Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-17-2011, 09:01 AM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
I always try to buy the best quality I can afford. For example in 1971 I saved for more than a year and a half to buy McIntosh amplifier, pre-amp, and speakers for my stereo; they were very expensive at $1500 dollars. I still use them and couldn't even begin to guess how many hours they have been run. They have never had to be serviced. If and when they do need service the company will return them to factory new specs for a very reasonable price. I carry replacement cost insurance on the contents of my house specifically for that stereo; to replace the equipment now would be in excess of $20,000. On the collectors market the equipment is still worth what I paid for it.
__________________

__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-17-2011, 09:15 AM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,428
The most important household item to get quality-wise (IMO, of course), is a mattress. DW has a chronic bad back, and even though Tempurpedic is expensive, it's been worth it. Other than that, we have gotten just as much good use out of our Ikea leather sofa as we did out of our old Natuzzi one, for less than half the price (adjusted for inflation). We tend to buy higher quality stuff, but shop hard for it, getting the best prices we can. As long as you buy decent quality, not crap that will wear right out or fall apart, you'll be satisfied with it. Buy for your comfort and happiness, not to save a couple of dollars. And definitely not to be ostentatious.
__________________

__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 09:21 AM   #23
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
We tend to buy higher quality stuff, but shop hard for it, getting the best prices we can. As long as you buy decent quality, not crap that will wear right out or fall apart, you'll be satisfied with it. Buy for your comfort and happiness, not to save a couple of dollars...
Another vote for high quality toilet paper.
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 09:30 AM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
I think high quality goods, even if bought used, are worth it. I find the experience of using good things to be a reward in itself. Longevity, if it comes with it, is a bonus.

I also feel that there is a point of diminishing returns in terms of price. For example, I like my Dacor stove. It was expensive, but nothing compared to a Viking. For me, a Viking would not give me enough added satisfaction to warrant the extra cost.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 09:30 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
When it comes to comfort while sleeping, I readily get the checkbook out. A few years ago I bought a Sealy 3 inch pillowtop mattress, CA king size custom order to fit into my old waterbed frame. What I spent extra on the mattress I offset by recycling my waterbed frame versus buying a box spring, new headboard and footboard (right term?). This mattress is fabulous.
Furniture...well I love all wood furniture. Over the years, I have found older items in garage sales, estate sales, and antique shops for a fraction of what they would cost new . No Chippendales of course. Just good quality replications of classic furniture pieces.
My kitchen appliances are medium quality, i.e. Chevys not Cadillacs. I have hand problems, so I have invested in a KitchenAid stand mixer and ergonomic handled Henckels knives. My pots and pans are high quality stainless steel with copper bottoms. Some were found at garage sales, some were purchased on sale of course.
Lawn and garden equipment is always higher quality. You get what you pay for.
Electronics and computer equipment is bought as needed. I like to wait for today's "newest" models to be replaced by the next product version. "Obsolete" is a relative term. All of my digital gizmos are at least 5 years old and doing just fine.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #26
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
It's interesting how much of this discussion revolves around the use that the appliance gets. We've gone through a series of crappy vacuum cleaners and don't really care because ours only comes out of the closet once a month-- so it tends to last long enough that technology improvements move faster. But we use our Scooba a couple hours a week and I have plenty of spares on hand to keep that machine going.

Same for the kitchen appliances. I don't care about good pots or stoves because we rarely use them. OTOH we've spent plenty on a good convection microwave and I'll gladly pay full retail for a convection microwave that will mount under a cabinet. There are days that I find myself whining about having to make do with just one instead of two.

We're still using the original steak knives that were a wedding present nearly 25 years ago. I've never sharpened them and I don't even know if it's worth doing because we don't use them very often and I have enough muscle to make them cut a piece of fruit. However spouse's arthritis is already affecting her grip strength, so she has a set of super-sharp knives that go through meat like butter. I don't touch them so that she'll get max life out of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractor guy View Post
Might just have to have it re-upholstered.
Reupholstery is well worth the cost, especially if they repair any frame problems or add extra braces/brackets before covering it back up.

The best thing is that you can pick a color that never looks dirty, exactly matches your decor, and has all the modern stain-fighting treatments you'd only get from new furniture.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #27
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
High-tech isn't really a good place to overpay for high quality that will last for decades, since such equipment will likely become obsolete before even cheaper stuff breaks. I would think items like major appliances and furniture would be an appropriate place to pay up for quality.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 11:54 AM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 213
no regrets paying for highest quality sheets I could find (they are cotton and feel like silk) and a tempurpedic mattress (you spend 1/3 of your life in bed after all)
beautiful dining room and living room furniture, hand crafted wood with wood inlays

We make do with cars, our family room furniture, clothes

also no designer pets here with expensive vet bills and foods. We got a kitten at the shelter- already spayed and all shots and eats only dry food.

also, one aspect of LBYM is taking care of yourself- DH works part time at the Y and we get a free membership. We go to the Y about 5 times a week and the equipment is way higher quality than I could ever want to spend money on.
__________________
52andout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
I always try to buy the best quality I can afford. For example in 1971 I saved for more than a year and a half to buy McIntosh amplifier, pre-amp, and speakers for my stereo; they were very expensive at $1500 dollars. .
That is good stuff. My brother had the full complement, tuner, preamp, demux, equalizer, 50 W RMS amps. and a Rek O Kut turnatble.

When he passed away, my SIL kept them as sentimental stuff, then my niece and DH got them. Unfortunately neither had a clue of the quality and chucked them about ten years ago. GRRRRRRRR. I had even told them early on that if they did not want the stuff I'll pay market price. Double GRRRRRR.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #30
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
Another vote for high quality toilet paper.
+1

That, and whatever we feel is worth what we'd have to give up to have what is more important. For example in the winter we do not even attempt to save on heating bills by turning down the thermostat. But we'll give up dinners out to have a warm house if it comes to that.

Like most posts here, what we'll spend extra on depends on how long we expect to use it and whether the quality is important, as in tools. Cheap tools are usually an exercise in frustration to use so I don't buy those.

For electronics like computers, we'll buy one or two steps back from leading edge and keep it until it won't do something we need it to do. Furniture is "middle-of-the-road" quality as that is the best value point for us.

For cars, we'll buy new with some options but not all of them, and then keep them until either reliability or parts availability become issues. That's usually in the 15 to 20 year range. Although come to think of it, DW has been running the wheels off the car lately....
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #31
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Interesting what folks consider worth spending money on.
Never had clothes dryer, replaced clothes washer with lowest end when it died after 18 years; TV is 20, now unplugged; most furniture only used by cat, will give/throw away in future; electronics: nothing but computer, also low end, replaced when dead; am working towards moving to 1 br apt.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 03:28 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
I see that Henckels knives were mentioned twice. I like Ginsu -- my $30 set of 14 in a wood block, mostly serrated edge, bought 2 years ago, still work fine (after one quick sharpening with a cheap little Accusharp tool). I use them every day. I'm quite prepared to throw them away -- I think I've gotten my money's worth now. But for you Henckels enthusiasts, I'll note that Amazon is selling a set of 13, MSRP $122, discounted to $44.90, which is not that much more.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
Another vote for high quality toilet paper.
Are you and Mr Boston in cahoots?
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #34
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Are you and Mr Boston in cahoots?
Separated at birth, but both of us got lucky later in life.
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 04:52 PM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,971
I agree with quality cookware and kitchen knives. Same with hand tools. And I can't imagine buying the cheapest appliances, furniture, car, PC or TV either, I usually do a lot of research and find the next to latest or second tier model and buy it on sale - and I'm very patient. I am always looking for the best lifetime (of the item) value.

Like all LBYMers, I keep what I buy and take good care of it, expecting it to last. My last television went 19 years - people at work laugh at me, they buy a new one whenever the technology changes and consider me 'woefully behind the times.' Of course I'm retiring this year, none of them are...

Pretty much the norm here I'm sure.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 05:53 PM   #36
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
"High quality" makes a lot of sense, but "high prices" does not.
Well put.

+1 - Furniture. We have much decent, sturdy all-wood furniture either bought used, new but unfinished, or on sale. Buy it once; enjoy it for a lifetime. Cheap laminate stuff, etc., that wears out with use is a frustrating waste of time.

+1 on matress, good bedding and sheets. Too much time spent there to scrimp.

+1 on good knives that stay sharp or that sharpen well. Same for a select few good pans (love my calphalon adonized skillets). (We like to cook).

+1 on toilet paper.

+1 on art - spend what you need (and/or can) to get things you'll truly enjoy for a long time. You're not decorating a motel room. Also good carpets - artwork for the floor - last and enjoy forever - but buy on sale.

+1 on tools (especially durable hand tools like wrenches, gardening hand tools, etc.). Core collection can be bought on sale, only need to be bought once in your life, and are a pleasure to use.

Real maple syrup. No comparison.

Select well made classic clothes - I have found a few items (like woven cotton dress shirts) for which a particular (and normally very pricey) brand just fits better, washes better, wears better, etc., so that in the long run a very few of those are worth way more than a rotating closet full of "bargains".

On the other hand, I am glad that I have never allowed myself to develop a taste for "fine" aka expensive wines. About $10 or less works for me - plenty of varieties and countries to pick from.

Interesting thread.
__________________
rockyj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 07:24 PM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyj View Post
...On the other hand, I am glad that I have never allowed myself to develop a taste for "fine" aka expensive wines. About $10 or less works for me - plenty of varieties and countries to pick from.

Interesting thread.
I do draw the line at Boone's Farm wines.
I usually stick to NYS wines to support the industry. I will buy other varieties to try something "new" if it is not available from a regional winery source.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 07:39 PM   #38
Full time employment: Posting here.
BTravlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 994
I supply furniture and kitchen cabinet makers so buy solid wood only, no particleboard or MDF. If their is plywood in the construction specify plywood made in USA and NOT Chinese. Other items I take on case by case basis.
__________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
BTravlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Little late to the thread, but here are my thoughts.

Furniture - buy solid wood and classic design (or neutral). It will last a long time and never go "out of style".

Computers - contrary to what "conventional" wisdom says, buy only what you need. The computer I'm typing this on is 3+ years old and would be considered a dinosaur by modern processing/memory standards (1.5 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, Celeron processor, etc...) The "box" cost me $199 brand new, while the monitor was free (originally a CRT from work, replaced by an old "square" flat panel put out to pasture)

Cell phones - buy a basic one and forget the texting/mobile internet. If people need to reach you in a hurry, they can call. Otherwise, written communications can wait until I get home.

Cars - buy new or slightly used. Drive it until the repair costs become a significant percentage of the value of the car (e.g., a repair cost that would be 33% of the value of the car). Rinse, repeat. The exception to this rule is if an outdated car would affect your job prospects or ability to get clients.

Houses - buy a house with "good bones" in a neighborhood where YOU want to live. Don't scrimp on this by living further away from work or other amenities. You'll regret it terribly while sitting in traffic. However, don't overpay for a house. If someone is asking significantly more than it's worth, let some other sucker buy it.

Books - use the library. 'Nuff said.
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 09:25 AM   #40
Full time employment: Posting here.
BTravlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
Cars - buy new or slightly used. Drive it until the repair costs become a significant percentage of the value of the car (e.g., a repair cost that would be 33% of the value of the car). Rinse, repeat. The exception to this rule is if an outdated car would affect your job prospects or ability to get clients.
Good point on the cars. The last three I've bought were one owner cars only 1 or 2 years old and with less than 15k miles on them. Bought them from the original owners and not car dealers. Amazing how many great deals are out there if you're willing to take the time to shop the used car market.
__________________

__________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
BTravlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Living-Above-Your-Means Forums Maurice Other topics 37 06-28-2009 09:43 AM
Living above his means cantlogin Life after FIRE 23 07-14-2008 08:55 PM
What about Living ABOVE Your Means After FIRE??? FinanceDude FIRE and Money 29 12-03-2006 10:05 PM
High salary vs. High cost of living article laurence FIRE and Money 30 05-25-2005 07:40 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:20 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.