What will you still own a decade later?
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
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
I 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
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
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
Some 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.
This 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?