I just completed a major move this weekend. We added a thousand square feet of house and almost 2 acres of land to take care of. After getting all of our stuff moved over it really hit me that I need to invest in items that I haven’t needed to own before such as a chainsaw, rototiller and various pruning products for outside of the house maintenance. After taking inventory of what I need in the near future I started thinking about items inside of the house. I’d like a new refrigerator relatively soon and my wife has asked me on more than one occasion if we could upgrade our washer and dryer.
I sat down and made a list based on level of need and I recalled reading about the the life expectancy of consumer goods in the book, Everyday Money for Everyday People by author Todd Christensen that I felt compelled to share with you. I wanted to give you an idea on how long you can expect major appliances to last and how we can prepare to make those purchases and hopefully avoid paying excessive interest fees by paying up front.
Everyday Money for Everyday People
Taking the Excitement Out of Your Finances
I don’t remember how I happened upon his site, since I’m not a “This Old House – Mr. Fixit” type, but I came across a chart several years ago at BobVila.com that listed life expectancies of various household appliances. This chart made it clear to me that we actually can prepare for what otherwise might seem like an unexpected expense.
Too often, we’re caught unprepared when a fridge dies, the water heater goes out, or the car keels over. Consequently, far too many of us turn to a credit card, an appliance store line of credit, or, worse yet, a payday lender to come up with cash to buy a new (or-new-to-us) fridge. Each of these borrowing options come with what many of us feel to be excessive interest charges.
Knowing the reasonable life expectancy for the following items, though not an exhaustive list, can help us all prepare for their eventual replacement by saving monthly amounts that total the item replacement cost on or before the expected date of replacement. The following are estimates, of course. Some items will last much longer than expected while others will last, seemingly, until the day after the warranty expires:
Consumer Item: Life Expectancy in Years
Electric Oven/Range: 17
Digital Television: 10-15
In his book the author lists additional items and their life expectancy. He frames this information around the larger picture of how to effectively create a budget that you can live by that will help you pay your bills but also prepare for future expenses while saving money.
My wife and I discussed buying new versus used and while we’re still deciding how to approach these purchases it does present the need for us to plan now for the replacement of items like the stove, fridge and washer/dryer.
I hope this excerpt from Everyday Money for Everyday People will help you prepare for future large purchases! I recommend purchasing the book by visiting Amazon.com and searching for the title.
Have a wonderful day and as always if you are struggling with credit card debt or need to talk to a Certified Credit Counselor about your personal budget please give us a call so we can discuss your options. Our consultations are free and we make it our mission to finish our credit counseling session with a recommendation tailored to your unique situation.
Christensen, Todd. Everyday Money for Everyday People. Aloha, 2014. Print.