Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Wants vs. Needs

I hate my fridge.  It’s like pretty much the worst fridge ever.

It looks like an old Soviet-style apartment

It was also free.  And it works.  But I don’t love it, and I wish it would magically disappear because then it would give me an excuse to get a new one.

That’s the rub, isn’t it?  We always want something better, shinier, or new, even when we may not necessarily need it.

In my mind, if I had a new fridge, meal prep would be easier.  Right now, it’s a horrible game of Tetris to get anything in this dumb appliance.  Things get lost so easily, and nothing fits properly.

The fridge I lust after is a French door stainless steel Kenmore beauty from Sears.  It is energy efficient, has tons of space for keeping produce fresh, and I don’t have to take 429 things out first in order to get to the applesauce.

It also costs $1,600.

So that’s that.  The old fridge stays.  And I make it work.  And I curse at it daily, and plan for it’s demise.  We all have to make big choices in life, and spending $1,600 on Jack’s tonsil surgery wins out over a new fridge any day.

Delaying the purchase of something you merely want, allows you to:
1) bulk up your emergency fund.  I’ve tried to convince myself that a new fridge is an emergency.  Sadly, it’s not.
2) Stay out of consumer debt
3) Save for a house
4) Pay medical bills (grrrrr)
5) Pay down debt
6) Throw extra payments at your car or mortgage debt

I’m not dropping any bombs here – everyone knows that replacing something that works with something better isn’t the smartest financial decision you could make.

However, the actual intent of my post isn’t a financial lecture.  I wanted to give YOU a chance to confess your own improbable, impractical, and ridiculous monetary desires.  Let’s get crazy!  Flame free confession time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

97 comments on “Wants vs. Needs”

  1. I know the fridge you’re talking about, and I would LOVE to have one of those babies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my fridge. It’s a Maytag, it’s eight years old, and it runs fine — it’s just small, and I want something gargantuan. Oh, and since we’re talking about impractical and heinous wastes of money, my dream spend would be a boob job and a Brazilian butt lift. My family was blessed with junk in the trunk – only we’re all European models, not American …

  2. I recently had a repairman in to fix my 15 year old stove. She (yes, she was a she!) asked me why in the world I would want to spend $200 to fix a stove that was so old. I was incredulous. I told her that my parents had the same stove for probably 30 years. She told me sure, that’s when they made them to last. The average expected life cycle for a new appliance is 7-8 years. And that includes fancy washers and dryers. I was amazed. I told her we bought my dryer used 16 years ago when my son was born and it’s never needed repair. My washer is 15 years old. I have a beer fridge in my basement that is 25+ years old. Are they the most energy efficient? No. But they are also not sitting in a landfill. The downside to this is all my old appliances will likely die all withing a month of each other driving me to financial ruin 🙂

  3. Boy can I relate to the old fridge blues! My parents built the house I grew up in two years before I was born in 1982. Everything was brand-new and stylish right down to the matching fridge, dishwasher and stove which were all “Harvest Gold”…. an icky 80’s yellow… with matching 80’s linoleum. Granted it was great in the 80’s, but as I grew up and went to friend’s houses, I was jealous of their updated kitchens with nice white appliances. Especially my aunt who seemed to remodel her entire house every 5-6 years (which was actually a benefit for me when I moved into my apartment… I still have nice hand-me-down furniture from her even though I’m married and own my house!) But back to being in high school, my parents WOULD NOT get new updated appliances because “these still work fine, why spend all the money on new stuff?” I hated it and felt the need to point it out whenever new friends came over. “This is my mom, this is my dad… oh yeah and I know our kitchen is ugly!” And ultimately when I moved out of my parent’s house and into my first apartment (owned by my brother who was also buying my childhood home from my parents) that horrible Harvest Gold stove followed me to my apartment because it worked better than the one that was there (although it didn’t match the nice new white fridge) and is still there to this day, it’s 31 years old and still works! Your post made me laugh and I briefly felt your fridge-pain again. Now that I’m technically a grown up at the age of 28 I understand my mom’s “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Probably the money she saved on not remodeling her kitchen to keep up with the Jones’s (and to appease her bratty teenager) allowed us to have money to do other things. 🙂

  4. We have a black Kenmore fridge which I got 6 years ago during our kitchen remodel and I love it. The fridge that we had before that came with the house and was probably from 1950. It took us years to work and finish the kitchen and I know that I appreciate my frige (most of the time) more because of the wait. Maybe you should post a picture of your dream fridge on your fridge so that you can see it and imagine you are opening the new one 🙂 Plus stainless steel isn’t fun to clean with little hands so in a few years, think how much less wear it is going to get from your little one being older and “more responsible” 🙂 Good luck!!

    • Please enjoy it on my behalf!! Sadly, Troy will be around longer, and will cause more fingerprints than Jack.

      The stainless steel is the kind that is dull and “repels” the fingerprints. Sigh.

  5. Sarah — When that fridge dies (I know… you wish it can’t happen soon enough, but will probably hold on for years…) Check your local sears outlet. I bought our new kenmore fridge there, just had a minor dents on the side, which weren’t visible where we were sticking it, and it had a scratch on handle, which I was able to get the salesman to swap out. Saved a ton of money that way 🙂

    • The day after I posted thie original post, I opened the freezer and a lot of the things were frosty. I gasped, thinking it was broken!

      Sadly, Troy just didn’t close the door all the way. Sigh.

  6. I want new living room furniture because ours is UGLY and the middle cushion of the couch sags and I just hate it. Buuuut… our youngest is two and it makes no sense at all to get new furniture until she is a bit more civilized. Doesn’t stop my husband and me from trying out the couches in Costco all the time though!

  7. A dog… lost my best friend about 7 months ago, and I am finally getting over the ‘it makes my heart break to even look at another dog stage’ but we move every 1-3 months for my husbands work and have 4, yes 4, cats in tote! Its an amusing nightmare but keeps me sane in an inexplicable way. The breed I want is ofcourse $550. While I have never paid for a pet in my life, im drawn to it and *need* a buddy at some point, just not now. ugh. 🙂

  8. I want…a dishwasher. I’ve never had one. But my hubby is a chef and I’m a baker. I’m also a stay at home wife so I do all the dishes – a dishwasher would let me spend that hour doing something else, like plastering and painting (who am I kidding, like knitting and sewing)

    I want…to fix the bathroom. The seal on the toilet leaks and leaves nasty black spots on the floor, the sink cabinet disintegrates a little more every time I clean it, the shower and tub are so small that I bang elbows daily, and the shower walls are full of termite damage. I want to redo the shower walls with blue and white river rocks as tiles, and heated tiles on the floor. I would LOVE a claw foot tub, but when I can touch all four walls standing in the middle of the room…not gonna fit.

    I also want to redo the kitchen we have a 1 butt kitchen – which will go towards getting the dishwasher. But for that we have to get new water and gas lines run, which will be about $2000. That way the washer and dryer can be moved to a different part of the house and out of my kitchen, the stove moved out from the center of the room (makes no sense there) and I can knock down the half wall dividing the dining area from the cooking area, so we can actually fit four people around the table.

    I also want a $3500 sewing machine. Yes that’s the right amount of zero’s. I love sewing, but not with my current 5 yr old $99 walmart special. I would rather hand sew than use that thing. I like making our clothes, but not when I can’t trust my machine to keep the tension I set it at. This crazy expensive machine does everything! It even will follow a line drawn on the fabric so crazy squiggle quilting line….so much faster and easier!

    sigh…but just as with each of you, medical bills (trying to conceive), house payments, student loans (hubby is also a computer engineer), paying off the wedding, the new roof etc takes priority.

  9. Sarah, when you were in London did you notice that EVERYONE has a mini fridge? That was the thing my BFF (Becky) was most excited about when moving back I think… not having to grocery shop practically everyday and being able to chill condiments and drinks.

    It’s such a funny thought since we all have a full size fridge with freezer plus an extra freezer or two.

    You should post a link to that Kenmore fridge you want. I’d like to see it!