A list of things I’ve never bought *new* before

I was talking with a friend the other day on how I never buy anything new, only to realize how DEAD WRONG I was when I actually went to jot them all down, haha…

Literally only came up with two things, although they are the biggest things:

  • A car
  • A house

Now secretly I’d love to one day experience both of these even though I know my wallet would kill me (I want to have that new car smell/warranty and customize my dream house from scratch!), but as of today I’m a virgin new home/car buyer which I’m sure has worked in my favor over the years :)

As far as everything else in life though??

Apparently I’m REALLY good at buying that new! Haha… Took me all but 15 seconds to list out everything I’ve bought new over the past 39 years:

  • Clothes*
  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Games
  • Books*
  • Domain names
  • Electronics
  • Furniture*
  • Artwork*
  • Decorations*
  • Utensils
  • Power tools
  • Accessories
  • Bikes*
  • Toys*
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Engagement/wedding rings
  • Sporting equipment*
  • Pets*
  • Kids
  • Plants*
  • Underwear

Now half the list I also buy used too pretty often, particularly with books, furniture and kids clothes/toys (the asterisks above notates all the stuff we also buy used), but as you can see there’s still a lot of things we pick up right off the rack.

Pretty eye opening seeing it all displayed like that. And as you’ve probably noticed, I’m riding a wave of “bullet point” journaling on the blog right now, circa the old days of writing down logs. Only here on the web!! (Wait a minute… web, logs, weblogs – blogs! Heyo!)

Anywho, a fun exercise to dive into if I’ve got you curious now…

Anyone else never buy a car or house right off the lot? Anyone recently do it and now want to try convincing the rest of us that we’re missing out? :)

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  1. Josh November 18, 2019 at 6:02 AM

    The newest car I ever bought was 6 months old. It was still the current model year and I bought it shortly before next year’s models was going to arrive. Sticker price was $35 and I got it for $27k since the initial owner took the first depreciation.

    We built our current house so it was technically brand new. However, we many secondhand finds off of Craigslist. Most of our cabinets came from a house flipper. We salvaged an old outdoor deck to help build our deck. The building project was during my 8-month sabbatical so I had plenty of free time “sweat equity” than the convenience of buying new.

    We usually try to go thrift store shopping when we go on vacation to buy replacement clothes. We also try to buy used furniture, appliances, and books when possible too.

    If you have time to browse and don’t need to make an immediate purchase, Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay are excellent for finding secondhand items online.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 7:36 AM

      What do you mean by “replacement clothes”? Like if you forgot something while on vacation?

      I’m intrigued!! :)

  2. Super November 18, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    I finally bought a new car… and a month later ruined the bumper on a very low jagged stone wall. :D

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 7:37 AM


      You sound like me, when I backed into a fire hydrant a few months after getting mine, haha…

  3. Angela Jean Pannkuk November 18, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    We’ve had this discussion before. You don’t want a new car EVER!! Google “new car toxic smell”. A more recent study in Japan found that the volatile organic chemicals in a new minivan were over 35x the health limit the day after its delivery. It took the minivan THREE YEARS to permanently remain below the line.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 7:38 AM


      I just always assumed it was the smell of “clean” cars but obviously that’s not right!

  4. Alice November 18, 2019 at 7:30 AM

    Baby clothes. Because I had twins and all my friends had babies before me, I got all my baby clothes second hand for their first 2 years. Consignment is the way to go! They grow way too fast to spend real money on.

    Consignment is great for furniture, too. You can get great quality stuff for so much less; you just may have to do some cleaning.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM

      Yes yes yes!!

      Very smart!! Some things they only wear once or twice and then that’s it!

      Having all the same sexes help with that too, lol… My only consolation for not having a girl yet :)

  5. Paul November 18, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    There are certain scenarios where its better to buy new, and that is usually if you are buying a used Toyota anything… a 1-3 year Tacoma is basically the same price as new. Not worth the $2k in savings you get for 40K miles being put on the vehicle… Other than Toyota its basically not worth it to buy new.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 9:32 AM

      Huh, really? Never did the comparisons there but since we’re eyeing the Sienna I’ll have to double check that… (though we’ll probably go for a 50-75k mile’r which will def. be cheaper :))

  6. Financially Fit Mom November 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    How about some reverse engineering; what would you never consider buying used?
    – Socks & Underwear
    – Sandals (I have bought used boots/shoes that I wear socks with, but if I plan be barefoot, not going used!)
    – Bike helmet

    Other than personal use items like toothbrushes that seem rather obvious, I really can’t think of anything else I wouldn’t consider buying used.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 9:34 AM

      Haha good call…

      I see those helmets everywhere at thrift stores too – never thought about the potential safety factor there, but you’re right it’s better to be safe than sorry and go for a new one. (Same with car seats – did you know they expire?? Had no idea until we had kids…)

  7. BC | FrugalWheels November 18, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Interesting list – I’ve yet to buy a new power tool, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought new furniture either. I’ve always come across a friend selling something, and have gotten some stuff left over in the office building I work. I got a super nice desk that belonged to a Congressional candidate that got left behind when the campaign closed, and my kitchen table is a cafe-sized table from a restaurant that went out of business. Just by being a little patient I got great deals on a lot of this stuff, or even free.

    Things I won’t buy used? Most electronics, including camera equipment. Just about everything electronic I bought used or refurbished stopped working right not long after I bought it. I bought an expensive lens for my camera that failed (AF stopped working) so I bought a new one to replace it (it’s part of my livelihood). Computers, same. There have been a few exceptions, such as my mac desktop from the University auction (but it does crash every so often). I usually wait for a deal if I can but mostly if it’s electronic or camera equipment I buy it new and use it as long as humanly possible. Especially if it’s something I rely on.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 9:36 AM

      Cool about that candidate’s desk! Was he/she someone who aligned up with you politically or did it not factor in? There’s no way my wife would let anything in our house if it came from a certain person/party, haha…

      1. BC | FrugalWheels November 18, 2019 at 10:45 AM

        Well, I’ve been around politics long enough that I don’t really align with a party. I tend to search for pragmatism more than party affiliation. This particular candidate helped illustrate the true nature of politics – fundraising ability. The higher up the chain a candidate goes, the more their success is based on being able to make calls to the kind of people who can afford to fund campaigns. That wasn’t this guy, and hence why he dropped out. I think you have to be a certain kind of person who can just ring up rich people and ask for money.

        I see it as liberating the desk, and putting it to a much more noble purpose than politics — surely being a money blogger’s computer is a higher purpose than silly politics : D

        1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 11:26 AM


  8. Kate November 18, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Same same. Every car I’ve owned (currently carless, yet I now own a car space in my apartment car park *eye roll*) was second hand. As have been all my apartments. Most of my artwork is second hand too. I prefer used furniture but have bought some new stuff recently. Mainly as I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted used. One thing is do buy used it fancy jewelry. I guess people change their style, or they have relationship breakups, or they need the cash, or whatever… But I keep my eye on ebay and have gotten some amazing stuff at great prices.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 11:27 AM

      Especially *vintage* jewelry!! Or vintage anything, really! :)

  9. Joe November 18, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Oh man, we purchased several new cars and a brand new house. :)
    That was our first house. We had to buy shades, put in landscaping, balcony, and a ton of stuff.
    No more new house for me. Too much work.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 11:29 AM

      Interesting… I’d think it would be *less* work since it’s all brand new compared to used homes which are always breaking, but I guess that’s only if you pick up a house that already has everything you want?

  10. Hannah November 18, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    This is a fun exercise!
    I’ve never bought the following new:
    *My husband has bought these things new, but before our finances were combined or with “his money”

    Usually buy used:
    Kids clothes
    Household decorations
    Maternity clothes (actually, I mostly borrowed)
    Kids gear
    Adult clothing for me (although not a huge money saver as I use ThredUp/Poshmark a lot)

    Almost always buy new (or borrow)
    Books (ebooks mostly when I buy otherwise I borrow)
    Power tools
    Kitchen tools
    Bed sheets
    Clothing for Rob

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 11:31 AM

      Wow – no new TV or computer, that’s hard to do! :)

      Good job!

  11. Suz November 18, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Not only do I purchase used cars, but I also purchased a car off the internet, sight unseen, from a dealer in Texas (I live in Maryland) and had it shipped to me. It was my dream car at a “too good to be true” price. Admittedly, I was nervous that a totally different vehicle would show up…or the interior or the engine would be missing, etc. ;) but it turned out for me and I’d even take that chance again if presented with the opportunity.

    1. J. Money November 18, 2019 at 11:33 AM

      Haha, well done…

      I’ve bought one off eBay before and had to have it shipped, but fortunately was able to at leas see pics of inside and out and call to ask questions/etc which made me feel better :) And even more so when I learned it was a one-owner car by a grandma that rarely used it! One of my favorite cars I ever owned (’93 Cadillac Deville).

  12. Caroline November 18, 2019 at 2:29 PM

    Just bought our first ever custom leather lazy boy sofa. We picked everything the color of the leather, the upgraded foam magic cushions. I was watching Downton Abbey and a character said “We don’t buy furniture we inherit it”. I could relate, not really inherit but when parents on either side got new stuff we got the old stuff. We are not fussy, working our plan here!

    1. J. Money November 19, 2019 at 6:12 AM

      Ahhh miss that show! I think there’s a movie out now though, yeah?!

  13. Doug Nordman (Nords) November 18, 2019 at 10:51 PM

    I love these bullet topics, J$.

    I bought a new car in 1981 (38 years ago) and I’m never making that mistake again! We got 13 years out of it, but we still wasted at least a thousand bucks of depreciation in the first year after that $6200 purchase. Golly, if I’d invested that savings in a total stock market index fund…

    We’ve never bought a new house. We’ve rented a 75-year-old house, and we won’t make that mistake again either. Fortunately the oldest we’ve bought was 11 years, and that seems to be a sweet spot.

    1. J. Money November 19, 2019 at 7:33 AM

      $6,200 for a new car – wow!

      I wonder what houses were going for back then?

      And btw – if you were in Hawaii then we might have crossed paths, though I was just a baby ;)