2010-03-30 01:28 pm (UTC)
For me, this sort of thing is largely about not trusting my own desires. Allow me to illustrate:
A while back we needed a new clothes dryer. The old one wasn't broken, yet, but it was clearly heading there. We did a little research, went to the store, and bought one. Not a problem for me, since I don't have a strong desire for a clothes dryer. It is a utilitarian device that makes my wet laundry dry.
On the other hand, the aforementioned grill. Weeks nearing on months of research, multiple trips to every store (and online store) I could find, and I still wouldn't have bought it half as soon if it weren't such a seasonal item. (Not that we didn't end up with one of the first two or three models we looked at.)
The difference? Because I really wanted the grill, I didn't trust my analysis of when it was time to just buy it. I've seen myself rationalize a purchase one time too many, and I don't need to have buyer's remorse over a big-ticket item.
I think you make a really good point about that. It's a lot of money, and the question becomes whether it's best to stop with that one or go one more step up, or just live with what we've got, which will probably work for a couple more years.
It's the luxury of a hard decision.
I do this kind of thing. For me it's partly a budgeting thing - while I will go off and make a big purchase right now if there's a pressing reason* I usually like to spend some period of time contemplating the purchase, establishing where it is in my priorities, doing some research, some anticipation... Increases the enjoyment, slows down the rate at which I spend money.
When it's a thing related to a particular activity, I'll often gauge things by how much time I'm spending on that activity. When I was first getting into commuting by bicycle, I bought myself another bike accessory every few hundred miles. Until I had the right kit, anyway. Right now there are several backpacking related things I would love to get, but I'm not doing enough backpacking to justify it. (I did buy a backpacking wok I'd been wanting for years with my REI dividend last year. Of course, I'll use it more on foraging forays than I will backpacking... but it still feels awfully self-indulgent.)
* For instance, when the motherboard on my computer blew out last year, and attempts to repair it did not bear fruit - I really need to pull it out and take another look at it, though, as I have better tools and more surface mount experience.
Increases the enjoyment, slows down the rate at which I spend money.
Yes. Very much this.
It took me three months to decide to replace my four year old desktop computer with a $300 nettop. And my car has 170,000 miles on it.
2010-03-30 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Same thing here...
Good to know I'm not alone!
2010-03-30 02:02 pm (UTC)
I think it is an excellent plan
And, you never know... by the time Christmas rolls around, a new model may be coming out, and this one will get marked down a bit too.
That is a very pretty range.
2010-03-30 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: I think it is an excellent plan
I'm enjoying wanting it. How weird is that.
I'm much the same way. For me, it's come because I realize that often, the new shiney I want will be something that I'm kind of "eh" about if I wait a month. If I still want it that badly after doing all my research and waiting a few weeks, then it's probably the right decision.
That's how I look at it. If you REALLY want it, you'll still want it in a month or two. Or three. Or four.
Funny, I'm reading the comments and thinking, am I the only one who just buys stuff? I hate to shop. HATE. So if I want something and I have the money, I buy it, end of story. My husband will agonize over purchases for months, then buy it on sale for a meager savings. Meanwhile, I would pay EXTRA just to have the thing already installed and usable for that whole time. And buyer's remorse? No way. If what I got works and it's paid for, I don't care if I find out later there's something shinier or cheaper. I won't even look. That way lies madness.
Yeah, I sympathize. Once I make a decision to buy something (or just do something), my personality is such that I just want to do it and get it over with rather than agonizing over it. On the other side of the coin, I do want to feel reasonably sure I made an informed decision, especially if it costs so much that it's not like you can just say, "Whoops!" and just buy another. I've been researching what new computer I'm going to get. As much as I would have loved to just order one right away, the (annoying!) research I did does make me feel a lot more comfortable in plunking down the moolah.
Hey, I don't know if this will work for you, but I'm in the midst of buying a new fridge from Best Buy. They price match other stores and, since Lowe's offers free delivery (plus hook up and take away), I got Best Buy to waive that $30 fee.
Now, aren't you glad you waited? ;)
Ooo, good to know! I will keep that in mind.
I just feel guilty whenever I spend money on anything that isn't food, a grooming product necessary to function in this society (eg. Deodorant, a hairbrush, toilet paper, etc.), or gas. I'll agonize over buying a 5 dollar book.I even get fussy over buying new clothes when my current ones are literally wearing out ("I bet I could look up online how to sew and mend that hole...").
While it's good for budgeting, it does make me feel like a humbug sometimes.
I'm not that bad, but I do try to be careful.
i grew up with knots in the pursestrings, only the tiniest of coins were allowed to squeak through because we were Poor. (american military service does NOT pay well. period. we probably qualified for food stamps much of my childhood.) then i married Poor. twice.
so BIG purchases were a BIG deal. the only reason i got the stove of *my* dreams was because it was a floor model, was discontinued, and had a tiny scratch on the side that was hidden by a cabinet. that brought the price down over $150...and we could do it.
i *so* get your mindset. it makes much sense to me. and TheEngineer looks at me in bafflement, tells me "we must economise!" and buys something else sort of pricey. he's a strange man LOL
Whereas I grew up with a poor family that was regularly without phone and on the edge of no power because of stupid spending, so I'm terrified of falling into bad habits.
With Christmas season some super awesome sales. Black Friday may be really worth it this year. There's always random stuff that goes way cheap that day.
Exactly! I swear by black friday shopping, because I spend weeks comparison shopping before so I can walk in and say "I want (thing) at (price), we'll pull the car around."
And it helps that I don't usually want the TV or whatever the store only legally has to have 10 of.
There's a strange zen to wandering around in the black friday mobs knowing that you only need to get one thing and instead just watching everyone desperately grab at poorly thought-out gifts.
I've noticed that ranges tend to outlast cars.
Very much so. But I can't drive a range to court.
Erik and I have done a lot of things to our little condo to make it the way we really want it. The bathrooms are fully tiled, although I confess that said improvement was caused by water leaks from the shitty builder-installed showers.
We also got rid of the carpet in favor of laminate flooring, and replaced our sink with a deep, stainless-steel one.
We've done other things as well.
But the last part - refinishing our kitchen cabinets and counter tops, and getting a new stove/oven and possibly a new fridge - was put on hold after the "Sub-Prime Economic Crime Wave" hit in October of 2008.
Now we have to wait and see if Erik's new law firm is going to do well before we can finish the kitchen.
Live for today - buy the stove.
We did replace our clothes washer and drier, and our dishwasher - because the Obama Administration gave us a generous rebate for buying "energy saving" appliances.
Alas, stoves are not in the energy savings plan.
I understand. And I have great appreciation, even admiration, for your choice to save up first. Our whole country needs to remember/learn how to do that.
I like this post. I have been practicing saving money for a few months now, and when I finally get to New Orleans and have my new 'spensive training shoes, I'll be SO glad!
That's what I'm hoping to do.
Wow, took until this for anyone to notice. LOL!
I'm one of those people who will put something down in a store, do the rest of my shopping (ie, if I'm in a shopping mall) and then when I'm done will go all the way back to the first store if I still want it.
It's incredible how much clearer the decision is when you're not in physical proximity to the item you want.
Yes, we do that all the time! And mostly don't spend the money.
The only downside is that I found one I love even more at Sears. It's about 2/3 more expensive.
I have read that the hunting-satisfaction bits of our brains aren't really connected to the finding-satisfaction bits-- this was as pertains to clicking endlessly through the internet, checking email every three minutes, but I think the same applies. It's nice to look.
When I bought my laptop, I knew I'd have the money, I knew exactly what I wanted, I'd priced it out several times, and I knew there would be a sale. 42% off, oh yeah, I am awesome.
My new laptop was a pretty spontaneous purchase, but because of a sale. And I'm happy with that.
Interesting about the brain.
If yours is functional... perhaps you could split the difference.
Get a new one when you find a good/needed home for the old one.
As someone who has shopped for stoves when they were needed, I can honestly say... functional is a bar that--when you have none--can be set pretty low. (In other words, don't dismiss it as unneeded/non-functional because it's not -great-.)
The difference I'm splitting is saving up for the purchase, but finding a home for it is not a bad idea.
I like to think of it this way:
By living under a rational (non-credit financed) lifestyle and _generally_ avoiding instant gratification, I have effectively earned (or perhaps "purchased") the privilege of allowing myself to indulge in instant gratification and/or luxury at least some of the time.
So...I guess that puts me in the Ferrett camp. As long as you've got the dosh, you can tell the guilt trip to go suck an egg and indulge yourself.
It's been a spendy yea, though - $2000 on plumbing, $750 on car repair, and we're still working on paying for his teeth. I'm inclined to build up savings a bit before a non-vital expenditure.
(That doesn't mean I'm not trying to send death beams with my mind at the current range, of course!)
Obligatory "Oooo, shiny!" :)
If you figure in the amount you can write off your '10 taxes for donating the old one to somewhere like Habitat For Humanity, it can tend to make the big outlay for a new appliance a tad bit less ouchie-feeling to the budget.
I don't have a truck for dropping off, and good luck getting someone to pick up large appliances here.
Somehow I always thought that I was the only person who feels that way. I have to be *dragged* into making a big purchase. Even when I've had the loooooooong wait for it, I just...I can't do it! That's a lot of money and my current one still works, okay, maybe not well, but it works, NOOOOO DON'T MAKE ME BUY IT! It doesn't make sense half the time, but there it is. I blame growing up very poor. 'Don't you think you should have a new computer?' 'Why? This one works.'
It's gotten to the point that my mother has demanded that I get new clothing, because she's shamed that I'm wearing T-shirts I got when i was 16. I don't see the point. They cover me up quite nicely, okay, there are a few holes, but no nipples showing, what's the problem? Apparently I am 'too old' for that and should be matronly or something.
I'm not that bad, and will eventually buy, but I'm leery of snap decisions based on something that's not an absolute need.