Shiny, New, and Feeling Guilty

We bought a new dishwasher on Black Friday, and I feel guilty. Not because I went shopping then (since we usually do, although we rarely buy more than breakfast + an ornament), and not because we spent a good chunk of change (after all, we had the money in our appliance fund.)

No, I feel guilty because we replaced our existing dishwasher (which is probably 20 years old) before it had completely failed.

Use it up

You see, I have this thing about using things up before getting rid of them. I don’t know why, but it just feels so wasteful to me to do otherwise. I guess I just have “reduce, reuse, recycle” ingrained into my brain.

We’d had problems with it back in August of 2009, and ended up just replacing one of the racks then for less than $50. Since then, it’s chugged along just fine until a few weeks ago, when the spring on the door broke.

I’d been toying with getting that fixed too, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Mainly because it still worked — you just had to let the door down gently instead of allowing it to open on its own.

The last straw

The only thing was, it decided to hold our dishes hostage on Thanksgiving Day. Not nice. And that, combined with my (hopefully irrational) fear that it was going short out and start a fire someday, caused me to say, hey, you know, if we’re going to replace our dishwasher anyway, this would probably be a good time to do so.

Even though our dishwasher still washed and dried dishes just fine, once we were able to pry the door open.

So we went off to Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, and Sears, and then checked online for good measure. We ended up getting a KitchenAid model from Lowes, and got a good price on it. We were also able to use a 10% off coupon on top of their sale price, so that helped too.

I sure hope it will give us as good a service as our last dishwasher did.

Different perspectives

I had to laugh at the differences in my reaction to the purchase vs. my son’s though. I told him we’d ordered a new dishwasher, and he said “Hallelujah!”. I think he’s got the right point of view in this case; I just need to adopt it.

So I’m looking forward to getting over my guilt and just enjoying the shiny and new.

What about you? Do you have “use it up”-itis like me and a few others? Or are you into shiny & new, or maybe a mix of the two? (Moderation? What’s that?)


  • My post on Black Friday was about how I won’t replace the TV in our family room until it fails. You better believe I’m tempted though, and every week (not just on Black Friday), I’m looking for the best deals ‘just in case’. I expect it will probably last another ten years out of spite just to test my vow :)

    • Haha, it easily could last that long! I would at least switch out the TV with the one from another room, if it’s the one you use the most often. (Although then it would probably last longer…)

  • Haha, yeah, I feel the same way you do! My blessing and curse is my ability to fix things – and once it’s fixed there is no need to replace it…

  • Clifford

    I think this is tied to the “quality of life” argument versus the “use-it-up”-itis.

    People get wrapped around this notion that not spending any money serves some kind of noble purpose; that denying themselves some pleasure or avoiding a feeling of guilt because they spent money on something that would make their lives easier, more enjoyable or even safer.

    By your own admission, you had an “on-going fear” that your dishwasher was going to short out at any time and start a fire. Rather than replace the offending device, you chose to keep it. You choose fear over safety. Why? I’m not trying to bust your chops. It’s something that I simply don’t understand.

    This puritanical notion of self-denial for the almighty dollar is silly IMHO. If you want a new appliance or television, and you saved up your money, did all your research and found the best price . . . then why not pull the trigger and get it?

    • Ah, no, the fear was very recent, not ongoing. Probably just me being paranoid. I have no problem spending money in other areas, so that’s not it either. (I spent something like $9,000 on travel this year.) I don’t know what it is — it’s got something to do with getting rid of a physical item.

      And thinking about it more, it’s not even spending the money for a new dishwasher that bothered me. It’s really that I feel guilty that I’m going to get rid of a dishwasher that still does its job. Oh well, it needs to go to the great dishwasher retirement pasture in the sky.

  • I’m shopping for a dishwasher too, but didn’t get out on Black Friday.
    I’m hoping I can find a good deal today at home depot.

    • I was kind of surprised, but Lowes and Fry’s Electronics had the largest selections. Our Home Depot didn’t have much to choose from at all.

  • Sounds like it was time to get rid of the washer. Did Lowes recycle your old one for you?

  • You could wait until it breaks and just run out at that time. A 20 year dishwasher is probably going to break at the wrong time. It is better to take advantage of a sale!

    • Yeah that’s what I figured. Although a dishwasher failing isn’t exactly critical, it would be annoying if it happened at a bad time. (And I am so not a fan of doing dishes by hand…)

  • Ditto what KrantCents said. It sounds like it would have died soon. So it is good you scored a great deal!

  • I come close to using things up, but I don’t always let them die completely. As long as it’s in good working order I’ll keep using something (like a cell phone), but I do hit a limit when I feel like it’s time for replace whatever it is.

  • Cynthia

    Once upon a time, I did the same thing just like you. I bought a new camera just because I got a coupon code of CouponSnapshot which gave me 20 percent OFF in one holiday offer. I bought it and felt guilty because I broke my budget of that month. After that, I will think twice before shopping. In all, shopping online rationally is more important than saving.

    • Hm, I actually went and searched out the coupon and the deal after deciding to go ahead with the purchase. We also had the money for it already sitting in our appliance fund, so I don’t regret the purchase itself. Just feeling guilty about kicking the old one to the curb, I guess.

  • Peter

    Great article. I really understand the feeling I got the same problem. It’s hard to get rid of something when it’s still good working or almost good working. Keep on the good work!

  • I mostly fall into the use it up camp. We did buy a new flat screen TV on Black Friday to replace our old tube TV. though. We”ll actually move the old TV into our bedroom so it will still be used.

  • Ongoing repairs and malfunctions just wear on your peace of mind. I think knowing that you have a dishwasher that’s safe and will function well is worth spending money on.

    • I think I’ll be especially happy that the door will no longer pop open and whack me in the knee like it did yesterday! I’m looking forward to the new one arriving…

  • We mostly wait until [insert whatever] gives up the ghost. We did without a microwave (the horror!) for a while until we found the right one.