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We Paid Cash: Washer and Dryer

We paid cash!A testimony from Taylor from Stain Removal 101

I’m a work-at-home-Mom of three, so needless to say, I am on very friendly terms with our washing machine! In addition, as part of my home business, I test and review a lot of various laundry supplies and laundry detergents with that very same machine, at Stain Removal 101, so you could say my washing machine and I are a team.

That’s why I was very sad when my “team member” bit the dust during the middle of one of my stain removal product tests. Normally, I’m all for fixing broken appliances instead of just replacing them; however, it didn’t make sense financially to do that this time.

We briefly considered purchasing a lower-end model new appliance, but even the new washing machines without many bells and whistles were quite expensive. In our situation, it made more sense to buy a used washing machine that didn’t have an inflated showroom value anymore.

Plus, buying a used machine also meant that we had enough emergency savings available to pay for it with cash, without dipping too far into those reserves. Yes, we could have purchased a new washing machine with cash too, but I knew how long it would take to replace all that money from the fund if we dipped down so low.

We weren’t comfortable having such a low fund since emergencies are unpredictable — and this ended up being a wise decision, since we also got some wind damage to our roof and needed to use some emergency funds to pay our deductible.

If we’d bought a new machine we would have eaten up too much money at once.

We chose a used machine that was six years old and cost only $250. That was about how much the repair of the old machine might have cost us, and we got a machine 10 years newer!

So far, this machine works great and I hope it will last us as long as our old one did. If I can even get five or ten years out of it, instead of the 13 my previous used model gave us, I’ll have gotten a great bargain. Plus, we’ve still got money in our emergency fund for any curve balls life might throw at us!

Taylor Flanery is former lawyer turned writer, who blogs about all things domestic while working at home with her three kids and husband. You can find her at Household Management 101, Stain Removal 101, and Home Storage Solutions 101.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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  1. Kristin says

    I bought a washer and dryer through Craigslist that were only 3 month old HE washer, front loader. They had been bought and then the couple ended up moving to take care of their parents so I got them for about 1/4 of the original price and they were basically brand new!

  2. says

    I guess I’m showing my age, but I was raised that if you didn’t have the cash, you couldn’t afford it. Our mortgage is our only exception. My husband and I have always paid cash for everything or we did without. We did finance one of our cars many years ago… I can’t remember why because we could have paid cash. Now, people assume that if they can afford the payment, they can afford the item. This is seen as the norm today.

  3. Debora A. Acevedo says

    When our washer broke, our first reaction was to run and get a new one but God had a different plan. Two days after the washer broke, my mother-in-law call to see if my husband knew of someone who needed to buy a washer because her sister had a three year old washer in great condition for sale for $200. My MIL had no idea ours was broken. The next day my hubby paid and hauled the washer to our house and I’m so happy we did not rushed to get a new one.

  4. Rebecca says

    Good for you! We purchased a new to us dryer this winter from Craigslist for only $180…and they delivered it too!! It is a WAY better dryer than we could have afforded had we gone to the store to buy new, and it was only 3 years old and has worked great! Our EF only took a tiny hit and was filled back up in no time :)

  5. says

    We decided to purchase used machines as well. Our machines were old when they were given to us, but they lasted 7 years. The washing machine gave out a couple of months ago, and we found one on Craigslist within a week’s time for only $60. Then a month ago, the dryer died and we found one on Craigslist for $60 within a week. Both are working wonderfully. God has really blessed our family through Craigslist. 😉

  6. august says

    While this worked for you all, I think it’s important for people to remember that the newer machines may cost more, but they practically pay for themselves. With all the water efficient, energy efficient blah blah blah it’s worth it. We wanted new ones because of the warranty, but we also got a great deal on them, now we save money on our bills and still have new stuff! Don’t get me wrong, we used an 80’s model set that was given to us for over a year before it died, but when we saw the drop in our bills… man o man am I glad we bit the bullet for the new ones. If you can’t afford new ones, like the writer did, check out Criagslist. We saw plenty that were just a few years older than ours for a great price!

    • Jen says

      I totally agree! I was AMAZED at the reduction in our power bill after we were forced to replace our ancient refrigerator. I always research before purchasing, and we bought the largest capacity refrigerator that would fit in our available space (our old one was tiny), but still a good price.

      Unfortunately, over the past 4-5 years, we’ve also had to replace our washing machine, dishwasher and stove as well. We’ve also added a second, basement refigerator, large chest freezer, dehumidifier and air purifier. Everything is energy efficient, and our power bill is actually LOWER than it was when we first moved in… even with the additions. It’s definitely worth spending a little more money on newer, more energy efficient appliances!

    • Stephanie says

      I totally agree with you- when our 23 year old washer and dryer both died within a week of each other we replaced them with HE machines. We went from using 20 gallons of water per load to three and the dryer takes 30 minutes. Our water and electric bills dropped like a stone. The energy savings has paid for the machines in less than eight months. Our refrigerator is 24 years old and is giving up the ghost soon so we have begun to research and save up for the replacement. All of the appliances in the house are the same age and are being replaced as needed. So far the stove just needed one repair and is limping along. We have been saving for a chest freezer for years but end up putting that money into replacing appliances :)

  7. says

    We had to replace our washer a few months ago. We went to a local appliance store we’ve used frequently (we also buy appliances for rental units). We learned that even the top of the line models/brands can be expected to last only six to eight years.

    • Lana says

      That is what we have found. A washer bought new 9 years ago lasted 7 years and then we had to replace it. Washers used to last 20 plus years. After having 8 major repairs on a front loader in one year while still under warranty we will never put out the money for one of those again!

      • Jennifer says

        We have had similar experiences with front loaders. I discovered that they really do not work well unless they are directly on a slab foundation – the vibration just ruins the machines.

        • Lana says

          With ours it was 8 control panels in one year. That qualified our machine to be classified a ‘lemon’ and the manufacturer refunded our money in full and picked up the machine. Never again!

        • Julia says

          Not sure what kind of machine you had but this is not a fact. We’ve had our HE for five years and never had a problem with it. Appliances in general aren’t made to last, which is exactly why I refuse to spend any money on a used appliance like a six year old washing machine. 250 dollars is still a good chunk of money.

  8. Molly says

    We bought our set on Craigslist a little over a year ago for $300 delivered. The machines are a couple years old, but are in great condition, and look practically new! The only thing that was wrong was that the dryer needed a new belt, which cost all of $30 and an hour of my time to replace…much cheaper than the $120 service call would have been! If we would have bought a comparable set new, it would have cost us over $900, so we are very happy with our savings!

  9. Amanda M says

    When our Amana front load washer’s transmission froze on us, we decided to jump the gun and purchase a front load washer. We had bought the Amana brand new, and it was 3-years-old. Like you we found even the new low end models to be very expensive and our emergency fund was recovering from a recent car engine repair. We found a 4-year-old front load Whirlpool for $250, and it came with a 30-day warranty. Thankfully the one part wrong with it was covered under the warranty. The front loader saves us $20/month on our water bill; therefore paying for itself. We’ve had the washer almost a year now and nothing else has gone wrong. Hoping to get many years out of it.

  10. Mary S says

    I’ve had my washer and dryer for 18 years and they are both Sears/ Kennmore Heavy Duty brand. I would love a new washer and dryer…but everyone I’ve talked to say the new ones will not last this long. My husband has replaced the heating element in the dryer twice..but that’s it. I will continue to use these until they both bite the dust. Also, my Ford Explorer also has 171,000 miles on it and it keeps on running too. I would also like a new vehicle, especially because of rising gas prices. But as long as the Ford runs I’ll keep it. At least I don’t have a $400 or more a month car payment.

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