Tag: wastefulness

Wasteful Wednesdays – High flow water fixtures

It’s that time of the year between Christmas and New Year’s. Interestingly, Hanukkah also falls within this week—I don’t recall it falling so late in December in recent years. Most of us are relaxing with family, taking holiday vacations, and digesting that so unhealthy Turducken that we finally caved into trying out this year.

While taking a shower this morning and wondering what I could cook on my wasteful stovetop, I was reminded of another convenience that is not in keeping with conservative measures or being financially frugal—my shower head.

The rage these days is about low-flow fixtures. You have 1.6 gpf toilets compared to the classic 5-gallon toilets of the 80’s and early 90’s. I remember being able to modify those 5-gallon toilets to flush using 6-7 gallons by changing the angle of the float, just to ensure that all of the waste is flushed away. More efficient toilet design such as glazing of the trap and wider flush valve diameters (remember, I am a self-proclaimed toilet expert) allow less water to do the trick.


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Likewise, low-flow faucets and shower heads are becoming the norm, to decrease water consumption. Our local utilities company actually sent us a 1.25gpm low-flow shower head. I’ve used it before, and it does the trick using aeration holes to diffuse the water spread.

However, when we moved into a house with wasteful kitchen appliances, I started using the built-in shower head: a water-wasting Kohler 2.5gpm shower head!

It works great. Water pressure is excellent. It uses twice as much water as the low-flow units:

Boy do I love the extra calcium in the water!

Rough calculations on my water consumption and costs show that I will spend an extra $50 a year for using a high flow shower head. No, I don’t live in a drought-stricken area, but I do sometimes feel guilty of using extra water.

Do you use a low-flow shower head?

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How fancy appliances can dent your savings rate

I was recently thinking about all of the financially foolish actions I have committed that violate the rules of good financial sense and realized that I could easily fill a year’s worth of material every Wednesday….

Let’s call it Wasteful Wednesdays

Of course, the only role of noting financially irresponsible actions and purchases on a website that encourages good financial behavior is to provide examples of what not to do, and how easy it is to squander your earnings, no matter what you income levels are. There is no limit to how quickly you can exhaust your paycheck…

Notwithstanding my retirement-preventing expensive house purchase, let’s take a look at my kitchen appliances are probably adding year’s to my working career…

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The Refrigerator

Don’t worry, the paneling itself costs more than the average fridge

This Subzero fridge costs about $12,000 retail. It is built-in the wall so that it’s nearly impossible to change the water filter.  Since the fit is so snug next to your cabinets, you have to pay extra to make sure that your cabinet doors won’t block the refrigerator door from opening. Some people like to have the door blend into the cabinets to look cool. The fridge includes a built-in alarm to notify you that 5 seconds is too long to keep the fridge door open too (hey, we’ve got to be energy star compliant somehow!) And it depreciates in value faster than my car too. By the way, the freezer compartment is intentionally small to prevent me from storing unhealthy frozen foods (literally written in the owner’s manual). It is also the reason I own another freezer in the garage that I pay extra electricity to run so that I can store my ice cream from Costco.

Oven / Range

You pay extra for the red knobs

If you have to ask what brand this stove/oven is, you don’t deserve to know. I believe that this is another $10,000 drop in the bucket. That’s why there is a stone mode for you to make your own pizza at home. Does it make pizza taste better? You bet it does, only if you buy optional the $100 pizza stone kit. Hey, it’s saving you money every time you bake your own pizza instead of getting take-out. Ten dollars is worth saving, right? In case you’re worried, I actually saved money by owning a stove/oven single unit instead of two separate appliances.


The dishwasher

This dishwasher is made by the other Swedish company at non-Ikea like prices

This high-end Swedish Asko dishwasher supposedly will save you water and electricity every time you use it. Don’t be bothered that each cycle takes about 2 hours! Worried that a stainless steel or brushed nickel finish to your dishwasher won’t match your fridge? No problem, you can pay extra on top of the $1000 dishwasher to have a skin custom-made.


There you have it. Three kitchen appliances that could have easily covered the annual cost of living in the MMM household. And these aren’t even the top of the line models that you can buy! You can be sure that if any of these appliances break down, I will be the first to sell them for scrap parts and find replacements a tenth of the cost of these. Lesson learned: you can sink a lot of money in your kitchen.


What splurge appliances do you own?