I'm not a financial expert or a financial consultant. These are just some ideas I've learned and thought about.
My dishwasher died last week. It was one that came with the house when I bought it three years ago, and it was always just so-so.
I did some research on prices for a new one, found the one I wanted from a local dealer that I like. I picked a Bosch, because I have had good experiences with their appliances before. The cheapest one I found was about $600 installed. That's not so bad. I could have chosen another, cheaper brand, but in the long run, I don't think that's a good idea.
My short-term financial goal is to save or earn $5,000 by November 1st. I've already saved $2,000 by using my Piggy Bank System, and I've got the next few months budgeted. But $600 would take quite a chunk out of it.
My solution? A $28 stainless steel dishwashing rack (with a draining mat and a wire utensil holder.) Initially, I bought a cheaper one, but it was too flimsy and I'd have hated using it. So I splurged on the one I liked best.
I cook every meal at home, but usually it's just for me, so I don't accumulate that many dishes. Maybe I will buy that new dishwasher next year, but you can bet that I will be using my Piggy Bank System to save up for it.
Cost of dishwasher $600
Cost of dish rack $28
Money saved $572.00
A penny saved is a penny earned.