I’m convinced that large appliances are in league against humans. This month we had to replace our dishwasher and our TV and this is not the first time we’ve had a confluence of such events. Revenge of the Appliances hit back in 2016 when our oven, refrigerator and closet door all broke in the same month. Are these coincidences? Or are they evidence of the tenuous hold we have on our modern world? Whatever the (potentially malicious) underlying cause, we bought a dishwasher and a TV in September.

Dishwasher: F-

Littlewoods and the old dishwasher

I am most displeased with our dishwasher because it was only four years old. Far too young to require replacement, in my opinion. I will give you details in case you yourself happen to be in the market for a new dishwasher. Four years ago, we bought a Whirlpool WDT780SAEM, thinking it would last us a decade (at least). It was well rated and seemed like a good compromise between the cheap end and the high end. Not so.

Earlier this year, in synchronization with the start of the pandemic, come to think of it… the Whirlpool stopped doing its one job: cleaning dishes. Our dishes were coming out un-clean and, worse, with what looked like globs of grey mold on them (turns out, it’s called “biofilm”–save yourself; don’t google this). The interior of the dishwasher increasingly resembled a mottled piece of decaying bread, but we figured we could fix it.

First up, Mr. FW took the entire thing apart and cleaned it. Several times. He washed the filters and scrubbed the interior. We ran cleaning cycles, we used dishwasher cleaning cycle cleaning packets, and then–thinking maybe the soap wasn’t releasing properly–we replaced the soap dispenser. Zero success. The dishwasher was indifferent to our ministrations and continued returning grey-speckled dishes.

Fungi: much cuter in the woods than inside my dishwasher…

Time to do more research. Mr. FW learned (thank you, internet) that the bushing in the recirculating impeller pump of this particular Whirlpool is made of plastic. The problem with this is that as it wears down with use, the impeller gets worse and worse at pumping water.

Our conclusion: let’s replace the broken pump bushings. Problem: they don’t sell just the bushings. Second problem: the entire pump costs circa $300, and research shows that a replacement would fail in the same way in another couple of years. Third problem: our dishes are still not getting clean and we have a small to medium-sized hill of daily dishes because all four of us are home all the time and our children eat 59 meals per day.

After exhausting the options of cleaning, replacing, and repairing, we capitulated that the best solution was to buy a new dishwasher. Having been burned by the middle-of-the-road option, we went ahead and paid the price for a somewhat higher end Bosch dishwasher.

Here’s what we bought:

  • Bosch 800 Series
  • Purchased online from AJ Madison (to be clear: not the swingers’ website, the appliance vendor)
  • Delivered to our home; Mr. FW installed it himself, but you can pay AJ Madison extra to install it for you
  • Price: $1,175.65 (includes $35 for them to take our old dishwasher away)
  • My review so far: I absolutely love it. However, only time is going to tell if this thing was worth the cost.
    • What I like most about it (other than the fact that it actually cleans our dishes) is the increased interior capacity. It has a pull-out drawer at the top for silverware, which dramatically increases the capacity of the racks.
    • I can typically fit all of our dishes in for one wash per day unless we do a lot of cooking/baking, in which case I run the 60 minute quick-wash during the day and a longer wash overnight.

Television Set: A+

the girls watching the former TV, feeding each other popcorn…

The TV, on the other hand, I’m not at all angry with since it was 13 years old. We bought it the year before we got married and it served us well. I feel like 13 years is a decent lifespan for an appliance, which is why it earned an A+.

Having not purchased a TV in 13 years, I was delighted to see how inexpensive they are these days. I was initially concerned that they no longer make TVs as small as our previous 37″ and worried that a new TV would eat our living room. No need to worry, we discovered we could mount it to the wall. Mr. FW plans to run the wiring through the wall so that we have a cord-free, free-standing TV screen mounted to the wall. Really, I was sold on the new TV idea as soon as I heard the words “cord-free.” There’s nothing I love more than hidden cords.

Here’s what we bought:

  • TCL, 50” Class 5 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Roku TV. Model:50S535; SKU:6422763
  • Purchased online from Best Buy for curbside pick-up at our Best Buy store
  • Price: $399.99
  • We also bought this wall mount for $22.99 and this recessed box for $27.01 to hold the cords (affiliate links).
  • My review so far: it’s great! It works and it only has one little remote control, which is ideal in my book.
    • I like that it’s mounted to the wall because we no longer have a TV stand taking up space.
    • I like that there’s no chance the kids can knock it over (our old TV was strapped to the wall for child safety, but still)
    • Have I mentioned the no cord thing? LOVE IT.
    • Now that we’ve removed the TV stand and the baby gate from around our woodstove, our family room feels 1,000 times bigger. RIP baby gates, you will not be missed (don’t worry, I didn’t trash them, I handed them down to friends with smaller babies).

Property Taxes

Property taxes for this view: worth every penny

We really piled it on in September as we paid our annual property taxes in full for our 66 acre homestead.

Sometimes folks ask why they don’t see monthly payments for things like property taxes in my Expense Reports and it’s because we typically pay things in full once per year. This bumpiness in our expenses is why I’m such a stickler for tracking your spending every single month.

Case in point: our September spending of $13,460.93 was wildly higher than August’s $2,652.13.

Creating a budget based on just one of those months would result in supreme inaccuracy. Instead, I track every month and focus on my total annual spending. Interestingly, over the years I’ve found that our annual spending often shakes out to be about the same, despite the wild fluctuations we see month to month. Why is this? Because there are ALWAYS things like broken dishwashers and TVs to replace. There will ALWAYS be property taxes and Christmas gifts and new shoes. These things aren’t surprises or emergencies–they’re expected costs to living a life (a life in which I adore the luxury of a dishwasher and a TV).


My sunflowers in September

Ok this actually has nothing to do with unicorns, but that was a much more interesting title than “How To Think About Monthly Expenses.” The other way to accurately track your spending is to divide all your expenses by 12.

If I wanted to average out my spending over the course of the year, I’d take my property tax bill of $9,227.28 and divide by 12, which reveals my monthly property tax cost to be $768.94. I’d also sum expenses like the dishwasher and TV ($1,575.64 total), add in all other appliance/repair purchases this year, and divide the total by 12.

This is what I ask the Reader Case Study participants to do and it’s why their budgets are so thorough and detailed! This is also the approach I take with anyone I’m working with one-on-one–I need to see their spending averaged out over the course of a year, not just one random month in isolation.

You need to know your annual spending because that’s the best way to calibrate your emergency fund. As we often discuss, an emergency fund is three to six months (or more, but not less) worth of your spending. If I only looked at my August 2020 spending of $2,652.13, I’d think I only needed an emergency fund of $7,956.39 (three months) to $15,912.78 (six months).

Conversely, if I only looked at September’s astronomical $13,460.93, I’d deduce I need an emergency fund of $40,382.79 to $80,765.58 (yikes!!!!). But as we know, neither of these numbers are correct. The correct answer is for me to look at my spending over a 12-month period and create an emergency fund calculation from there.

The best way to accurately forecast your future spending, calculate your emergency fund, and set budget goals is to use a tracking system. You can use pen and paper, you can create your own spreadsheet system, or you can use free software to do it for you. Being lazy, I do the last option and use Personal Capital, which I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me mention, but here’s the thing: anytime anyone ever comes to me for advice, the FIRST question I ask is: are you tracking your spending?

Personal Capital: How We Organize Our Expen$e$

Mr. Frugalwoods and I use a free, online service called Personal Capital to keep track of our money (I feel like I just said this, no?).

Kidwoods living her best life: raking the grass from the tractor bucket…

Tracking expenses is one of the best–and easiest–ways to get a handle on your finances. You absolutely, positively cannot make informed decisions about your money if you don’t know how you’re spending it. If you’d like to know more about how Personal Capital works, check out my full write-up.

Without a holistic picture of how much you spend every month, there’s no way to set savings, debt repayment, or investment goals. It’s a must, folks. No excuses. Personal Capital (which is free to use) is a great way for us to systematize our financial overviews since it links all of our accounts together and provides a comprehensive picture of our net worth.

If you’re not tracking your expenses in an organized fashion, you might consider trying Personal CapitalHere’s a more detailed explanation of how I use Personal Capital (note: these Personal Capital links are affiliate links). 

Credits Cards: How We Buy Everything

Mr. Frugalwoods and I purchase everything we possibly can with credit cards because:

  1. It’s easier to track expenses. No guesswork over where a random $20 bill went; it all shows up in our monthly expense report from Personal Capital. I spend less money because I KNOW I’m going to see every expense listed at the end of each month. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how I use Personal Capital for my expense tracking (and other stuff too).
  2. We get rewards. Credit card rewards are a simple way to get something for nothing. Through the cards we use, Mr. FW and I get cash back as well as hotel and airline points just for buying stuff we were going to buy anyway.
  3. We build our credit. Since Mr. FW and I don’t carry debt other than our mortgages, having several credit cards open for many years helps our credit scores. It’s a dirty myth that carrying a balance on your credit card helps your credit score–IT DOES NOT. Paying your cards off IN FULL every month and keeping them open for many years does help your score.
The Glamour Shed rocking September

For more on my credit card strategy, check out The Frugalwoods Guide to a Simple, Yet Rewarding, Credit Card Experience. I also wrote this guide on how to find the best credit card for you.

If you want a simple cash back credit card, here are a few good options that don’t have annual fees:

1) The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card:

  • This one’s good because it offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no categories to keep track of, you just get a straightforward 1.5% cash back on everything you buy. Nice, easy, and fee-free!
  • What this means is that if you spend, for example, $1,000 on this card in a month, you’ll get $15 back.
  • Plus, if you spend $500 in the first three months of having this card, you’ll get $150.

2) The Chase Freedom Unlimited:

  • Also offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases–with no categories or restrictions–which makes it super simple to use.
  • You can earn up to 5% cash back in specific categories as well, which makes it really attractive to folks who can track their spending carefully.
  • This card also offers you $200 if you spend $500 in the first three months of having it.

3) The TD Cash Visa® Credit Card:

  • This card gives you 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Plus, if you spend $500 within 90 days of opening an account, you’ll get $150 back.
  • And, there’s no annual fee!

4) The Citi® Double Cash Card:

  • Gives you a total of 2% cash back (1% at the time of purchase and 1% when you pay your credit card bill).
  • This is a really good cash back percentage and it means that if you spent, for example, $2,000 on this card in a month, you’d get $40 back, just for using the card! Not bad.
  • I also like this card because there are no categories for purchases–anything you buy with the card is eligible for the 2% cash back, which makes is super simple to use.

If you’re more interested in travel rewards, a lot of people love the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

The best way to find a credit card that’ll work for you is to search for it yourself; I have a guide to help you do just that: The Best Credit Cards (and Credit Card Rewards)!

Huge caveat to credit card usage: you MUST pay your credit card bills in full every single month, with no exceptions. If you’re concerned about your ability to do this, or think using credit cards might prompt you to spend more, then stick with a debit card or cash. But if you have no problem paying that bill in full every month? I recommend you credit card away, my friend! (note: the credit card links are affiliate links).

Cash Back Earned This Month: $52.21

Kidwoods climbing a tree in our woods

The silver lining to our spending is our cash back credit card. We earn 2% cash back on every purchase made with our Fidelity Rewards Visa and this month, we spent $2,610.48 on that card, which netted us $52.21.

Not a lot of money, perhaps, but it’s money we earned for buying stuff we were going to buy anyway! This is why I love cash back credit card rewards–they’re the simplest way to earn something for nothing.

Yes, We Only Paid $29.57 for Cell Phone Service (for two phones)

Our cell phone service line item is not a typ0 (although that certainly is). We really and truly only paid $29.57 for both of our phones (that’s $14.78 per person for those of you into division). How is such trickery possible?!? We use the MVNO Ting (affiliate link). What’s an MVNO? Glad you asked because I was going to tell you anyway: It’s a cell phone service re-seller.

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of the cell phone service world–it’s the same service, but A LOT cheaper. If you’re not already using an MVNO, switching to one is easy, slam-dunk, do-it-right-away to save money every single month of every single year forever and ever amen. More here: My Frugal Cell Phone Service Trick: How I Pay $10.65 A Month*

*the amount we pay fluctuates every month because it’s calibrated on what we use. Imagine that! We only pay for what we use! Will wonders ever cease.

Expense Report FAQs

  • Littlewoods got A LOT of mileage out of our pizza & puppets outing

    Want to know how we manage the rest of our money? Check out How We Manage Our Money: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Family Accounts. We also own a rental property in Cambridge, MA, which I discuss here.

  • Why do I share our expenses? To give you a sense of how we spend our money in a values-based manner. Your spending will differ from ours and there’s no “one right way” to spend and no “perfect” budget.
  • Are we the most frugal frugal people on earth? Absolutely not. My hope is that by being transparent about our spending, you might gain insights into your own spending and be inspired to take proactive control of your money.
  • Wondering where to start with managing your money? Take my free, 31-day Uber Frugal Month Challenge. If you’re interested in other things I love, check out Frugalwoods Recommends.
  • Why don’t you buy everything locally? We do our best to support our local community and we buy as much of our food as possible directly from our farmer neighbors. Our town doesn’t have any stores, so we do rely on ordering online and larger big box stores for necessities like toilet paper. The closest stores are 45 minutes away and Mr. FW goes once a month to stock up on what we can’t get from our neighbors or online.

But Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z???

Wondering about common expenses you don’t see listed below?

If you’re wondering about anything else, feel free to ask in the comments section!

Alright you frugal money voyeurs, feast your eyes on every dollar we spent in September:

Item Amount Notes
Property Taxes $9,227.28 Annual property taxes on our 66 acres, house, and barn
VT mortgage $1,392.86
Dishwasher $1,175.65 Dishwasher. See above for all the details!
Groceries $509.21 All the foods including local flour, eggs, and more. We buy everything possible from our farmer neighbors, eat our own garden produce, and get the rest from BJ’s (a club store similar to Costco and Sam’s Club).
A TV $399.99 TV. See above for all the details!
Beer $153.26 Fancy craft beers
Wine and alcohol $137.77 A stock-up on wine and assorted spirits
Household supplies $115.96 Thrilling items such as: dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, dental floss, toothpaste, art supplies for the kids, toilet paper, etc.
Gas for cars $78.82
Internet $72.00 LOVE our Fiber internet service
Wall mount and recessed box for the TV $49.75 TV wall mount and recessed box (affiliate links). See above for all the details!
Pizza and a puppet show! $49.02 A local farm held an outdoor pizza-eating and puppet show performance for families; our girls were in heaven. Having been nowhere in months, it was lovely to be outside with neighbors and friends and to support two local businesses: the farm and the puppeteers!
Cell phone service for two phones $29.57 This is so cheap because we use an MVNO called Ting (affiliate link).

MVNOs resell wireless service at discounted rates (but it’s the same service).

MVNOs are the TJ Maxx of cell phone service. If you’re not using an MVNOcheck out this post to see if you can make the switch. The savings are tremendous.

Compost bin $23.27 Compost bin (affiliate link). We needed a second compost bin and this model has served us well, so we got another one. We have our veggie scraps in one bin and our meat/dairy in the other.

I like that this bin isn’t plastic, it’s not enormous, and it has 100% effective odor blocking (you can remove and clean the filter!). Since they’re stainless steel, I can scrub the entire thing down as needed and wash the filters.

Utilities: Electricity $20.00 We have solar (which I detail here); this is our monthly base price for remaining grid tied.
Diesel $19.23 Diesel for the tractor
De-skunker $7.29 De-skunk soap (affiliate link). To be clear, no one has yet been skunked. We bought this prophylactically realizing we have two VERY curious and adventurous pre-schoolers and that being without skunk remover was not a position we wanted to find ourselves in.
TOTAL: $13,460.93

How was your September?

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  1. We have a Bosch dishwasher and paid about the same for it. It is worth every penny. It is so quiet you can’t even tell that it is on (there is a red light that shines n the floor). I also never have to pre rinse the dishes and I can even through my pots and pans in there sometimes when I have space. It also has a built in water softener. I LOVE it.

  2. I had a Bosch dishwasher in my last house and it was a marvel. It was super quiet in addition to being wonderfully effective.

  3. We have a Bosch, which replaced a failing dishwasher when we bought our house, and absolutely love it. It cleans so well, and 6 years in has been very reliable. Another bonus is it’s so quiet. I think you’ll be happy with your choice.

  4. Ha! Our whirlpool dishwasher also bit the dust last month and we, too, went with a Bosch — 800 series also. So far we are impressed, but time will tell.

  5. We now own two TCL Roku TVs (one was a hand-me-down from my tech-savvy brother, who wanted a different screen size but vouched for the quality of the TCL). So far, over a year in, they are great! It is amazing how cheap they are these days.

  6. We had a Kenmore dishwasher that we bought shortly after we bought the house (there was no space for it, had to built a spot), so … prob bought it in 2005? It lasted a good 10+ years but we have VERY hard water and it needed replacing a few years ago. Hard water deposits everywhere.

    We replaced it with a more expensive Bosch, and it has a special place to add salt for water softening. It’s amazing.

    Last year, our 2001 Kenmore fridge died (replaced with another Kenmore, $350, a 2018 model. Very basic, no water filter no ice maker).
    This year, our 2006 Microwave died.
    Last year, our 2004 Gas oven sort of started limping. We lost the big burner (replacement is very expensive) and the oven only sometimes hits the right temp. That’s an easier fix. Instead, I’ve shopped around for new ovens over the last year, and I know at least what they were selling for in feb (which is $200 less than now and $400 less than MSRP).

    So…Thanksgiving holiday sales it is, for that one.

  7. We bought a top of the line Kitchen Aid dishwasher, with the third level pull out for silverware, and t has been worth it too. It has been working well for several years. Our Kenmore refrigerator has so many problems the first year that the appliance repair people recommended I extend the warranty. I did so and it has been worth it as it was the first model of this kind with a split door on top and freezer on the bottom and they have since changed the newer models. Now that so many things were fixed, it is working well without problems but I keep paying the warranty.

  8. Wishing you the best of luck. We also have dealt with dishwasher troubles. The only thing we ever buy extended warranties for is household appliances. Our current dishwasher (kitchenaid) started having issues less than two years after we bought it. We had the repairman out 6 (!!) times, each time he would replace a different part. The last and final fix was a whole new operator board. They should have just given us a new one – it would have been cheaper. The upside is we basically have a brand new dishwasher. The downside is I don’t hold hope that it will last any longer. I will look forward to seeing how your new one holds up. It is very frustrating to not have appliances last like they used to. Our first washer and dryer set lasted 22+ years. In the past 8 years, we have had to buy two new sets.

    1. Agreed. I buy ten years of warranty at a time because if you do that at the time of purchase, years 6-10 cost the same as years 1-5….If you wait the second five years are much more expensive. And modern appliances sadly don’t hold up well.

    2. Kitchenaid used to be a solid brand, I still have the microwave, oven, stove top, and dishwasher from when we did the kitchen 16 years ago. Today, their stuff is junk, it’s such a shame.

  9. I bought a smaller, cheaper TCL Roku TV in December and have been very happy with it so far. I’m not gonna lie, it’s gotten a workout during the pandemic! My only caution is that it’s so light that if you don’t mount it and you have pets or kids, it is easy for it to be knocked over.

    My last house had a Bosch dishwasher and I would absolutely spring for one if I needed a replacement. My current house came with a Whirlpool, which is so far acceptable – but I’ll be watching it carefully from now on, lol.

  10. I hear you on appliances being out for revenge or something. I think they are. About that, though…. My daughter’s Bosch dishwasher runs fine except it clogs on the regular. Her husband found out he could unclog it by running a shop vac on the hose, avoiding service calls. We bought a Bosch and it was a problem from word go. Turns out, Bosch didn’t put the correct stiffening in the top of the washer, and it would unlock itself and quit running midcycle. Only 9 months of dealing with it and the seller and the company to get it fixed. Then a simple power outage killed it. The repair was going to be nearly $500 so we said no more, after only 3 years with it. About that time, our Bosch clothes washer failed completely although it had run for about 8 years, at least. So…. good luck with yours, and I’m sincere, not snarky, when I say that. I hope it works well for a long, long time. Our dishwasher is now a plain little old $300 GE and it cleans great. Our theory is that any brand can provide either a wonderful appliance or a real lemon. You cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    I see the kids are enjoying the fall sunshine. Fall – what a great time to live on a farm!

  11. Love our Bosch DW! It’s 15 years old and has only had some minor ailments in that time, all within the last 3 years. We had to replace the filter screen under the bottom panel, then we needed a new bottom rack because we completely wore out the original and we just recently replaced the water inlet valve because it finally went caput…while we were on vacation. Thank goodness for a savvy house sitter!! It’s still cleaning like a champ!

      1. I’d like more info, too, such as which insurance company, type of plan, details, and whatever amounts or costs are comfortable to share. And, of course, if you’re happy with it. What other options did the employer offer, and how did you choose? It’s probably already been addressed, since you are remarkably thorough. I’ll search around later, unless there’s a quick link. Much appreciated.

  12. We just had the same thing happen – our GE dishwasher (brand new with the house), died after 3.5 years. Cleaned everything out, replaced the water intake valve, etc until we decided to get a new dishwasher. Went with a Kitchen Aid and it is a marvel! Being without a dishwasher during this time was awful, so I was so happy when it finally got here!

  13. I am so on board with frugality and expense tracking, but HOW can I convince friends who whine about money to do the same? To me, it is so empowering, especially if one is trying to retire early or save money for a particular item/experience. Please tell me HOW!!

    1. You can’t.. help someone who doesn’t want help. I am losing a nearly 50 year friendship because I want her to feel the freedom of be debt free. But she won’t listen.
      Note: she is 64 years old and lives with us because she can’t afford to rent an apartment on her own. Bad credit, owes friends and family $$, and creditors are calling her all the time. But she gets 1 to 3 packages a day from different stores. She is constantly telling me “you need this or that” I told her I hate clutter and I have gone this long without it.. so no thanks. Life here is no longer fun.. We need to do something soon. But I know it will destroy our friendship.

      1. Becky this was my sister who lived with us off and on for the last 8 years. She was frugal but did not want to take responsibility for her own life and looking after herself, it was easier to live free with big sister in her house. A year ago we parted ways and she and her boyfriend left to build a tiny house and squat on a farmer’s land out in the country. We are still friends but distant.

    2. You cannot. You can give advice if asked specifically, share any tips you have and then you must, must, must leave it at that.

      If someone keeps asking and then ignoring the response you can then say ”we’ve talked this over a few times now, I think the subject is kind of done to death, let’s rather talk about X or Y”. Obviously you’d tailor that to the friend and the scenario, certainly not to humiliate or be mean, but I get that it’s very, very frustrating to watch people relentlessly, seemingly deliberately make ridiculous mistakes (financial or otherwise), but sometimes the whining is simply blowing off steam and they don’t actually want advice.

      I struggle with this myself and battle to shut up when I can SEE someone really going off the rails in some way, but unless they actually ask seriously and specifically, it’s not my business. SO HARD.

      1. Caroline, I hear you, and I agree. It is very frustrating. My friend for 40 years is bewildered that my husband and I are going to retire soon (in our late 50’s), and she states that she and her husband “live paycheck to paycheck” but she goes on a European vacation each year! She actually did ask me to help her analyze her finances, but then she said, only AFTER she and her sister figure out her parents’ situation (her father has dementia and her mother is taking care of him). So, I hope she actually will allow me to sit down with her, but I can tell from her general mentality and spending habits that we think about money/spending very differently. She will just have to work a lot longer before she retires!

  14. Bosch all the way…we have two, one is almost 20 years old and is in our rental kitchen – we had to replace the seal about six years ago – and the other we bought about 6 years ago after the success of the dishwasher in our rental property. I am a fan of the quiet as we have a very open plan for both our living area and our rental living area.

  15. We bought a Bosch dishwasher in November 2013, and we’ve been happy with it the entire time.

    The appliance i hated the most was the GE washing machine. We bought the original in 2007 and hated it almost from the get-go. It was one of the earlier front loading machines and you had to keep the door open otherwise the entire rubber gasket got covered in mold. Learned that the hard way. Turns out the rubber gaskets still break down. We replaced it three times. Then it developed a small leak. This seemed to be no problem, as it just dripped about a quarter cup per cycle, which we easily collected underneath. Well, turns out that the washing machine was weighted by several chunks of concrete. Those pieces of concrete had metal rebar. Said metal rebar started rusting and eventually caused the concrete to crumble. Literally in the middle of a cycle we heard this catastrophic collapse.

    That was that. We replaced it with an LG top loader. Which so far has been awesome.

    Even though the GE washing machine gave us over 11 years, I still rated it a D- because, honestly, it was an annoyance from almost Day 1.

  16. Same with the dishwasher problems. In our case, we called our local appliance store – we’ve only dealt with them for over 20 years – for a repairman to come to the house. I told him that it was only 4 years old and he stated “Ma’am, that’s as long as they last now. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and that’s what I’ve come to know.” So rather than pay the $423 repair bill we just did without a dishwasher for a year and then , like you, did our research and bought a new one then. I learned a few things along the way – like yes, I really do like having a dishwasher – even more so than a dryer or tv – and how appliances are now made. Wishing you long lasting luck with yours!

  17. Gone are the days when appliances, in particular, were built to last. Ad, of course, frustratingly, when they break whatever warranty coverage you once had always seems to have lapsed so you can’t rely on that in kind. Too many elastic and other weak material components. At the higher ends components MAY BE stronger (never know for sure) but when they throw in the bells & whistles, especially some form of computerization, the cost of repairing those can skyrocket in kind. It’s really a tool of the dice. Sometimes you get lucky and whatever you purchased just seems to pass the test of time while other times your lucky if it doesn’t read, again, before the warranty expired. We’ve generally been lucky but, like everyone else, there’s always something that seems to break sooner rather than later. If only things were still built to last with components that didn’t drive the upfront price through the roof. But, there’s a reason home life has been called a “many pit” at times.

    1. We were shopping for a new washing machine and the salesperson advised us to stay away from a lot of features unless we are absolutely sure we are going to use them because the motherboards go out much faster. We ended up with a very plain Maytag washer that has been a champ for a decade now.

  18. It is probably about being lucky with appliances. We always buy the cheapest (around $400) dishwasher, stove, fridge, etc. from Home Depot and haven’t had a problem for 13 years now (even in rental apartments). You may consider an extended warranty instead of an expensive appliance. They are all made in the same factory in China. The higher price is for better features, not for better craftsmanship.

    1. Anna, I too have my 16 year old appliances from when we redid the kitchen, but just in the last 7-8 years companies stopped using quality parts in anything that’s under $3-4K. They want you to have to keep buying replacements to boost their bottom line, and put low-cost “upgrades” like app connectivity that keep sucking people in to buy more of their junk. Those “upgrades” are usually the first thing to break. lol

      1. Wow .. I’m literally afraid to buy any appliance or technology now. Last year we had to buy a computer for my daughter who was starting in college. She chose a nice HP for $700. The operating system collapsed after 2 weeks, she brought it back and they gave her another one of the exact same computer. It too broke down after 1 week. The guy in the store said once a year a whole line of electronic devices comes completely defective out of the factory. It’s really scary because whether it’s an appliance or an electronic device, they all cost A LOT of money! I try to buy extended warranties whenever possible.

      1. Hi Dianne, hopefully that means better quality. I don’t mind paying more for better craftsmanship in the USA, but definitely not $1000 for a dishwasher. The last one we got from Freecycle, a little noisy and probably at least 10 years old, but works well.

  19. we also own a Bosch dishwasher and love it. Have had it for several years. Whisper quiet and does a fantastic job. We are on well water as well.

  20. We inherited an older model of a Bosch dishwasher from my parents that we installed in our last house, AND IT HAS RUINED ME FOR ALL OTHER DISHWASHERS. Seriously, though.

    We’re about to move into our new home, and I’m already trying to mentally prepare myself for the frustrations that inevitably seem to come with non-Bosch dishwashers. Maybe I’d just better start saving up for a replacement now, ha ha!

  21. UGH I swear that appliances are made to last a max of 5 years anymore. Our dishwasher needs replacing too. It is still actually cleaning the dishes (I hope), but isn’t actually drying them at all anymore. I’m over hand-drying 2 loads of dishes per day. Like your dishwasher, replacing whatever part needs replacing would cost the better part of a new dishwasher.

    Just so you know for the future, the racks inside the dishwasher sell REALLY well on Ebay. They’re really fast to list since you know the model number of the dishwasher that they came from, and a cinch to ship since you can print a fedex label and just schedule a pickup. Every time I see a dishwasher on the curb (which is pretty often where I live in FL), I stop and see if the racks are still inside and in good shape. The 2 racks together usually bring north of $100 plus shipping. It’s a nice way to get back some money towards the new dishwasher! I keep a stash of larger cardboard boxes that I’ve found on the curb in the garage for just such occasions 🙂

    1. Why do people buy the dishwasher racks? Because their dishwasher works but the racks broke? That seems strange , but maybe I’ve just been lucky.
      Re: hand-drying dishes- why? They will air-dry fast and free, whether you hand-wash and leave in dish drainer (or on towels) on counter, or just open the dishwasher when it’s done and pull the racks out so the air can get in there. I’m pretty old, dealt with thousands or maybe millions of dishes. The only time I ever dried dishes was as a kid. My friend had 11 siblings and they used every dish, utensil, pot, glass, etc. for every meal! Leaving those out to dry would have taken up the whole kitchen, plus her sainted mother had to start cooking again as soon as the previous meal was done.

      1. The rubber coating wears out in corners and tips and it rusts after a very long time. Our dishwasher is very old and we have found inexpensive parts for small fixes on repairclinic.com and replaced them ourselves a few times. When the top rack went bad we were lucky they had one.

  22. We had the same thing happen with this dishwasher model that we have had for 3 years. My husband did some magic to switch the side the of plastic that was wearing down a few months ago, so hopefully we get 3 more years out of it. Fingers crossed! From his research it seems like a very common issue.

  23. I hear you on the nonsense that buying new appliances! We bought a maytag washer and dryer 5 years ago and the washer bit it this summer. We tried trouble shooting and fixing it ourselves, and then when that failed paid $113 for a service call to find out the damage was so huge it would cost more than a new one to fix. We had to wait a few weeks for the replacement to come in stock and as dramatic as I know I’m being going to the laundromat was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life. Probably. We replaced the maytag with the highest end LG washer we could buy, which even on sale and with a government discount for energy efficiency cost us what the washer AND dryer cost 5 years ago. I’m in love for now, but if it dies in 5 years we’ve decided we will buy the cheapest washer on the market if these things are basically being made to be disposable these days. It’s just frustrating how wasteful we are as a society.

    1. That’s what we did when we got our new washer and dryer. The set we were replacing was top-of-the-line but required SO many repairs that I swear we paid for them twice. I convinced DH that we should buy the cheapest set because they die every 5 years anyways. It’s frustrating to have to landfill appliances every 5 years, but if that’s reality then I agree with spending as little as possible on them.

      1. When you need one again try an appliance repair shop. We bought a washer from one. It is the best and quietest washing machine we have ever had and has a bigger load capacity. He only repairs non digital ones so it will probably last a long time. We loved it so much I went back when we wanted a small freezer. We bought one for $60 that someone gave him to sell as they needed a larger one.

  24. I pay nearly the same property taxes on a 2200 sq ft house with 3/4 acre. 🤦‍♀️

    We just bought a Bosch refrigerator because like you, I am so tired of replacing disposable appliances. Fingers crossed it was worth the extra $$!E

  25. Oh I hear you on the appliances! The dishwasher that came with my (new) house was a cheapie — but lasted 12 solid years. It replacement, my current DW — barely 5 years. I had it repaired in December to replace a plastic part that failed — and caused massive leaking. Then the heating element went in February and I planned to wait until after pandemic to have it replaced…. However, I’ll probably go with a cheapie again. I’m considering a similar $300 GE model. Why?

    Many years ago (1981) I bought a Kenmore canister vac. It was fabulous. Added the beater bar attachment and it worked its magic for over 25 years. But it was heavy, the beater bar was started to act up so I treated myself (yes, strange treat) to a new Kenmore vacuum as I had such a great experience with the old one. When I told the saleswoman this, she said “well the new ones wont last that long”. And she was right. Five years and I had to replace it.

    This planned obsolescence was confirmed by my trusty appliance repairman. I’ve had my Kenmore bottom freezer serviced 2 or 3 times in its 22 year life. His first visit he confirmed that appliances just aren’t made to last and unless the cost to repair is close to the price of new, you’re better off sticking with the old. Fingers crossed on the suite of appliances that are the backbone of my home.

    And I do agree with JD — sometimes it’s luck of the draw. Good luck to all of us getting sold, reliable products.

    Oh I miss the days when companies bragged about how long their products lasted!

  26. I’d love to know more about how you handle your meat and dairy scraps. Do you compost it yourself? Do you get critters? I love my compost, but we are vegetarian and only have very little dairy that ends up in the bin. Cool stuff!

    1. Our town collects meat & dairy compost scraps, so we take those with us to the dump each week. We compost all the veggie stuff in our garden

      1. I had the same question and was perusing the comments to see if it had already been asked. Very cool that your town does this. Were you aware of this before moving? We’ve recently come to the decision that we’ll be moving, and want to explore rural areas (likely more NH – but maybe VT too!). Any advice on how to find out more about town services like this?

        1. Vermont now has a composting law. I composted for years when I has my home, but am finding it harder now I am in an apartment.

          1. No space, no sun/heat and no ventilation. Many urban pests just waiting for an easy snack and a new home. Using 3 or 4 brown parts for each green part saved me.

  27. We needed to replace our dishwasher this past summer. We researched and found Bosch or KitchenAid to be the best on the Market. We checked both brands out. I liked the 3rd pull out shelf on the KitchenAid, only about a 1/3 is for silverware, the other side has room for other items. The door on the KitchenAid felt heavier, than the Bosch. Went with the KitchenAid. Neither do a great job of drying plastic, but we don’t use much plastic, so it is ok. I do not use the fan dry – just the normal heating element without the fan. Seems to dry everything well. Love how clean my dishes come out. I also use the Sani-cycle. It just makes me feel better with Covid around. Good choice, Liz.

  28. I just bought a new dishwasher from Costco to replace one from the 90s. Still works, it will go in a rental house. I used the costco visa and bought an extended warranty… I now have a 7 yr warranty since I combined both. Wanted to mention it in case it helps anyone. Did this with all my ancient appliances this year.

  29. And, of course, my Bosch bit the dust after four years, and I swore to never buy that brand again! Now I have a Whirlpool, and it is also terrible! Someday I’ll find a good one, haha…

  30. Bosch all the way baby. Our dishwasher is rocking near the 20 yr mark. My mother in law suggested it for the noise factor alone. Our three boys have since moved on and we don’t entertain as much, but we are thankful to have made a solid purchase that has proved the test of time.

  31. I have an electric hand mixer passed down from my mum which is older than me (I’m 41). She bought it from the docks in Port Said on her way through to Australia. I dread it breaking as it always makes me think of my mum.

    $1200 seems expensive for a dishwasher but it’s been a long time since I’ve bought one. My old one is in storage as I’ve been living in rented for 6 years. It is such a shame that stuff isn’t made to last. My iPad is about seven years old and starting to struggle now because Apple stopped upgrades for it, but I know tech is basically like dog years so my iPad is in effect the same age as me!

    I like glamour shed. Do you have any plans for it? I thought you could let the girls go wild with it as a Wendy house. Actually at the moment you could probably Air B&B it as remote cabin in the woods and make a fortune. Throw in some carrots and a jar of maple syrup and you’ll be booked up til Christmas 😀

  32. My parents built their house in 1994 and replaced their Bosch with a new Bosch in 2016. So quiet. Good longevity.

  33. Bought this house 10 years ago. The ASKO dishwasher came with the house and is now 20 years old and still running. Best dishwasher I’ve ever owned. Easy to use, analog, and the dishes come out very clean. Not to jinx it, but would buy it again…made in Sweden.

  34. BTW, our upstairs Old tv died in April, Philips Magnavox, circa 1990s, and we purchased an LG flat screen, 50” tv yesterday on sale from Best Buy. Our other LG Flat screen is 10 years old and running great. Do appliances DIE in 3s ??? Hope not…

  35. We also purchased our Bosch dishwasher from AJ Madison! It’s only 3 years old, but we love, love, love it. Let’s hope they last at least a decade.

  36. Our 26 year old dishwasher (GE) is still plugging along and washing dishes wonderfully. In March we replaced a tv with a larger one, also a 50″, RCA that was delivered free from Walmart – only cost a little over $200 – as I thought Mom deserved a larger screen if she was going to be stuck inside for the foreseeable future. Our stove, also 26 years old, looks like crap from all the years of cooking, but I could never justifying buying a new one just so it would look pretty! The next owners of our house can put in all new appliances in the exact models they want, or keep using the ugly, old ones until they eventually break down.

  37. It’s all about built-in or planned obsolescence! That’s why we all must get behind the Right To Repair movement.

  38. I feel like I’m having déjà vu reading your dishwasher account. We also had a Whirlpool dishwasher, which pooped out. And I also ended up replacing it with a Bosch. Love it so far. Only downside is it always beeps when a load is done, and so we never run it at night when we’re sleeping.
    Knowing when to repair and when to replace an appliance can be tricky, though I usually take a crack at repairing–if only to expand my knowledge of how stuff works. So even if I can’t repair something, it’s not a total loss, as I usually learn something for next time. I wrote this piece about my approach to DIY repairs if anyone is interested: https://frugalmatic.com/how-to-succeed-at-the-diy-repair-even-when-you-fail/

  39. Biofilm? Haha! I get to see biofilm occasionally at work, only it’s the human kind and not the food kind. 😉 LOVE the suggestion for hiding the cords! Seeing mine all the time drives me berserk! Not much I can do about it, since my TV is in front of my brick fireplace. If it were my forever home, I’d build the front out and feed electrical wires through it, but I assume my current home will become a rental eventually. In the meantime, I’ll envy your cord-free situation.

    P.S. LOVE the sunflowers in your kitchen, along with the cute little pink dress! And best wishes for long lives on those new appliances.

  40. Thank you, Mrs Frugalwoods for helping me think creatively about how to spend money. My frig is only 5 years old but the ice maker broke. I live in Las Vegas so an ice maker is mandatory. I love lots of ice in my drinks & ice is my dog’s favorite snack. I considered have a repairman come out but instead I bought a tabletop ice maker that makes Sonic-like ice! It cost ~$180 from Amazon. Before I started reading Frugalwoods, I would have just gone out & bought a new frig. Once again, you saved me many $$. Thanks

  41. Another Bosch lover here. Six years and still going strong. The dealer said one reason it is quieter is that the grinder that chews up any food that flakes off is not as strong so the filter needs to be emptied more often. I’m happy to do a bit more cleaning in exchange for quiet cycles.

  42. Could someone help me with this? I look at my accounts all the time, but I’m finally trying to make a detailed budget and track every penny. But I’m confused: If I charge, say, groceries, do I count that for the present month’s budget or for the next month (when I pay my credit card)?

    I’ve gotten myself in a pickle because I had to pay several credit cards this month. And they will all be 0 this month, but if I also charge something, how do I count that? I get paid every other week. Every paycheck has a fair amount going to my 401K, but otherwise, I pretty much use it all every month. So, right now I can’t cover anything with ’emergency money.’ Thanks

    1. Great question! My accountant at work (small office) said to just choose a method and be consistent. For us, we went with when the bills are paid. So if I charge something in July, but pay the bill in Sept. it goes in September. If I pre-pay a November bill in Sept, it goes in Sept. I’m very interested, though, in how the “experts” (Frugalwoods) suggest!

  43. The picture of Littlewoods standing on the chair like that makes me nervous…where’s that wooden thing your husband built? It looked much safer.

  44. My TCL smart tv lasted 18 months before the screen went black. Very common LED problem. I hope yours lasts longer:)

  45. I loved my Bosch dishwasher. It lasted a far while but not more than eight years. Having said that my ex husband was dreadfully har don all appliances and used to cost a fortune replacing everything he damaged beyond repair.

  46. I highly recommend Bosch dishwashers.. quiet, energy/water efficient – just DON’T forget to rinse the filter every week (trust me, it becomes a habit). I’d also recommend Electrolux washer/dryer. Again quiet, nags you to clean it, and energy/water efficient. What I don’t like about the dryer (minor nit) is only 4 timed dry settings – no pick your own but I’ll live.

  47. Woodstove questions, since you brought up the gate! We just installed a woodstove in Sept, and this will be our first year heating with it. Even though our kids are 11, 7, and 3, we went ahead and got a gate to put around it, because I was so worried about a kid (likely the smallest one) zipping through the house and tripping into the 500+ degree stove. Is yours in an area that makes that less likely, or are your kids just really good around the stove? I would LOVE to not have the gates there, which eat up a lot of visual space in our kitchen, and which both my husband and I hate… but I sort of figured we were stuck with them for a good long while. You give me hope that maybe it isn’t actually necessary!

    Also – I believe yours is a catalyst stove – we bought a hybrid Green Mountain stove from Hearthstone, and I’m wondering what your daily “routine” with your stove looks like, i.e. how often do you load it to keep the house at a comfy temp? It’s been hard to gauge ours so far, because in the shoulder season it makes much of the house crazy toasty (If it is in the 40s outside, just getting it up to cruising temp for the catalyst means it will be 80 degrees in the room it is in, above 80 in the loft above it, 72-4 even in the back rooms of the house). I’m sure that will change as the outdoors gets colder, but I’ve been trying to imagine what a day with the woodstove will look like, from the perspective of the person who is home during the day and will do at least half the feeding of it 🙂 Any insight into the daily rythym would be helpful. For instance, I think we all sleep better in a cool house, but that seems like it will be at odds with the need to fill the woodstove up at bedtime so that it can be putting out at least some heat until morning. I’m also wondering whether you feel ok leaving the house in the winter with the woodstove unattended! I actually SHOULD know the answers to a lot of these questions, because I grew up in a house that *only* had a wood furnace – no backup whatsover – and so I’m not totally unfamiliar with feeding the fire, nor did we ever question leaving for a few hours in the daytime (the concern there was never safety, but rather trying not to be gone so long that the fire would go out!). However a decade or so of cushy automatic heating systems has left me soft 😉

  48. I also don’t do the “dry” cycle – automatic which actually takes the time it displays. When that time shows longer, time to add rinse agent. AND makes it clear “clean” after the cycle. Can you tell I love mine? Never had a dishwasher growing up nor until my youngest was 17. Suffice it to say I run the dishwasher 99% of the time (I load based on unloading).

  49. We just bought a GE profile dishwasher for $700. Our last one lasted over ten years. Is paying property taxes in an annual lump sum required? If not, is that a good financial deal?

    1. They pay taxes up front so that their community has the money. They can afford to do it that way and feel like the small town is helped by receiving the lump sum up front. She has mentioned it in prior posts, but not of late. 🙂

  50. We have a Bosch dishwasher with the 3rd rack on top and absolutely love it. I always use the Speed 60 cycle and my dishes always come clean. The machine is whisper quiet too. I do find that Tupperware & plastics don’t dry very well unless I open the machine after the cycle is done, pull out the racks and let the dishes air dry. By the next morning, everything is dry.

  51. I am totally convinced that the appliances talk to each other and plan their breakdowns together because it is never just one having issues. As for cars, I believe that they are jealous of each other. But one a new set of tires and the other one needs new brakes, etc. It’s all a conspiracy against humans.

  52. Our 10 year old Fisher & Paykel bit the dust in July and we’ve pretty much been in lockdown in Melbourne since then, essential repairs only allowed. Sadly I don’t think fixing/replacing the dishwasher counts as essential. I know there are way bigger problems but I absolutely loathe washing dishes.

  53. I saw the headline of your post and laughed because we bought a dishwasher in September too. The one we had was probably close to twenty years old and had been on the brink of failing for several years. It finally produced an intermittent electrical fault right before the pandemic, which meant it would stop working for weeks at a time. Our dryer died in May (also twenty years old). We rigged up a clothesline and carried on. In September, with the colder weather coming (we’re in Ontario) we knew we had to bite the bullet.

    My sister bought a dishwasher a year or so ago and her partner did a ton of research and found that Bosch came out on top for reliability and other factors. So we just looked at that brand. On the day, the model we’d picked was back ordered but we got a great deal on a slightly different one (both 800 series) that has the MyWay third rack and I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It is so quiet and the third rack fits all our spatulas or cereal bowls or the kids’ containers from school (we use the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox).

    The main complaint online seems to be about plastic not drying, but it’s so quiet we run it straight after dinner and then we just leave it open overnight. Everything is dry in the morning. (Our old one was so loud we couldn’t even watch a movie in the living room if it was running).

  54. We bought a Bosch a few months ago to replace the Bosch that came with the house (it was probably the original but we don’t know. So, at least 14 years old or as much as 21.) The biggest debate was whether to get freestanding or integrated. Wish our cabinets seemed likely to outlive the dishwasher but I have my doubts. So we went freestanding.
    Would you consider a post on office furniture? I’ve seen photos of you working on a laptop, and I reckon sourcing office furniture frugally can be done the same as with other furniture. But I guess we’re not alone in our tech infrastructure taking over the house at the moment. There are three of us working from home, and one of us has just been asked to accommodate at least four monitors…possibly more. My only thought is that- somehow- we have to go vertical with some of these. Any ingenious ideas and re-purposings and configurations the folks here can suggest would be welcome!

  55. Unrelated to any posts, I LOVE how your girls are always out in their fancy dresses and covered in mud. What’s your secret for getting their clothes clean?

  56. We had to replace a Samsung not because it broke but because it had a design flaw that did not let the gunk out of the bottom and it began to smell like a swamp. There were about 50 screws holding the plastic plate into the bottom and it was filthy. Tried cleaning with a brush, extra cycles, etc. googled and found out it was a flaw. New one works fine. Totally different in the bottom. Have replaced the over the stove microwave every 4 yrs. needless to say, next time the fridge needs replaced, which is always the most expensive of the group, we will go with a different brand. My kids have LG and are very pleased after 7 yrs, still going strong. Wow, those are expensive taxes, yikes. I know you have a lot of acreage though.

  57. Not sure if the brand is available to you, but Miele is our choice for dishwasher and washer. High end products, but not too expensive. They typicaly last 15 years, so price/year is not so bad, and I hate all the hassel when replacing things.

    1. 3 households in our family have a Miele vacuum, they are great. I especially appreciate the modular possibilities, we bought just the attachments we needed and not the ones we don’t need

  58. Awesome, we have the same compost bin! Also absolutely love it.

    Our dead appliance was in October, not September, and it was the oven. At least the stovetop still works while we wait for the part we ordered to fix it.

  59. Here’s a ridiculous way I bought me appliances in a big rush, years ago: Frigidaire because it sounded cold, for the refrigerator, Whirlpool dishwasher (sounded like strong, clean, rushing water), and Maytag washer because of the old commercials with the Maytag repairman being out of work, and GE stove & microwave. They were all mid-priced, white, nothing too fancy. This was in 2004, and everything’s going strong except the washer. Something broke, like your dishwasher, that would cost more to repair than a new one, but it lasted 15 years. The new one I bought by Kenmore is ecological, all that, and I hate it so much. It doesn’t do well at all. I sure hope I didn’t just jinx myself by bragging on my app,Ian Ed!😬

  60. Our old plastic interior dishwasher bit the dust after about 12 years of use. It worked fine for many years but it was LOUD. When it died I washed dishes by hand until we saved enough to buy a Bosch (metal interior). It cleans the dishes very well but best of all it is so quiet. So quiet I remember remarking about that aspect of it to DH the first time I ran it.

  61. Wow! That grocery bill is impressive. Sure helps not to have a middle man creeping up the cost. Our groceries just for 2 is about that much and sometimes more when we aren’t being frugal.

  62. De-skunker is a must! We live in a populous suburban area that unfortunately is home to many skunks. They are cute, but my dog has been sprayed 3 times! Better to be prepared.

  63. Kind of weird how we replaced our dishwasher and TV this month as well. Our Maytag dishwasher (17yrs old!) was still cleaning well but, over the last few years, the trays were breaking up and rusting, creating dangerous rusty sharp points. In addition, the roller mechanisms on the trays were falling apart. My research showed the Bosch were the best rated below $1000 and so far we are very happy with our 300 model. Our 2006 Samsung DLP TV simply failed to light up one day as it had in the past due to failure of the projection bulb. This time, a thorough internal cleaning and new projection bulb did not solve the problem and a grumpy local TV repairman opined that the problem was certainly one of two rather expensive fixes $300+. We opted to take our beloved 14 yr old TV to our recycling center and bought a mid-level 55″ LG LED TV which so far has been great. Your comment about appliance conspiracies rings true for us as well. Our washer/dryer repairman always warns us that modern appliances are designed NOT to last compared to even 10 yrs ago.

  64. LOve your blog. I saw the deskunker line on your budget report. A great homemade version: Dawn dishwashing soap, Hydrogen peroxide, and Baking soda. It makes a paste that you apply and then rinse off after a few minutes. Works miracles.

    1. This! I got skunked and the Nature’s Miracle was a joke and didn’t work at all. Dawn and hydrogen peroxide did the trick.

  65. We have bought 4 Bosch dishwashers in the past 25 years always to replace another brand. We owned 1 for 12 years then moved countries, 1 still going strong at 10 years, my parents is 6 years old and another in a rental is 5 years old. They have never missed a beat. Reliability and longevity ranks very high in my book. I can’t stand this planned obsolescence of modern appliances. Our AEG washing machine is 24 years old and we love it. I would honestly rather pay double to get 10-15 years rather than lasting 2-4 years or worse just out of warrantee.

  66. I’m curious if the property taxes put you over your monthly net income and if so, what account do you pay this from? Emergency fund? General savings? Are you able to charge this on your credit card? As someone still in the paycheck-to-paycheck phase of life (me), I’m curious how that all works.

    Is the Cambridge property paid off or did you sell it?

  67. I just found your comments about your dishwasher – we have the same model and ours isn’t cleaning well (seems to run thru cycles but dishes not getting clean about half the time (the other half, works fine!). Getting tired of rewashing dishes.

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