Monday, November 22, 2021

Dishwasher- Want or Need?

Way back when, when I was living an extremely extremely extremely frugal lifestyle and not by choice, I had a series here on this blog called "Needs vs Wants?" I cringe looking back at it and feel bad for myself that I legit was talking about things like whether or not running water, electricity, a fridge, or a cell phone were a need or a want, as well as what the bare minimum furniture and baby supplies someone might need would be. My life has come a long way since then, and I have many things today that past me would have considered a nice extra, but for me are non negotiable. 

However, while I don't usually ask myself whether something is a want or a need, especially since that question is a very triggering one for me, when it comes to large expenses, that is something that I consider. Like there are a few things that I'd like to do that would cost me money but since I can make do without them, I'm waiting on them until I have money saved up to pay for them and still have wiggle room in my finances. This is, from least expensive to more, things like a gluten free toaster (to go along with our current gluten one), a new microwave, a replacement blender since mine is finally on its last legs, building a loft room for my son, and hopefully getting a car. Plus a dishwasher, which I will get to in a second. And since things on the higher end of the price range are more important than the cheaper things, I'd rather the money go to a sinking fund for the more expensive thing than spend it on the cheaper but less important thing.

Here's the thing. I can't wash dishes. I mean, I can, but after about ten minutes I'm in pain, and if I don't stop then and push through the pain and wash more dishes (and I don't mean until my dishes are all washed, just more than 10 minutes) I end up a completely non functional adult and need to lie straight down on my back, can't even sit up, let alone stand up, for hours. 

There are a lot of things my kids do around the house, but dishes is not one they are able to tolerate. My older 2 have major sensory issues with dishes and will literally do anything but that, and my younger two are not old enough/responsible enough to do a good job. And so it is left up to me.

Because of this I have been using disposables as much as possible, but even with that, there are things I can't use disposables for, and those pile up in and next to the sink. There were way too many things piling up and I simply couldn't do it myself, so I hired someone in the neighborhood to come wash my dishes. For about three weeks I had someone come for an hour a few times a week... and I realized that with all the money I'm paying for that, I should just pay to fix my dishwasher.

Oh, did I mention I have a dishwasher? Have for the past 5 years or so. So why was I having issues with dishes, why not use the dishwasher? 

Because my dishwasher, though only 3 years old and supposedly a good company, just wasn't working. I literally tried every single DIY trick in the books, hired 2 professionals to come fix it and they both left having not helped on iota, and then when I tried desperately to find another one months later, I listed everything we did to try to fix it and he said that he's at a loss, so there's no point for me paying him to come since he doesn't have a way to fix it.

Ok, that means my dishwasher essentially was garbage.

But. I didn't have the money to purchase a new dishwasher.

You see, as I'd written recently, I'd fallen off the budgeting wagon and therefore wasn't doing what I should with my money. I was spending more than I should, and hadn't been putting money into my sinking fund for repairs or replacements of appliances. And not only that, when I finally got around to setting up my budget, I'd messed up so bad that I had to dig a little bit into my emergency fund to cover my expenses.

And then getting a dishwasher on top of it all? I didn't have the money for that. I didn't have the money set aside to cover it. Period. I couldn't even take it from other areas in my budget because I didn't have anything to spare there.

I was at a loss what to do. I reached out to some trusted friends and told them that I didn't have money for a dishwasher, but I legitimately couldn't wash the dishes, my house was getting gross and disgusting because of that, I try hiring people to help but they don't have enough hours to give me (hence just one hour at a time) so I just basically am treading water even with paying them, and not actually making a dent in mount dishmore. It was terrible. I even reached out to some local community organizations to see if they could help with this, because I didn't have the money to keep paying people to wash dishes, and wanted to know if they had any volunteers who can come or any way to subsidize the help for me.

My friends put it bluntly. For some people a dishwasher is an extra, and they can manage without it, even if having it would be nice. For me a dishwasher isn't an extra, it's a necessity! This is what an emergency fund is for, they told me. Get the freaking dishwasher. If my fridge or oven broke, I'd use the emergency fund to cover that if I didn't have enough money in my sinking fund, and this is an emergency, I'm desperate.

Ok, fine. Wise friends convinced me. 

I tried, at least if I was looking for dishwashers, to spend as little as possible, as long as it's a good enough company. And not the company my previous lemon was from. I asked for advice regarding which of the cheaper companies were good, and unfortunately, I didn't get any promising results. Everyone kept telling me to get a Bosch, since they are the best and most reliable ones, and it's not worth my getting a cheap dishwasher and needing to replace it again soon. But while I was able to find dishwashers for $315 cheapest (for a really not good company), and the average range of the cheaper dishwashers was $375-$450, Bosch's were $1000 and up. Not worth paying more than twice the price for a better company.

But... lucky me, it was "Black Friday". Yea, my country is weird. At the beginning of November they have this nationwide sale on a specific day, and from then on it's "Black Friday" all November long. (No, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in my country, but they have adopted Black Friday as a sale time anyhow.) And Black Friday means good deals!

I went to check if there were any deals on Bosch dishwashers (the previous prices I'd listed were with the "Black Friday" sale.

I was flabbergasted! I found a Bosch for only $450! In fact, I found 5 different similar models for that price! So I compared reviews and features and bought one!

You have no idea how much I jumped for joy being able to run it for the first time and having clean dishes that I didn't have to break my back for. And when I ran enough loads to finish up the dishes that had been sitting in my sink and counter for far too long, I legitimately cried from happiness.

So, is a dishwasher a want or a need? You'll have to answer that for yourself. But for me? It's definitely, definitely, definitely a real need.

But from now on, I really gotta be sticking to my budget and rebuild my emergency fund, and then rebuild my sinking fund for repairs and replacements of appliances, so that this type of question doesn't arise again.


  1. Thanks for the post. My dishwasher started having a issue, tried to fix it and in the end I just gave up. Since then I've been handwashing. I really want a new dishwasher but at the moment it's a want, not a need. Luckily, my husband will wash the dishes a few times a week and now understands "pre-soak."

    I do plan to replace it eventually and I even have the money saved up for it, but I kinda like my "me" time when I'm doing the dishes. It's peaceful.

    My parents dishwasher broke about 5 years ago and they never replaced it. Don't think they will either.

  2. That sounds like a really good deal! Well done!

  3. After multiple under-warranty visits from an engineer our dishwasher was sorted. He suggested using named brand tablets, cleaning it out etc. He installed a temporary transparent front on the dishwasher to watch the cycle. It turned out that a part had been wrongly installed and not clipped in place so water wasn't making it to the upper sprayer arm. Good job it was under warranty. All that was needed was that he reach into the machine and press the part into place. We had pretty much given up hope by that stage. One person's luxury can be another person's necessity. Hope it brings continued joy!

  4. I will say that I'm a van of Bosch (and Miele, our current dishwasher) mainly because when things go sideways (as they did with our washer) it might take a while but we ended up with an upgraded washer for free. Their warranty is REALLY nice.


Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.