Cookware Fever!

Sarah and her husband are on Baby Step 2. Sarah would love to buy some new pots and pans. They will have extra cash in the budget next month to do it. Her husband wants to just pay down the debt.

QUESTION: Sarah in San Francisco and her husband are on Baby Step 2. Sarah would love to buy some new pots and pans. They will have extra cash in the budget next month to do it. However, her husband wants to just pay down the debt. Dave says he wouldn’t do it at this stage of the game.

ANSWER: I’m trying to think and revisit in my mind if Dave and Sharon Ramsey were sitting there—because we were sitting there years ago when we were broke and Sharon had one-step-above-garage-sale pots and pans, and while we were in debt and broke and working our way out, would we stop and spend $500 on cookware? You’re on your way out of debt, and you’re stopping to buy $500 worth of cookware. You’re going to resume immediately. You’re not stopping permanently. You’re taking $500 out of your get-out-of-debt plan to buy cookware. That’s the question that’s on the table. If we were sitting there at 30 years old after having gone broke at 28 and working our way through this, would we do that? That’s what’s running through my mind to be fair to you. I’m thinking about Sharon, and Sharon loves to cook. Sharon actually has a very nice set. I’m trying to make sure that I keep that in mind and that that’s really what happened, but I have to be honest with you. We would not have done that at that stage of the game.

I can tell you what we would’ve done in this situation. Sharon would not have sat there with no saucepans and have sold everything off and downsized to two pans with broken handles. That would not have lasted at our house. She would’ve gone on Craigslist or gone to a garage sale and maybe spent $100 and got a set to get by until we got ourselves out, and then later we’re going to live like no one else and get fabulous kitchenware. But back in those days, we were dealing with garage sale stuff and drinking out of old jelly jars. We lived like no one else so later we could live like no one else.

This sounds like a good deal. It sounds like it’s for a good cause. I’m not positive it’s a good deal because I don’t know Amway cookware off the top of my head. It might be a good deal. You’ve got cookware fever. You’ve lost your objectivity. I don’t believe you, but it’s possible. Your fever is like at 104. You’re just about to bust over this. Take a cold shower. Wait a little while.

I think you make some good points, and I think it’s worth talking about. The reason this is so worth talking about is not the cookware. It’s the process you and your husband go through and the decisions you make about your life that says we’re going to sacrifice now so we never have to sacrifice again. We’re going to live like no one else so later we can live like no one else.

Truthfully, to score one on your side of the equation, he has no idea what this means to you. It doesn’t even show up on his radar. It’s like him coming home and saying, “Honey, there’s a cool drill set on sale at Home Depot.” You would go, “Huh?” All the guys are going, “Yeah! Drill set!” The ladies are going, “Cookware!” It’s what we do. He needs to do a better job of getting how much this means to you and find some way to do something for you in this process, but I think that Dave and Sharon—and I’ll ask Sharon when I get home because I’m curious… I know we did not buy expensive cookware while we were broke. I know we didn’t. Even if it was a deal, we didn’t. We used an old vacuum that I had to take down to the garage and put a screwdriver to it to keep it running. She didn’t have a good vacuum. She was talking about that the other day. I remember that deal. You pay the price, and then you never have to worry about it again. That’s the honest answer, although I do understand where you’re coming from. I also think you need to hear loud and clear: You have pots and pans fever. Bad. Your brain’s not working. It’s in high fever. You just got this figured out there’s no possible way that you don’t do it—that kind of thing. And it probably won’t bankrupt you if you do it, but I wouldn’t. It’s not what we would’ve done, so I’m answering your question truthfully.