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Old 04-27-2017, 09:56 PM   #21
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Believe me, I am generally all in favor of the "buy and hold" strategy when it comes to cars. But buying a new one recently really made me rethink the idea, especially when it comes to advances in safety. The technology on newer vehicles that helps avoid forward collisions and also scans for potential obstacles while backing up (especially in places like cramped, busy parking lots), not to mention the advances in air bags and crash resilience, makes hanging onto a 15+ year old car kind of unnecessarily dangerous, relatively speaking. ....
We will probably be replacing our 18 yr old car, but here is the catch, as soon as we do, all the next year advances are missed for the following 10 years or more.

So we are holding off possibly 1 more year, to get auto-stop, auto-lane correction, auto-cruise control, auto martini mixer
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:01 PM   #22
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Definitely applies to a lot of sporting goods - my old ski equipment, golf clubs and tennis rackets are practically worthless and much less forgiving than newer technology.

Certain technology is moving faster than others. It seems like TVs are changing faster than computers these days, and cars seem to be having a renaissance in safety technology that could definitely pay immediate dividends over owning an older, less safe car. I guess it depends on the utility of the technology as to whether to upgrade or not. Usually it is very subjective (and relative); sometimes not so much.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:11 PM   #23
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We will probably be replacing our 18 yr old car, but here is the catch, as soon as we do, all the next year advances are missed for the following 10 years or more.

So we are holding off possibly 1 more year, to get auto-stop, auto-lane correction, auto-cruise control, auto martini mixer
Don't forget you have to worry about car computer security and hackability. How do you figure that stuff out? Who does the security reviews?
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:12 PM   #24
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Definite new appliances and top of the line only. The Kitchen Aid appliances came with our brand new house and they are not very good, so when it goes, I'm getting Bosch. No more cheap appliances. Especially dishwasher.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:35 AM   #25
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I do this a lot. I have to arbitrarily assign a value to the "better living" or "quality of life" factor in upgrading technology, then weigh the benefits for selling/replacing. It's weird, but it sort of works.

I'm an uber-geek, so technology tends to win out a lot....
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:03 AM   #26
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I forgot to say that I buy a new laptop computer every couple of years, which is more than just a little bit insane, KWIM? But OMG, I get such a huge kick out of it. If you think kids are happy on Christmas morning, you ought to see W2R opening the box for her new laptop computer. Which, by the way, I did just a couple of weeks ago.

Some people buy booze, I buy computers.... But the rest of that stuff? Eh, who cares.
this story reminds me of a cousin of mine who always resists any new technological toys. Partly out of frugality, and but mostly out of fear of the unknown. However, when his kids were in grade school he and his DW decided they had to get a computer so their kids would not be the only kids in town who knew nothing about them.
This was in the mid 1990s. So on Christmas morning there was a PC to put together.
As my cousin drank his coffee he urged his DW and kids to "put this thing together. Quickly, before it's obsolete."
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:40 AM   #27
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I forgot to say that I buy a new laptop computer every couple of years, which is more than just a little bit insane, KWIM? But OMG, I get such a huge kick out of it. If you think kids are happy on Christmas morning, you ought to see W2R opening the box for her new laptop computer. Which, by the way, I did just a couple of weeks ago.

Some people buy booze, I buy computers.... But the rest of that stuff? Eh, who cares.
This is a prime example of frugalality vs. technology "valuation" to me.

If you add up the number of hours you spend in front of your computer (especially if you are still using it for w*rk), and amortize the cost over that, spending $1000 every 2-3 years is PEANUTS compared to the efficiency, security, and reduced aggravation that it can provide.

I laugh (inside) at folks bragging about how they are still "getting by" on their Window XT machines with a 512MB hard disks...... Why?
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:07 AM   #28
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We will probably be replacing our 18 yr old car, but here is the catch, as soon as we do, all the next year advances are missed for the following 10 years or more.

So we are holding off possibly 1 more year, to get auto-stop, auto-lane correction, auto-cruise control, auto martini mixer
Hahah... yeah this is always the catch when it comes to upgrading, and it's even more vexing now that technology is advancing so quickly. My brand new car will probably feel pretty outdated in terms of safety and convenience features in 5-7 years, but I'm the type that tends to go 10+ years between vehicle purchases. Definitely going to be harder and harder to figure out the right balance with all the incremental self-driving and improved safety technologies that are on the horizon.

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Definitely applies to a lot of sporting goods - my old ski equipment, golf clubs and tennis rackets are practically worthless and much less forgiving than newer technology.
Totally agree. I have some good, new, high-quality skis and a pretty "new-ish" tennis racquet, but my golf clubs are borderline prehistoric at this point. If I decide to try to get back into golf, I'm certain an equipment upgrade will be a virtual necessity. In fact, I've wondered if part of why I gave up on golf shortly after trying to learn it about 5 years ago was my ancient, unforgiving equipment (which I inherited from an uncle many years ago).

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Certain technology is moving faster than others. It seems like TVs are changing faster than computers these days, and cars seem to be having a renaissance in safety technology that could definitely pay immediate dividends over owning an older, less safe car. I guess it depends on the utility of the technology as to whether to upgrade or not. Usually it is very subjective (and relative); sometimes not so much.
The "should I upgrade?" decision is indeed highly subjective, as evidenced by the wide variety of responses in this thread. Some people seem to scoff at the idea that holding onto a 20+ year old car might result in a lower overall value than upgrading to better technology more frequently, whereas others are in the "If it makes driving substantially safer and easier and more pleasant, sign me up" camp. I guess it ultimately comes down to how we balance the value of money vs. safety, convenience, and entertainment in our lives. And I'm sure for some people, there is a complacence factor at work. Like, if it doesn't seem broken and still basically does what I need it to, then don't mess with it -- even if something newer will do that thing much better in certain ways.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:15 AM   #29
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This thread reminds to research for a device to help call 911 if you fall down. That's what happened to my mother in law. She didn't have cell phone, the outcome could have been different for her. Maybe I should get an Alexa or whatever it's called from Amazon.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:26 AM   #30
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I recently struggled with this idea of frugality and value when I realized that I haev several old 100W incandescent bulbs left in some of the less used areas of my home. The idea of tossing a perfectly good bulb that probably has a few more years of use left in it just bothers me so very much. It seems so wasteful. Yet, everything I have read indicates that replacing them with new LED bulbs or even an old fashioned florescent bulbs will pay off several times over.

So I struggle. Toss a perfectly good incandescent bulb in the trash or waste perfectly good energy? No matter what I do I will be racked with guilt. Truly a first world problem.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:36 AM   #31
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This is a prime example of frugalality vs. technology "valuation" to me.

If you add up the number of hours you spend in front of your computer (especially if you are still using it for w*rk), and amortize the cost over that, spending $1000 every 2-3 years is PEANUTS compared to the efficiency, security, and reduced aggravation that it can provide.

I laugh (inside) at folks bragging about how they are still "getting by" on their Window XT machines with a 512MB hard disks...... Why?
GMTA!! That's just the way I think about it, too. Even though I am retired, I spend a lot of time on my computer and it is important to me.

Also, when I am done with my old laptops I restore them to factory configuration and then give them to Frank. He loves getting them for some reason. So, we are both happy.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:36 AM   #32
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How do you do these types of calculations when trying to decide when to replace older things? Obviously there is a balance between constantly buying the latest and greatest in order to always have the most beneficial technologies and hanging on to something until it basically falls apart in order to minimize the money spent on that class of item over your lifetime. But what is the right balance?
Perfectly good point, but as you note in your conclusion, there is no universal answer or "right balance." What each of us values depends on each of us, our $ resources, the relative importance of each buying decision, etc.

I will use our washer and dryer until they outright fail, there's no downside to waiting to me. I trade in cars when I don't think they're reliable enough anymore (admittedly subjective), typically 8-12 years, not due to safety or tech advances (thought I enjoy them). I might buy the cheapest glasses I can find, and you may buy expensive glasses, that will change the value proposition for both of us. On and on and on...

Good point, but one we each have to answer for ourselves. Most here seemingly value $ over features/newest thing in general, but that's where our similarities diverge. The mainstream seems to value features/newest thing over $, and they get to work (much) longer as a result...
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:38 AM   #33
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The "should I upgrade?" decision is indeed highly subjective, as evidenced by the wide variety of responses in this thread. Some people seem to scoff at the idea that holding onto a 20+ year old car might result in a lower overall value than upgrading to better technology more frequently, whereas others are in the "If it makes driving substantially safer and easier and more pleasant, sign me up" camp.
Overall, I am not quick to upgrade to the latest version of whatever appliance or toy I have. But, there are two exceptions.

First, is safety. If a newer car is appreciably safer then I think the upgrade cost is worth it. Let's face it, the downside of driving a very old car can be death, permanent disability or many dollars in medical costs. The same goes with some older power tools I had.

Second is maintenance. If the device requires repairs/maintenance at some regular level and the parts necessary to repair it are getting hard to find, it may be time to upgrade. Electronics seem to top the list, especially computers, phones, etc. Anything that requires software updates to keep current or fix security holes is especially vulnerable.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:52 AM   #34
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Also, when I am done with my old laptops I restore them to factory configuration and then give them to Frank. He loves getting them for some reason. So, we are both happy.
If you're using a computer to run specific older applications, particularly if you don't need internet access and the latest protection against viruses and malware, then an older model can work very well. Some folk will install an older operating system, or something like Linux, and their old machines will just purr. As Frank is a ham, I'm guessing there are plenty of radio related applications he can use an older laptop for. It can be very useful having a machine just to run a few specific programs, than one "do-it-all" device.

Frank's a lucky guy to have a regular supply of old laptops. Well - I know he's a lucky guy with you for plenty of other reasons too!
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:53 AM   #35
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Maybe I should replace our 2004 Honda CRV with a new one? That should probably be my next project.

Right now I remind myself the best accident prevention is to concentrate on the road. This article on safety mentions the better steal in new cars:
Why Cars Are Safer Than They’ve Ever Been

So it's not just about the wizzy new electronics.
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These advances in steel—along with strategic use of other materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber—allow engineers to design structures that can dissipate and redirect crash forces. For example, the new Cadillac CTS uses lightweight aluminum "crush cans" up front to soak up a lot of energy before an impact reaches the passengers. Even the CTS's seat-belt spools unwind slightly during a crash to help minimize forces on your body.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:55 AM   #36
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We bought a higher end outdoor gas barbeque. Not a large one. Not especially expensive. Just more expensive than some of the hardware store brands/types. I wanted a well known brand, with parts list and replacement parts that could be easily replaced.

That was over 20 years ago. Still have it and very happy. Replaced the burners once, plus a few other minor items. It is not shiny stainless steel but it works well.

I don't like shopping and I don't like buying junk. If we could not afford something good I either waited until we could or bought it second hand. Saved a lot of money and a lot of hassle by doing this.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:04 AM   #37
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I had 2001 car and now have a 2011 car. They get the same gas mileage and have essentially the same safety features. Today's cars don't seem to have anything safer.
I don't see how you can seriously claim that 2017-18 cars don't have any safety improvements over cars from 15+ years ago. There are numerous studies that show cars today are much safer than in years past. I just read one that reported a 50% reduction in automobile fatalities (mostly due to increased safety technology) since 2000.

If you remain unconvinced, this article gives a pretty in-depth look at advances in vehicle safety: Why Cars Are Safer Than They've Ever Been

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As for mattresses, they are are low tech. The mattress I have is just as new as the day I bought it almost 25 years ago. Maybe it's because I don't weigh a lot and I turn the mattress once every 5 years. Lumpy and misshapen? Are you jumping on your mattress or something? I always laugh at the radio commercials that suggest one should change a mattress every 7 years. Who came up with that idiotic sales pitch?
I would assume mattress technology has improved to some degree over the past 10-15 years, or at least that's what I'm hoping since the 16 year-old one I sleep on every night has seen better days. I don't jump on it , but I do get the feeling I must be kind of hard on mattresses... or maybe I'm just not smart or savvy enough when it comes to buying them. This time around, I'm going to check out some of those "try before you buy" online mattress sellers that will let you return a mattress within 100 days if you don't like it. As I grown older I've decided that a good night's sleep is important enough that the needle should be tilted towards the "upgrade to newer, better technology more frequently" side. Not every 7 years like the industry wants us to believe, but in my case, probably more often than every 16 years.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:05 AM   #38
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I recently struggled with this idea of frugality and value when I realized that I haev several old 100W incandescent bulbs left in some of the less used areas of my home. The idea of tossing a perfectly good bulb that probably has a few more years of use left in it just bothers me so very much. It seems so wasteful. Yet, everything I have read indicates that replacing them with new LED bulbs or even an old fashioned florescent bulbs will pay off several times over.

So I struggle. Toss a perfectly good incandescent bulb in the trash or waste perfectly good energy? No matter what I do I will be racked with guilt. Truly a first world problem.
But if it is an area that isn't used much, I would not worry about the wasted energy. It will be minuscule, and probably better to not throw it away than to toss it and generate the (likely larger) pollution/energy required for the replacement.

-ERD50
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:11 AM   #39
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Some of the old things are much better than the
new ones. My "new" grill is now 5 years old. Heavy cast iron grill, heavy steel shell, cast iron end plates. Same basic model as what it replaced--inherited from my father. I drive older vehicles--very little electronics. Have parts in hand to replace the doors so I can have hand cranked windows. I am considering upgrading to an open source throttle body fuel injection for the engine. I did give in and replace the wheels so I would have less trouble sourcing the now unpopular 15" tires. But these costs are a tiny fraction of the cost of a new vehicle. I can work on these vehicles and fix or replace just about anything. It does cost me gas mileage but I would have to drive a huge number of miles to reclaim the cost of even a bottom tier vehicle at todays prices.

To be fair, I haven't included the cost of the "garage-mahal" I'm building or the tools I have acquired. But a man's gotta have some hobby!
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:19 AM   #40
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We have a bright red BBQ. Weber 30 years old in great shape. DW tries to sucker me into cooking but I don't bite often.
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