Time is Up

A look at how long some major purchases should last

No one likes it when an appliance or another major purchase suddenly decides to quit. This is why you want to have your emergency fund stuffed and ready to go. Otherwise you could be left scrambling to scrape together enough funds to cover the expense. One way to get ahead of this issue is to know (roughly) when these major purchases are nearing the end of their lives. Below are some expensive items and how long you can expect them to last.

  • Laptops. Laptops should last anywhere from three and six years. You can extend that lifetime by keeping your machine clean (spilled liquids on a laptop can cause major damage) and cleaning out the hard drive of any rarely-used files.
  • Phones. Marketwatch reports that the average person only keeps their phone for about 14 months. That’s insanely short, but it’s driven by the industry. Companies are constantly updating their phones and phasing out old ones. This drives people to purchase new phones when they don’t actually need one. The best way to avoid needing a new phone? Be okay with not having the latest tech and buy a screen protector. Shattered screens account for nearly 75 percent of phone-related repairs.
  • Mattresses. On the other end of the spectrum from phones are mattresses, which should last about seven to 10 years. You can extend its life by rotating the mattress twice per year; this will prevent sagging.
  • Roofs. The lifetime of a roof depends on the materials used. If it’s a metal or concrete roof, it should last about 50 years. The more common roofing material — asphalt shingles — will get you about 25 years. The best way to make sure your roof lasts as long as possible? Cleaning the gutters. This will prevent water from pooling and causing damage.
  • Chris O'Shea

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