The other day one of my brothers came visiting. He looked at our dining set and went: “Wow! But did you need to replace your mahogany dining set?” I sat there thinking he was very right. The other dining set was not worn out but we had it for over five years and we thought bringing something trendy would do. So we replaced our old dining set for that reason alone.
But when he left, I had some serious thinking going on in my small head. How many times do many of us change our cars, kitchenware, lounge and bedroom items, mobile phones, etc, just because we either want to move with fashion or just feel like it has been a long time we had those things?
Some of you could be in similar situations. You have bought new talk-of-the-town cars or smartphones and now have two vehicles with the old one packed at home or sold off cheaply—sometimes using loans, the pangs of which have been with you for a long time.
While I am not encouraging us to have archaic cars or live in museum of homes or dress like we are in the Stone Age, you can make do with some of the old items that are still functional and in good shape and save huge amounts of money in the process. As a matter of fact, having Stone Age type of possessions these days is more admirable than having modern items.
In my home, we had been using for 10 years an old 32 inch heavy-duty television. In all four corners, the screen had begun to turn faintly blue, and it showed up particularly well on a white screen, as the cloudiness covered a good portion of the screen. Not too long ago, I had insisted on replacing this, but in all honesty, it was a working TV set and didn’t interfere with any of our usage of it. Thus, we had to keep it until the issue became serious enough that it disallowed our use of the television for any purpose.
Quite frankly, some of our friends and family think this is weird. “Why don’t you just replace it?” they used to ask. “You can afford it, you know,” they would say, as though they need to remind us that we can, in fact, spend money.
The real truth of the matter is that my wife and I have started to follow a set of unwritten rules about when and how to upgrade or replace the items that we have now. If we have an item that is functional, we don’t replace it with something newer unless really necessary. This rule is why we had not replaced our television set for a long time — it has been functional, so why replace it?
However, when we replace something, we replace it with one having long term quality and reliability. When we bought the replacement TV, we made sure we got something that is of high quality and durable. This did cost us a lot out of pocket right then, but the efficiency and reliability of the item is likely to pay dividends for many years.
The bottom line being so simple – do you really need to replace your functional household items or can manage to stay with them for a while. The finances freed could help you buy that piece of land and start building a house or buy books for your children or many other investment options than can serve you better now and later.
Have a blessed weekend as you ponder on these things.