In the pursuit of financial independence many of us try to save, save, save. That means forgoing almost all purchases in the hopes that one day we will have enough money to leave the workforce and enjoy the atypical life of freedom.
But I am here to tell you, it is NOT ALL ABOUT SAVING.
Every item we buy has a purpose, or at least it should have a purpose. If we buy something with no purpose, then why did we buy it in the first place?
Without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons that you should buy forever items.
1. You will only have to buy the item once.
This should be obvious from the name, forever items. However, many of us on the path towards financial freedom are extremely frugal and are trying our best to find the cheapest way there. The cheaper we can be the sooner we can leave the rat race, right?
Most of the time, this is true. But when you buy a forever item, it may be more expensive, but you will likely never have to buy it again. This far outweighs the downsides of paying more for the item upfront.
2. Resale value stays high.
When we buy our forever items, they are items of high value, but they also allow us to resell them in the future. A good example of forever items is camera lenses. We buy them because we enjoy photography and to help us achieve financial and personal freedom sooner, despite them being expensive items. Sometimes they cost $500+ each, which seems outrageous. However, camera lenses, as long as you take care of them never wear out. You can keep one for 10 years and then resell it for nearly the cost you paid for it.
We are getting ready to sell our Nikon camera system because we switched to Olympus. Our favorite wide angle lens, a Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8, sells for around $400 new. We bought it for $330 used, and I expect to sell it for the same amount I bought it for after having it for an additional 4 years. This is the true power of forever items. Value lasts!
3. Quality is second to none.
When we buy a forever item, we know we have done our research and have found the best item available. A forever item is expected to last forever, thus it requires the quality to be second to none. A forever tool, like a set of Snap-on wrenches for your workshop, have a lasting quality to them that can be used over and over again without ever wearing out.
4. Forever items are in the eye of the beholder.
Not every forever item needs to be the top of the line purchase. Does the hobbyist really need industrial grade tools to work on cars or are the regular Craftsman tools sufficient? Obviously, if you are not going to use your tools on a regular basis, then the cheaper ones will last a lifetime and that makes them a forever item for you.
5. Most forever items come with spectacular warranties.
Back before I started my journey towards financial independence, I just wanted to buy things. And buy things I did. I needed a blender, and after doing hours of research, I landed on the Blendtec Blender. You may have seen the youtube videos from “Will it Blend“. I decided that this was the blender that I needed, and $400 later I had my very own Blendtec blender. Now, I have had it for over 4 years, and this past week, the blade’s seal wore out and we got rubber seal in our smoothies. This was very disappointing coming from such an expensive piece of equipment. I remembered though, Blendtec has an 8 year warranty on their blenders, so I filled out the warranty information on their website, and the next thing I know, I have a confirmation of shipment for a new jar. No haggling, no complaining, just great customer service. This is what you can expect from top-end forever items.
6. You will save money.
Because a forever item lasts forever, you will save money on the purchase. The upfront purchase price may be high, but the fact that you will not buy another one in your lifetime means that the cost is averaged over your remaining lifetime. My Blendtec blender, bought in 2013, now cost approximately $100 per year. By the time the warranty on it runs out in 4 more years, it will be at $50 per year. I was going through $30 and $40 blenders once or twice per year, so in the end, it is cheaper for me to have purchased the high quality forever item.
Another way to look at the cost of ownership is when you plan on reselling it. If you buy a forever item for $500, own it for 4 years, and then resell it for $400, then your cost was only $100, or $25 per year. Because of the high resale value, your cost of ownership of forever items comes way down. The caveat here, is that you must be willing to resell it. But because I know you are all pursuing financial independence and minimalism is a value held by us, I know all of us are willing to let go of items.
7. You can buy forever items used and still have a long life expectancy from it.
Because the quality of forever items is so good, you are able to buy them off the used market. Ebay and Craigslist are 2 of my favorite places to buy items in the US. If you are patient, you can score great deals on these sites for forever items. If the original MSRP cost is $1,000, like our new camera the Olympus E-M1, but you get it used a couple years later for $500, then you can enjoy the item for a lifetime well without the cost of it new.
One of my favorite methods to save money on the journey to financial independence is to let someone else take the initial value out an item before we buy it used. The first 30% or more of an items cost is markup, so we might as well let someone with money to burn take that cost out for us, especially on forever items that last a lifetime.
8. You can pass on your forever items.
Everybody likes to get things for free. Your kids and later your grand kids will appreciate acquiring quality forever items. One of the most common forever items to pass on is quality cookware, currently from the 1930s and 40s, however the idea continues to apply. A forever item can be passed on and appreciated for generations to come. No one wants to receive garbage hoarded for years, but will genuinely appreciate a lower number of quality items.
As you can see, buying forever items does make sense even for a frugal family pursuing financial independence and freedom. By spending more upfront, you save money in the long run and cost over a lifetime is what really matters. Spending money to save money is a concept that is normally passed over, but there are times, when it can make sense. Buying forever items is one of those times, and I encourage all of us to consider purchasing forever items when the option is available. Not everything we buy needs to last forever, just always keep in mind lifetime cost.
By keeping an eye towards the end goal, financial independence, and we can guide ourselves to the right decisions. Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree.
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