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Backwards Thinking

March 22nd, 2013 at 02:38 pm

I spoke to a friend recently. She mentioned that she helped her sister find a washer and dryer. The sister made some reference that she should buy the washer and dryer now because her tax refund was arriving. My understanding was the sister's washer and dryer were still working, but yet instead of saving the tax refund it was being spent on something that may not work in the future.

Isn't this backwards thinking? It is quite possible the washer and or dryer would continue to work into the future. It seems like that kind of logic will continue to cause problems and replacing things needlessly just because the money is available and on hand.

If I were to advise her sister, or my friend who seemed to agree with the logic, I would suggest at a minimum saving the cash until the need for a new washer and or dryer was necessary. I would also consider using the tax refund money to pay other bills before making a purchase of needless items.

If one's washer or dryer were to fail and you don't have hundreds of dollars to replace, you have to look at options outside of individual ownership. In this case, it would be less expensive to do laundry at friend's, relative's or laundry mat, while saving up for a the new appliance. I also would look at used appliances from a store, which might provide a type of warranty, or looking on Craigslist.

Have you heard of others who think about money backwards? Maybe you have done it yourself recently or in the past? What could you have done different?

8 Responses to “Backwards Thinking”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Or do your homework, find out how much they are to replace and start a savings plan to eventually buy them...I totally agree with you.

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    She is probably reasoning that if she doesn't buy them now while she has money, the money will be frittered away elsewhere.

    I agree, that is the sort of thinking which will keep you poor.

  3. laura Says:


    Since I've had some emotional distance from my best friend (her work schedule and my family life have had us living parallel lives that don't intersect too much), I'm amazed at her faulty logic. I guess having so much contact with her for such a long period of time, I saw her faulty thinking as normal. We just had a conversation about her moving ahead with her bankruptcy (last I heard I thought she had) and she is glad that she's picking up an extra shift at the hospital so she will have spending money on a trip to Denver? Huh? Whatever. Not my money life. Thankfully.

  4. M E 2 Says:



    About 7 years ago, my furnace died. When I had a company come out to install a new one, the guys were amused by the fact said former furnace was 18 years old. Who buys a new furance if/when the one they have is working and prior to dying never had any many repairs done to it and it worked fine? I am that way with MOST, if not ALL, the items I own. I just don't get it.

  5. Wino Says:

    This is just another example of why most of America is still over their heads in debt.

  6. snafu Says:

    I have both family and friends who would buy a W/D matched set for the unfinished basement even if only the washer might need to be replaced sometime in the future. It needs to be 'top of the line' with a long list of features they'll never use. These folks have tons of debt and use those Money Tree type loans but tax refunds are most often for a trip to Disneyland/Disney World - so the kids have a terrific Spring break. I keep repeating to myself 'mouth stay shut.' Smile

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    My first thought is Yes, this is backwards, and I should know because I blew every bonus and tax refund I ever got up until about 7 years ago, even though I struggled to pay my regular bills AND had a ton of credit card and education debt.

    But then I thought, there is that chance that she doesn't have any of these problems, and just wants to splurge. Hey, if she wants to upgrade and can afford it, who am I to judge? Now chances are she doesn't have zero-balance credit cards and a healthy retirement fund. But maybe she does. So I suppose it could be OK. Not what I'd spend my tax refund on (obviously, since you all just read how I used mine to pay down debt and repair the computer), but I can see wanting shiny new stuff.

    I have to say it took a lot of thinking to get to a point where I could think that though. My knee-jerk reaction is that she probably isn't thinking clearly and shouldn't be blowing the money on replacing working appliances when there are likely other big holes in her financial life that she's ignoring or doesn't understand.

  8. rob62521 Says:

    I am sure your friend can rationalize this...most folks can when they want to buy something.

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