Items That Pay For Themselves

Windows: will they pay for themselves over time?

It’s always a nice break when I come across a piece written about personal finance or saving money that has a bit of humor in it (I think that is one aspect of personal finance education that is almost non existent – if you could write a personal finance book that also incorporated humor, you’d have a great tool to teach plus make a lot of money)

In my daily reading I came across this article titled The Cost of Saving Money Is Adding Up: After a careful review of our household finances, I have come to the conclusion that we can’t afford things that pay for themselves.

Once we have the new furnace installed, I consider having all the windows replaced, because it seems like a shame to have all that brand-new heat going outside. So I call a window company to come out and give us an estimate. The estimate is about 4,000 times higher than I expected.

“I know it sounds expensive,” the salesperson concedes, “but these windows will pay for themselves.”

“How soon?”

“Well, depending on various factors, no more than 20 years.”

“I won’t be living here in 20 years,” I reply. “In 20 years I’ll probably be living someplace where they come along every couple of hours and wipe the applesauce off your chin.”

While the article takes jabs at investing in appliances that “pay for themselves” over time, it brings up a valid point and one where you need to seriously consider how you will be using the items you purchase. Buying the cheapest doesn’t always save you money if it costs more to run while investing in an appliance that will “pay for itself” doesn’t make sense if you’re not going to be there to benefit from the savings (this is not taking environmental factors into account which would be a separate argument).

If you’ve been reading a lot of personal finance lately, take a short break to read this and put a smile back on your face before tackling more articles…

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3 Responses to Items That Pay For Themselves

  1. NOTR says:

    You missed the really good line! “These windows will pay for themselves.”

    That means that when the bill arrives from the window company, you can ignore it, right?

  2. Frugal Momma says:

    Funny article and so true!

    Dave Barry has written a humorous book on money. I haven’t read the book yet saw and interview with him on the today show. I think there was even a post or two on the saving advice forums about it.

  3. RS says:

    That is hilarious. Good find.

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