Home > The Master Plan > What will you still own a decade later?

What will you still own a decade later?

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I’ve got a challenge for you.  Look around your room and think about what possessions you will still own 10 years form now.

It seems like a relatively easy task, since those of us who consider ourselves frugal always try to buy consumer goods that are built to last the long haul.

The answer to this question may surprise you.  I know it was a shock to me.  Most of my possessions probably wont be here in 10 years.  This is a really useful strategy when shopping.  Ask yourself, is this going to be around in a decade?

It’s worth paying attention to those items that will last a decade.  So here’s what I found.

  • What won’t be here in a decade?

I live in an apartment, and my furniture isn’t super nice, so we can automatically cross out furniture as items I might still have in 10 years.

Then I moved into the kitchen, looking at all my appliances, dishware, glasses, and utensils.  I’d like to think that a few of these items (measuring cups) will still be with me in ten years, but I’m really not sure.

I went through my closet, and I couldn’t find a single shirt of pair of pants that I know I will keep 10 years.

So then I moved on to my electronics.  I’m fairly positive that in ten years, my computer and cell phone will be totally obsolete.  I struck out again.

  • My TV

My TV

So I know it may be fairly obsolete in 10 years, but there’s actually a strong possibility that I’ll still have it.  I bought this one a little over 2 years ago, but there have been almost no meaningful technological advances since then, so this one might stay with me!

I know they will come out with fully connected internet TVs soon, but that doesn’t strike me as all the much fun.  I feel like upgrading from my old tube TV to this flat screen was like going from a flip phone to a smart phone.  There just isn’t a product out there that would transform my experience by that much again.

  • My Hair Clippers

My Hair ClippersI use my hair clippers about once a month to give myself a haircut.  I know the motor could fail, but I use this item so infrequently, and it’s such a valuable commodity to me, that I hope it’s around in 2023.  By cutting out haircuts at the barber shop, I’m saving about $20/month ($240/yr) with a piece of equipment that cost me $20.

  • My LED Lightbulbs

My LED Lightbulbs

I know I talk about my LED bulbs way too much, but I just love them too much.  They are rated to last 50,000 hours, or about 35 years, so I feel confident these will be with me where ever I live over the next 30 years.

I might be proved wrong it one fails, but they’ve been nothing but amazing thus far.

  • My Car

My Car

Now this is bold statement, I know.  My vehicle is a 2004 Subaru forester with about 105,000 miles on it.  When I used to be crazy and drove every day to work, I was averaging 30,000 miles/year, but now that I’ve gone through my transportation rebellion, I’m averaging about 8,000 miles/year.  If I can keep my millage under 10,000 miles/year, it doesn’t seem that unreasonable (200,000 miles) that I’d still have my good old Subaru in the year 2023  (even if we do have flying cars by then).

  • My Books

My BooksSome books are timeless, so I expect to keep them for a long time.  The only problem is that I don’t own too many actual books.  For a while I was buying ebooks, and now I’ve switched entirely to getting free books from the library.

I do collect a book every now and then if I can’t wait for it to hit the library, or if it’s gifted to me by a friend.  So I feel confident that the good ones will stick around, because I like to display a few classy books in my home to keep things interesting.

  • Alcohol

AlcoholThis one is more of a joke than anything else.  I’ve got a big ol’ box of liquer in my closet that only seems to grow.  See, I don’t drink, so I’m never going to use it up.  Every time I have a party I end up with more, not less liqueur.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will continue to appreciate an alcohol collection even if I don’t want it.  I tend to pout the shitty stuff down the drain, but it just feels wrong to get rid of the nice stuff that party goers might like to drink someday.

Can anyone think of a good organization to donate alcohol to?  I’m pretty sure they’d yell at me if I brought it into a food pantry…

  • And that’s it

Those 6 items are the only things that I really believe will be around for another decade.  Everything else I own is either lower quality, or just not designed to last 10 years.  Shoes, Jeans, and shirts tend to last me between 2 and 5 years.  The Ikea furniture I own probably wont make it to the decade mark.

The point is, now that I know the possessions that might have staying power, I’ll use the 10-year test when purchasing new stuff.

I’m not saying everything that I’ll buy will actually pass the test, but it’ll be a good way to consciously think about buying for quality while shopping.

How much of your stuff will be here in 2023?

  1. January 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I don’t think much of the stuff we currently own will still be around in 10 years (and hopefully 2 moves), but I think we’ll own plenty of the stuff we have now for at least 10 years total. I’ve had some books for that long that I have no intention of getting rid of; Kyle bought his TV with 10 years in mind (5 so far); I’ve had the same winter coat for 9 years; we’ll keep Kyle’s car for at least 10 years and maybe mine for that long, too.

    Oh, and we used to collect alcohol from hosting parties, too, as we’re not big drinkers, but Kyle has made and effort in the last year to drink down our stock of beer. It’s so weird as he used to be the teetotaler of the two of us.

  2. January 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I see what you mean, I bet in 10 years my answer will be totally different too. I’ll have more quality stuff, and a house, but right now the list isn’t very long.
    I was thinking about including my winter coat in this too, but I decided against it when I remembered all the winter coats I’ve owned in just 24 years!

  3. janesavers
    January 19, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I buy good quality items and a lot of things in my home will be with me forever. High quality furniture, stainless steal pots and pans, many dishes and even some clothing have already been with me for ten years or more.

    I walked around my home and saw a lot of things, not just decorative but functional, that I have had for more than 10 years. I have a wonderful wooden clothes dryer that I used to hang clothe diapers on when my sons were small and they are both in university now. It is covered in my work clothes that I washed today.

    All my current electronics will be gone in ten years but I will still be sitting in this chair that is over 100 years old and typing on my new computer unless, by then, I will just be able to think and the words will appear on the screen.

  4. January 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    That’s great! I hope to acquire some good quality pots and pans over the next few years. It’s pretty tough to make predictions about computers in 10 years, because I don’t think the Iphone had even come out 10 years ago… you never know.

  5. January 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    That is a great way to look at things. Makes us much wiser spenders. I think a lot of the stuff we have will be around for at least 10 years with the exception of some clothes and the odd kitchen utensil.

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