At what point do you feel the need to replace something? When it is actually broken beyond repair? When it is showing signs of age, but isn't broken yet? When the newest upgrade comes out? Never....if it breaks, oh well?
In our house, we tend toward the "broken beyond repair" camp.
It is funny though....we have some things that are OLD, work fine, and have no desire to replace. Case in point....our alarm clock. It is a clock radio, that I got when I was in 6th grade in 1985. Wasn't I so cool? I listened to Madonna and Michael Jackson, on my clock radio (oh and of course, my pink Walkman!) But this clock radio still works fine. Even the radio part works (although we never use it). We set it each night, and it wakes us up in the morning....isn't that it's intended job? Until it completely fails, I have no reason to replace it.
On the other hand, we used to use the chair I had a teenager (I am sensing a theme here.....) as our computer desk chair. Until one day I sat down rather hard, and I heard CRACK, and it fell apart and we all went tumbling to the ground (cue Debbie Gibson....I think we're alone now....). And the pathetic thing....I still refused to spend money on replacing it, and we used a folding chair (until it too gave its life in service to our family and fell apart). (By the way, we did break down and buy a $15 office chair off of Craigslist, and it is MUCH better!!)
Because G-man and I have been married for 12 yrs, and together for 13 1/2 years...the stuff we got when we were first together has gotten....well....OLD. We bought a kitchenette set and living room set when we moved in together. At this point, the finish is gone from the table, and if you aren't careful, you will get a splinter, and the chairs....doesn't matter how much glue we use, they won't tighten up and just wiggle. Our sofas....about 2 years ago we bought slipcovers to try and buy us more time. The fabric is shredded in some areas, one leg on each sofa has broken off and had to be reattached. I wouldn't even give them to a fraternity house at this point....they will go to the dump when their day comes.
We have looked at replacement costs. We decided that we wanted to buy something of a reasonable quality so we didn't have to replace it again for a long time. This doesn't mean it is top of the line, but it is good stuff. But good stuff costs money....that we don't have. I would love to say we are saving up for it, but we aren't. Other things are more important to save for right now.
So listen up sofas, table, and alarm clock......I don't care that you are in your golden years. I don't care that other items of your age have long since retired and are enjoying brunch at the club. You are a work horse, and you will continue to work until you go out in a blaze of glory!!!
(and a topic for another post......clothes.....how long do you keep them? Take a guess how old my oldest item of clothing is that I still wear....)