Consumer Reports Survey – the Joy of Not Buying Things

I’ve always been a fan of Consumer Reports.  I like their mix of reviews from their own staff as well as actual feedback from owners.  This past year I finally became a subscriber (what took me so long?) and have been enjoying the magazine and online site ever since.

I am one of those readers!  You can tell people that you know me.
I am one of those readers! You can tell people that you know me.

But you know what I have enjoyed even more?   The realization of how much money I’ve saved living in the city and renting all these years!

Now, before this spirals off into a debate about the merits of home ownership, rising housing prices, or “throwing away money on rent”, allow me to explain.  Each year Consumer Reports puts out a very comprehensive magazine on the reliability of all sorts of products.  And of course they get this information from many sources but much of the information comes from a very exhaustive survey sent out to their members.  You answer questions about what you own, how you liked it, how brands stack up, etc.

This was my first year completing the survey.  And while I was excited to help, it turned out that I could only provide a review of my car insurance provider.  Question after question, and page after page, I had to decline to respond.  I simply had not purchased a new car, microwave, vacuum cleaner, television, dishwasher, lawn mower, computer or anything else in years – many items I’ve never purchased at all.  These are not small items either.  Each of these is hundreds if not thousands of dollars to buy.  Or, in the case of a new car, maybe much much more.

Think of all of that money saved!  Each of those items I didn’t buy was cash that could go into a retirement account, or build an emergency fund, or pay for my daughter’s college.  So while I provided my friend’s at Consumer Reports very little value as part of the survey, they provided me with a wonderful reminder of the joy of not buying things.

Anything that you didn’t buy that you would like to brag about?

Guess who’s not in this picture. It’s me!


2 thoughts on “Consumer Reports Survey – the Joy of Not Buying Things”

  1. I think I am the last person in the world that hasn’t yet purchased a flat panel TV. Still watching a large 25 year old tube TV. I’m glad I waited as the quality of flat panel TVs has gone up and the price has gone down over the last several years.
    (I expect to give in though and probably get one before the end of the year.)

    1. I made the move to a flat screen to watch the Yankees win it all in 2007. That didn’t end well for the Yankees, but I never looked back on my choice. I chose a Westinghouse model that was rather cheap and well reviewed (my favorite combo).

      I still have it 7 years on – so it’s approaching 50 cents a day now. I’m actually embarrassed how good of a deal that is when I break it down by hour of viewing. I guess this is personal finance’s way of telling me to go out and play 🙂

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