Oh man, I love this. The very pretty Sarah just wrote the following to me:
I realize that you probably have a TON of time between now and Christmas to sit around and reply to your readers (have I mentioned that you are VERY pretty?), but I was wondering if you could answer a quick question for me.
With Christmas nearing and the arrival of 16 family members and 8 children looming (where the heck are we gonna stick all these people??), my washing machine decides that it is time to die. This happens the day after both kids and I decided to start feeling better from the cold we have had for the last week and the day after my husband arrives home after a week long work trip. Needless to say, I have laundry coming out of my ears. Here’s my question….do I use a neighbors washer and wait until after Christmas for a good deal or do I run out to Sears and pick one up today? I am unsure if washers and dryers go on sale after Christmas. Do they have amazing deals on sets like on Black Friday? In your opinion, can I save enough money by waiting that would make it worthwhile?
If you get a chance, let me know what you think. If not, NO WORRIES!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and a long life to your washing machine!!
To clarify, I do not love that poor Sarah’s washing machine chose this moment to die. I just love that she wrote to me about it, and also that this is—to me—kind of the crux of this whole money-saving thing. Let me explain.
I didn’t even have to think about the answer to Sarah’s dilemma; my reaction was swift and immediate. So:
Question: Does she wait, even though she’s about to have a houseful for the holidays?
My answer: Oh God, no. Go buy a washer today.
Now. That said, here’s the thing: Saving money is good, and not that hard, and absolutely worth doing at every possible opportunity. In a perfect world we all wait until the stuff we need is on sale and then we go buy it with a coupon and celebrate the savings. Of course. But on the other hand, one of the perks of doing this is that when we have some sort of unforeseen emergency, we can go ahead, bite the bullet, and get what we need whether it’s the absolute-best-price-ever or not.
To me, the thought of a houseful of guests over the holidays and no functional washer sounds pretty much like hell on earth. To me, that’s pretty much an emergency situation. I would replace it today. The good news is that not a lot of people are making major appliance purchases two days before Christmas, so there will be sales, and it’s not like you’ll have to pay full price.
On the other hand, this is not the very best time to buy an appliance, because things like the upcoming Presidents Day sales and such will likely bring slightly lower prices. And if you can’t afford to shop now or really need to save the extra few dollars, you could certainly wait.
But my feeling is that saving money is a means to an end, not an end itself. You save the money so that you have more money for the things you want, and so that when something annoying like this happens you can go ahead and take care of it and only grumble a little.