“It still works, why would I replace it?”

When we bought our house over 7 years ago, we bought a new washer, dryer and refrigerator. Everything else was either already here or we brought it with us.

The stuff we brought with us was what you could consider “college dorm” quality products. They worked well, but were small and not really top of the line. This included a microwave, can opener, and toaster. (We brought a blender with us, but it was a nice KitchenAid one and we got it as a gift.)

When we’d walk through Target we’d see all the new fancy toasters, but why would we replace the cheap toaster we have? Would a new one toast bread better? Has there been some fantastic technological advancements in toaster technology over the past 10 years? Are we so busy in the morning that we need to be able to toast 4 slices at once instead of 2?

As for the microwave, it was small, but it still microwaved food as well as anything else. Sure it didn’t have a lot of the special “sensors” or anything, but if the food was hot, did it need all those things? I use the past tense because it eventually died and we got a new one. The new one doesn’t have any of the special stuff either and is the same brand. It’s like the bigger brother of the first one.

The stove and dishwasher were already in our home. I would guess that our stove is probably from the 70’s (as indicated by the faux wood look on the front) and the dishwasher was replaced somewhere around 2005.

Now the stove is important. Of all of our appliances, this one has been the one that has bothered my wife the most. Two of the range knobs broke off a long time ago, the faux wood on the front (which is really just a sticker) has been coming off for a while, and one of the burners doesn’t always work unless we take it out and put it back in again.

But it bakes stuff really, really well. The bottom element went out once and I bought a replacement on Amazon for $14. Of course the wires broke when I tried to replace it and it cost us another $74 to have it rewired. That’s still a TON less than a replacement built-in oven would cost us.

Could we afford to replace the oven? Sure we could, but we can use that money better somewhere else. If it dies, we’ll replace it, but if it keeps on working, then we’ll probably let the next person replace it with whatever they want. Besides when I start looking at new ones, my wife changes her mind about how badly she really wants one. (She doesn’t know that I recently purchased 2 new knobs for the range so she won’t have to move them around to use more than 2 burners at once. I accepted the challenge of “you probably can’t even buy replacement parts for this anymore.”)

When you really think about it, what things do you really need to replace? For me, it’s hard to throw away items that are still working, especially when a large sum of money is involved. That being said, what items are you holding on to that you’ve held off replacing? What’s kept you from replacing them? What have you replaced when you really didn’t need to? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo by rioncm

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