We have a Whirlpool clothes dryer that is not much younger than I am. The clothes come out smelling just as fresh as they had been three decades ago.
The Wii TV in the basement doesn’t have sound so I hooked it up to a small amplifier and speakers. You can still hear the whoosh when I miss the ball with my Wii bat.
If it ain’t new, don’t replace it
Although these items all require a level of maintenance and occasional repair, they are worth their weight in gold when compared to the money we could be spending on buying newer, more stylish appliances and vehicles. Even more important to note is the money we didn’t use for the “new car smell” has been “spent” on retirement savings, wealth building, and a small emergency fund.
If it ain’t new and it gets the job done then why would I want to replace it?
New stuff is great
Don’t get me wrong, i love new stuff. My wife and I recently acquired our first smartphones and it has been wonderful. We were purposeful about the purchase. We had first sat down to discuss (more like dreamed about) the pros and cons of such a move and other factors like:
- The increase in the monthly phone bill
- Which models to get
- Did we really need them?
I knew I would be using more data than ever before. We knew that my wife wouldn’t listen to music on it but wanted to read her email. We both decided the newest gadget wasn’t really necessary. This allowed us to choose pick up an older model iPhone4 for $1.00 and my awesome 4S for $100.00 – 70% less than buying two of the latest-and-greatest iPhone 5s.
We made the decision to buy them as our Christmas gifts. This also allowed us to save up and pay for them – no debt allowed.
In the meantime, we continued to add to our retirement accounts and were able to reach another savings goal to replace our stupid deck.
Getting rich takes at least a little bit of planning
It doesn’t take much to get rich. All you need is an income and a plan on how to use it. Too many of us wake up to a boat-load of debt and wonder how it all happened. The good news is that the same tool used to stay debt free and build wealth can also get people out of the debt cycle:
* Be purposeful with your purchases
* Plan your monthly spending and saving (budget)
* Attack one goal at a time while maintaining the rest
Fix the things that are broken, replace the things that are beyond repair, and be purposeful when you do decide to purchase new stuff.
This isn’t hard America
I am not a smart guy. I didn’t win the lottery. There was no inheritance dropped on my lap that caused us to have a six-digit net worth. If we can do it then so can you!
Now, if you will excuse me. I need to replace the stereo cassette player in my wife’s Nissan to one that has an MP3s input and plays CDs. Estimated cost: About the same as the average American’s monthly car payment. I’ll make sure it is a quality device that will last another nine years.