TIP: Put off major purchases as long as possible
A lot of the personal finance blogs that I follow really focus on figuring out the difference between a “want” and a “necessity”. That’s no small feat. Especially when it comes to shiny big purchases. Somehow, buying major appliances can make you feel like an adult and can give you a nice sense of accomplishment.
Being a tech guy, I’ve been wanting that new “Family hub” refrigerator by Samsung, ever since it appeared on the market about a year and a half ago. It has a slick touch screen that does a number of cool things. Most importantly, it has the potential to make us slightly more efficient. It has shared calendaring, music streaming, internal cameras that let you view what is inside, while you’re at the market and more. In short, it leverages technology around an important aspect of home life. However, after seriously considering it, I didn’t think it would be practical for my current, every day needs. Since we don’t have kids, and it’s just me and my wife, it’s a bit overkill for us.
That got me to thinking about my current fridge, and how I saved a chunk of money on my recent DIY home improvement project. I convinced my wife about a year ago, to let me install a new IKEA kitchen.
I prided myself on minimizing our costs on that project, by reusing the flooring, not adding any new electrical and keeping the same appliances. Namely the fridge and the stove, because they were white.
Use your creativity
For me, I kept racking my brain to figure out…”How can I fall in love with this fridge again, even thought I’ve been using it since 2001?”
I started with the aesthetics. Since I’ve been doing more cooking, focused around breakfast foods, the egg tray jumped out at me. It was simply a plastic covered enclosure. I always like to add a splash of color when I can, and I’ve always admired those ceramic egg trays that I see in Crate & Barrel. So with an approval from the wife, we went ahead and pulled the trigger on a bright yellow ceramic egg holder, that would provide easy, “grab and go” access for eggs in that tray. Beauty with efficiency is a bonus.
I then quickly moved to functionality. I’d open the door to the fridge and say, “What’s wrong in here? What can I add?” The door shelving jumped out at me, because there was a big gap in between the two door shelves. There was an area that could accommodate another door shelf that would add about 10 inches of shelf space on the door. A quick search on Google, with the shelf model number that was on the bottom of one of my existing shelves, and I had a replacement ordered for about $30.
In addition to the door storage, I wanted to add a pitcher that would fit under the lowest section of my center shelf. It had to be a little wider, but shorter. I found this glass pitcher that will hold an entire half gallon of milk or almond milk and now resides in a spot that was largely unused before.
Agree to stick it out
Finally, my wife and I agreed that we’d try to keep the exterior of the front doors of the refrigerator free of magnets and flyers. Bye-bye, baby shower invites and Holiday pictures of the fam.
Overall, who knows how many more years I’ll get out of this fridge, but every day I keep the money for that expensive replacement in my pocket, helps me pay for it down the line.
What can you re-purpose that will help you forestall a big capital expense?