Confession time: Kyle and I recently made a decision that is antithetical to our usual frugal lifestyle. We are moving next week to another townhouse that has a washer and dryer hookup and the rental company gives us the option to rent a washer and dryer from them or provide our own (or go without, I guess). For an extra $20/month, we decided to rent the washer and dryer.
There is, naturally, a backstory – as there probably always is when you make a decision out of line with your normal ones. After Kyle moved to Durham, he bought a washer and dryer off craigslist for about $150, which was a great deal. The dryer was older but the washer was of moderate age and they both worked well. He/we used them for five years.
When we decided to move to our current townhouse last August, we found out that it already had a washer and dryer. Kyle was so enamored with the washer and dryer and the great deal he had gotten on them that he didn’t want to sell them – he even suggested we rent a storage unit to keep these craigslist appliances in! I ultimately talked him into selling them, saying that since we planned to live in this townhouse until we left Durham we would never need them again and we clearly weren’t going to take them with us when leaving Durham. So we sold them on craigslist for $230. :)
Of course, not even a year later we were blindsided by our landlord kicking us out and it turned out that we had a need for that washer and dryer after all. I felt really terrible at that point because I forced Kyle to get rid of our stuff and we had no expectation that we’d be able to get such a good deal on another purchase. Clearly, finding another washer and dryer at a reasonable price and selling them for around the same price (or more!) in a year or so would be cheaper than spending $20/month in rent – but we went for the rental.
The hassle of buying (and later, selling) another washer and dryer was not the main deterrent, although it was one. The main deterrent was the prospect of moving the set, and specifically moving it into this townhouse. Kyle and a male friend moved his into his second floor apartment and they had a pretty challenging time doing it. Those things are super heavy! We didn’t feel confident that he and I could move them ourselves, so we would have to enlist help. But the real kicker is that the washer and dryer hookups are on the second floor of the townhouse. Around a hairpin turn at the top of the staircase. In a very narrow hallway. We would have to wrestle the appliances into place inch by inch and if we were faced with having to lift it over anything we would be SOL. So we basically decided that leaving the moving to the professionals was worth $20 to us.
We have justified the decision in two ways. 1) We are effectively renting our current washer and dryer as well, since they came with the townhouse, and even with the extra $20/month at the new place we’ve still reduced our rent by $25/month. We’re pretty pleased with that. 2) Renting the washer and dryer will make the transition to having a roommate and then leaving the area entirely easier. We won’t have to worry about whether to charge the roommate more rent or whether she would accept our asking price when I’m finally ready to leave.
So there you go. Excuses up the wazoo, but we’re basically looking at throwing away at least $240 just to not have to buy and sell and move these things. Not the choice we made for the 5 years Kyle lived in his last apartment, but worth it to us for this (hopefully) short-term stint in this townhouse.
What very considered and ultimately non-frugal choices have you made recently? How much is avoiding hassle worth to you?
photo from Free Digital Photos