Slowly we’re getting the house figured out. We just got new dressers for the boys. The ones they had were the ones that came with their crib sets. They had outgrown them and their tiny, shallow drawers, fit only for baby clothes. They now have a set that I envy, and that should last them until they move out, if not longer. And, serendipitously, the set matches their bunk beds perfectly. Those bunk beds separate into two full size beds for when they decide they don’t want to share a room anymore. We are trying to buy things to last.
That’s what frugal is, isn’t it? It’s not about what’s cheapest, it’s about what’s going to last and be most cost effective in the long run. Rather than buying $40 dressers made from particle board that we’d have to replace in a year, we spent significantly more on a set that should last the next 15 – 20 years. Over that time, we will have spent much less on furniture than if we’d settled for the cheap stuff. The initial outlay was big, but the returns over time mitigate that. And, if the boys don’t want the dressers when they move out, I will gladly take them, they’re gorgeous!
I used to worry over purchases like that. I used to wonder if it was really worth it. But, really, a well made piece of furniture should last decades. Even if you spent $2000 on that bedroom set or whatever, that’s $100 a year if it lasts 20 years. Less than if you had to replace it every couple of years. And, the furniture generally looks better and feels better (nicer drawer rails, better pulls, more detail, solid wood). Our bedroom set has lasted us about 17 years so far. We bought it for $1500. 2 dressers, mirror, bed, and 2 side tables. It has held up beautifully, and I still like the looks of it. It’s cost us $89 a year at this point and it’ll just go down from there. My in-laws have had their set for over 30 years and counting. That’s frugal, not cheap.
My husband and I were discussing cars yesterday. We have paid off ours and are, of course, looking at new ones. Like you do. But we agreed that it’s going to be a few years before we can buy anything because we need to save up for it first. How different our perspective has become. We don’t want to ever have a car payment again if we can help it. We’ll drive these until they fall apart and buy new-ish cars with cash when the time comes. We have spending priorities now. We need to save for a couple of other things that are going to happen over the next couple of years, then we can start saving for the new-ish cars.
It’s strange but cool to actually know where our money is going – to have a plan for it.