full in the car, just waiting to be donated.

  9. david says:

    There is boomer – but I didn’t say any of it is any good….:-)

    I am just glad there are always people who want our old stuff!

  10. Patrick says:

    I have a 400 disk changer that is full, and I have a few that don’t even fit. Then my wife brought her CD’s to the relationship. I have waaaay too many now. I plan on converting everything to iTunes eventually.