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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!

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97 comments on “Wants vs. Needs”

  1. Oh goodness. I want….tattoos. We’ve been “making do” with what we have and it’s been a great opportunity to be more creatively thrifty. My family has learned that living like pioneers from the 18th century in a suburban neighborhood can be an adventure. So many things need repair or replacing-I’m surprised we’re not pumping our water and burning cow (doggie) chips at this point.
    Of course, we’d all love to have new furniture and kitchen appliances, but really, for me, just me, I’d like to splurge on tattoos.

  2. Idk, the grass always seems greener, I think. My parents have a french door fridge and I HATE this thing! I’m invariably leaving one of the doors open, and it’s just as hard to find things as it in is my side-by-side at home. Those aren’t big deals, I guess, but the freezer is the ultimate downside for me. Talk about not being able to find anything. Not only can you not see anything since everything’s stacked up, but you also have to then touch/hold all these frozen things to find what you’re looking for. And the top layer has to be perfectly flat if it’s full in order for the damn thing to push in.

    How’s that for knocking you down? 😉

    BUT, whenever you do decide to take the plunge on it, we found out that Sears does its markdowns on Tuesdays (at least at our local store). We were looking at a floor model for $1100 or so (originally $1600), but when we called back a few days later (on a Wednesday after looking at it on Monday), it was down to like $700. 🙂 It has since moved with us twice – I couldn’t bear to leave it after getting such a good deal, lol.

    • Good to know about the Tuesdays!

      I can’t keep anything in my freezer now, and while I don’t love the drawer style freezers (I curse at my parent’s freezer every week during family dinner), we have a large stand alone freezer downstairs, so I don’t have to fill my upstairs one.

  3. I NEED a new gas stove/oven, but alas my *&$% electric one refuses to die. I bought it thinking I would like to broil meat and not have to kneel on the floor. Yeah, pretty sure after having to clean the blasted thing from top to bottom, there will be no more broiling. My grill works better anyhow!

  4. I’d like a dishwasher…cause right now, I am the dishwasher!! I’d like to give my wrinkly hands a break!!

  5. Le sigh…oh the things I *want*…I want a 2011 Ford Edge with the sports package. I want a new stove…If I’m really dreaming it would be a countertop stove with a double oven standing next to it. My biggest and dreamiest want is a new bathroom. My bathroom isn’t big enough for two people to stand in together unless there is some clever artful arrangements. My husband loves it though because the shower takes up the entire back wall. That is the only place taht can fit two people. 😀 My dream bathroom (while still in my home) would have a clawfoot bath tub and more space. We have a mud room and the other day I was asking DH if we could move the wall out into the mudroom and extend the bathroom. He just looked at me like I was crazy. The mudroom used to be a back porch so the floor is concrete that they laid laminate over and walled in.

    We follow Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University so the first two are somewhat attainable…just in the future at some point. This last one..my husband wont waste out money making it happen. Again…le sigh….

  6. Ah! That is exactly how I feel about our appliances. We bought our first home in March of 2011 and luckily all of the appliances were included. Except that the appliances are like, 100 years old. Our fridge is worse than yours, if you can believe that! BUT they work, so I don’t NEED to replace them yet. Boooo. Plus my husband just had hand surgery a couple of months ago so that definitely was more important. This is the story of LIFE.

  7. A fridge. So bad. Mine is basically the same as yours, except the bottom two shelves are broken, and the ice maker wont shut off so it clogged up all the time. The water does work though. I do love that about it. It was also free, and it does keep the food cold, so I hate the thing overall, but won’t replace it.

    Maybe I can get an argument going that it is really inefficient electricity wise and that’s good cause to replace it. …Yeah, probably not going to work.

    • I’m going to start a “horrible fridge” club. You should join!

      Our ice/water maker don’t work, but we never hooked them up by choice. Jack would have a field day there!

  8. I want an iPhone 5. I don’t need one – I still have a perfectly serviceable 3G, but I want one. So that all the cool apps that I keep reading about will actually be compatible – nothing seems to work on the 3G anymore. The fact that I didn’t really use any of them when they did work is neither here nor there. I just want one.

    I won’t get one – they are stupid money, more so than the stupid money I paid to get the 3G, which is one of the only gadgets I have ever truly coveted. Now that I’ve had it a few years, the shine has worn off and I’m not that fussed. There are far more interesting things to spend my money on. Or I could just save it.

    But annoyingly, knowing that it is a ridiculous waste of money for something I don’t need doesn’t stop me from wanting one. Silly, isn’t it?

  9. Think long and hard about buying anything from Sears. They used to have a great reputation for their appliances. My mom had one of their washersalmost fifty years ago. It lasted through six kids, and my husband and me and two kids, with only one or two repairs. For that reason, I bought a new front loader ten years ago. It died after two years and the repair bill would have been more than the 800 dollars I originally paid for it. From now on I really research when I have to buy a new appliance and get the best built I can afford. In the long run it pays off.

  10. I have to admit that I was pretty excited that the apartment we ended up renting didn’t have a microwave. Gave me more ammo for buying the rediciously expensive toaster oven (which we use multiple times a day and we all LOVE).

    Let’s see. I’d love a new laptop. My technically works, but likes to freeze up, or not wake up after it’s gone to sleep. As we homeschool and the internet is where I get most of my free educational materials, having a working computer would be nice.

    I’d also really LOVE a spiffy new DSLR camera.

    Oh well.

  11. Before Christmas I lusted after the red leather tot bag that was only $50 after you spent around $80 odd on perfume. Drove me crazy! Checked it out online several times weekly. What a classy bag – I love bags! It would have been delivered for free! Don’t know how common sense prevailed and I still don’t know that I am glad that it did.

  12. We also have a side-by-side fridge…only it’s even smaller (if you can imagine!!). My in-laws have a beautiful fridge with french doors like the one you want. And, they aren’t even in to cooking! Would love an upgrade on a fridge too, but unfortunately the mortage payment takes rank!! BOO!!

  13. I also want a new fridge, although it’s turning into more of a need right now, as our current one is way too small (like 1/2 the size of yours) for even just the two of us.

    I want new curtains because the ones we have are so ugly…..they were all given to us when we got married, and it is apparent why no one wanted them up in their own houses….but they are functional and we are still saving for new ones. Sigh.

  14. I want a baby… My tubes are tied…. IVF total setback, about 16,000. We just got our house…I have student loans, we have 2 kids already, I would need a bigger car it only seats 4… But…. I have BABY fever

    • I want to give you a giant hug!

    • After a suprise pregnancy and subsequent (very expensive and devastating) miscarriage, I want a baby too! But with me working full-time/going to school part-time and my husband struggling to find a job after graduating last month it’s just not the responsible thing to do. Maybe we can reconsider after things are more stable. I am terrified I’m going to miss my chance by getting too old (I’m not exaclty fresh out of high school).

  15. I feel your pain. I too have an ugly side-by-side that I hate. Your has better door storage than mine. Mine is twenty five years old and makes some very strange noises. I keep thinking it is going to die but this has been going on for over five years and the darn thing won’t quit. I want one with a freezer that you can put stuff in. Mine seems so narrow that a lot of stuff just doesn’t fit. Maybe soon. I have been saving for the last three years to get a new one but won’t until this one actually quits.

    • I’m going to start a “horrible fridge” club. You should join!

      I think ours is definitely circa 1980 (something), but I’m not sure how old it is.

  16. I want to redo both bathrooms DESPERATELY! I’m dreaming of beautiful tile, new counters, big beautiful sinks, shiny new fixtures, ect. Sadly, those are all just wants. There is nothing “wrong” with our current bathrooms. They are just ugly to me. :/

  17. I want another house, one in Cape Breton where my family lives, but we can not afford another 230 000 dollars. Oh I also want a 3000$ fridge, not happening!!! But we did just buy a new table because we needed it, with my medical issues I can no longer get up to our bar height one!

  18. I meant to add I love the wants vs needs , something ive drummed into my kids since they were little 🙂

  19. you know, getting new fridge will probably save you heaps of money . here in Australia electricity prices are skyrocketing and anything fridge older that 8 yrs is a guzzler……… so im replacing my old one with a better energy efficient one and hoping not to waste as much food either cos it keep fresher and I will be able to find it ….:) double saving:)

    • I tried to justify it based on the energy cost alone, but it won’t work. In Seattle, we have cheap hydro electricity. Our electric bill is about $60 per month. I’m sure the fridge is only $5-10 of that! Sigh, I like where you head is at though!

      I’m reading a book right now set in Australia. It’s called “The Slap”. Have you heard of it?

  20. I’d like a new fridge. Ours is old. It works, but it’s small. I know what you mean about things hiding. When things hide, they also change colors. NOT COOL! I also REALLY want a new stove/oven. We bought ours new, but fairly inexpensively when we moved into our home 8 years ago. We have replaced numerous parts and it’s electric. I prefer gas. But that means running a gas line to where the stove is located. I don’t care. I just want a beautiful 5 burner stainless gas range that stands up to the weight of my beautiful dutch oven! 🙂 I try to justify the purchase since I USE it all the time, but ours works (most of the time) and what I want is way out of our budget. 🙁 Shucks!

    • I’m going to start a “horrible fridge” club. You should join!

      We have an electric glass top stove right now, but there is gas to the house (our heat is natural gas). In my dreams, the kitchen is remodeled exactly how I want it, and that includes a nice gas oven/stove!

  21. If It makes you feel better, we have one of the LG french door fridges and its a PITA. They elude that they have so much space but they don’t. I can fit more in my old upside down fridge.

  22. Most of mine are remodeling projects. We have a 1950’s 1.5 Story and I’ve decided the entire upper story needs to be refinished as a super awesome Master Suite with gabled windows (only 2 single windows on each end currently) and a master bath with one of those super deep jacuzzi soaker tubs. I even have the bathroom fixtures picked out! It’s a sickness.

  23. My kitchen stove! Ugh, whoever thought glass top electric was a good idea should be beaten. I would trade in a second for the $400.00 gas ding and dent I had in my old house. I wonder how much canning I would have to do to make a new gas stove pay for its self…….

  24. My fridge is worse, I promise- 2 shelves, one bottom “crisper” that likes to fall out of place in the middle of the night and scare the hell out of us, and the freezer doesn’t have a dividing shelf at all. But we live in an apartment and it’s what we can afford right now without going into unneeded debt.

    I *need* new bras. The under wires in my 2 favorites have broken in the past week. That leaves me with about 3 everyday bras now and since I’m…well endowed, my bras aren’t cheap. But what I *want* is lumber to build a raised bed that will fit on our patio and a small compost tumbler. Space is limited, but I could make it work. I also want the medium sized, upright freezer I saw at Lowes the other week. But again, space is limited and so is our budget.

    We’re hoping we won’t have to renew our lease here and can find a small rental house that is within our price range. Then after we look at our savings, we might be able to splurge on one of those things. I guess I’m just thankful that we weren’t one of those couples that bought a 200k house as soon as we got married on top of still owing out the rear in student loans and debt carried over from our “single lives”. Don’t get me wrong, we have student loan debt, but we’re trying to pay all of that down and save some money before making any big purchases or considering *gulps* buying a home.

    • I’m going to start a “horrible fridge” club. You should join!

      Have you tried putting out an email request for lumber on freecycle.org? I did for our chicken coop, and we received roofing supplies, lumber, and a tip that a local roofing company gets rid of their extra lumber in a bin near their driveway. Troy scopes it every once in a while, and we’ve gotten a lot!

  25. I feel so much better reading these! Oh my goodness.

    I lust after shoes and clothes. I want ridiculous, impractical, shiny, fancy, over the top shoes and clothes. I lack the budget, closet space, and need for any of these. But it’s pretty much my go-to daydream when things are getting me down!