“Big Purchases” ROI BS!

Liberal websites push bullshit “big purchases” Return on Investment

Some crap-tastic website called “Mental Floss” recently published a “click-bait” list of “How Long It Takes 11 Big Purchases to Pay for Themselves…”

Let’s analyze their “11 big purchases” one by one…

How Long It Takes 11 Big Purchases to Pay for Themselves (yeah, right!)

Big purchases aren’t always something to feel guilty about. After a few decades, years, or even months, there are plenty of items that will begin to pay for themselves and then some. Here’s when to expect to see a return on 11 major investments.


You are NOT James Bond.

You are NOT James Bond.

“A standard tux can easily go for $500 or more, which makes renting a tempting option. But if you plan on attending at least a few weddings in your lifetime, you’ll be glad you made the investment early on. According to one recent report, the average cost to rent a tuxedo in 2015 was close to $200. If you attend enough events, buying your own tux can easily pay for itself within a year. And unlike an expensive dress, no one will notice if you wear the same outfit back-to-back.”

Hoboken411 Take: Don’t do it. Tuxedo events are not as frequent as you might suspect. And your weight may fluctuate, adding additional expense. Our advice? Try to dress as CASUAL as possible for all events you choose to attend. If people “shun” you for showing up in flip flops and a tank top? Fuck them.


That smiling girl doesn't change the facts.

That smiling girl doesn’t change the facts.

“It’s true that hybrid cars save you significant cash at the gas pump, but just how far these savings will take you depends on the price of the car itself. Lower-end models, with prices that are on par with similar gas-powered vehicles from their brand, don’t take long for drivers to recoup the purchase price. Those that are relatively more expensive are likely to break even within four to five years. And if you’re willing to shell out up to $25,000 extra to upgrade to higher-end hybrids, make sure you’re doing it for the environment—not the sake of your wallet—as that up charge could take up to 11 years to pay off.”

Hoboken411 Take: WARNING SIGN NUMBER ONE – the “1-11 years” bullshit. That is enough to send me the other way. But really – your “hybrid” car is not only more expensive to YOU, it’s also more TOXIC to the environment. If you “bought the hype” for this fake environmental scare – then you should just move directly into a FEMA coffin and just bury yourself now. You’re toast. Mentally, at least!”

See this video for more:


Folgers Instant Coffee

The best bet if you need coffee and want to save money.

“A $4 latte doesn’t feel like a bank-breaking expense in the early morning hours when you need your caffeine fix, but by the end of the year those small purchases add up. If you buy one latte before work every day for a year you’ll end up having spent nearly $1000 on something you could have made at home. Instead, treat yourself to some gourmet coffee beans and a quality coffee maker. Even if you spend $80 on a fancy machine and $10 a week on beans, you’ll make the difference back in 2 months. You may even end up liking your home-brew more than the stuff from your local cafe.”

Hoboken411 Take: Wow. This has “some” merit. But not much. They were obviously paid off by coffee-makers everywhere! Best bet to save the MOST is to GET USED TO INSTANT COFFEE like Folgers. You’ll save 10x more than buying your own stupid-ass machine. You won’t know the difference after one WEEK on instant coffee. I promise.


Maybe "then," but not "now!"

Maybe “then,” but not “now!”

“College tuition prices are higher than ever before, but thankfully, the fancy degree pays off—as long as you’re willing to wait to see a return on your investment, that is. One study published last year shows that college graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates without a degree over the course of a lifetime. While that sounds like a major bonus, it still takes nearly 20 years before that four-year degree becomes profitable.”

Hoboken411 Take: 100% complete and utter BULLSHIT. Fuck college. Their statistics are NOT true. LEARN A TRADE. Get good at it. Practice often, and get even better. Most college graduates these days are “tweeting” that they can’t find a decent job. Screw these propaganda-peddlers!


I have a bridge to sell you.

I have a bridge to sell you.

“One of the major incentives to switch to solar is to save money otherwise spent on electricity bills, but in order to get there you first need to make a big investment. The average cost of solar panel installation is $17,000 in the U.S., though tax breaks and other discounts can make it as low as $5000 in some states. The savings you earn by going solar can take anywhere from seven to 20 years to cover the initial cost. But the average savings after 20 years? A whopping $20,000. In addition to cutting down on your monthly energy bill, solar panels also offer the benefit of adding value to your home.”

Hoboken411 Take: I was on the fence – up until this post. The minute they drag solar energy into an article – it’s GAME OVER. This ENTIRE piece is crap. Fuck those solar panels. Most you can’t just “use for yourself,” but rather have to “tap into the grid,” and just get “credits” for. Who truly audits that? No one. DO NOT BELIEVE THE SOLAR HYPE. (Unless you live on the surface of the sun.)

“The electricity guzzled by your refrigerator accounts for a huge chunk of your energy bill each month, and the situation is made even worse by old, inefficient models. According to Energy Star’s Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator, if you’re still using a fridge from the ‘90s, you could save $250 to $490 over 5 years by switching to a more efficient model. You can easily find Energy Star-certified fridges priced between $450 and $1000, which means your new purchase will pay off within the span of its lifetime.”

Hoboken411 Take: Not a bad point. But the money “savings” is a bit exaggerated. See? I can be fair! But keep in mind refrigerators are one thing (they probably will die 3x sooner), but laundry is an entirely different animal. Most, if not ALL “new” washers & dryers SUCK compared to models just 10 years ago. Just sayin’.

“If you live around the corner from a laundromat, it may seem more cost-effective to take advantage of someone else’s water, energy, and expensive equipment. But doing a load of laundry only adds an average of $0.50 onto your electric bill, and it isn’t too difficult to find a washer and dryer for around $400 each. According to Deal News, buying machines for this price will pay off in a little less than 2 years, compared to frequenting a laundromat in that time (this is assuming you do three loads of laundry a week). If your set lasts you at least 10 years, you’ll accrue a total savings of $3120. That’s a lot of quarters!”

Hoboken411 Take: This is misleading. Yes, of course it’s more efficient and cost-effective to own your own washer. Comparing Laundromat to operating your own is akin to comparing eating out to cooking at home. So fucking stupid. No doubt a millennial wrote this rubbish.

8. BIKE // 2-4 MONTHS

Have fun in the rain!

Have fun in the rain!

“Not only is biking good for the environment and your health—it can save you a lot of cash. After investing between $200 and $500 on a quality fixed gear, you’ll see your investment returned to you after two to four months of avoiding public transit fees.”

Hoboken411 Take: Except on rainy days, snowy days, cold days, hungover days, etc. THEY WANT YOU OUT OF YOUR CAR FOR A REASON! Plus, Millennials are realizing they love cars!

“Buying a smart thermostat is a serious investment. Models go for about $250, which is three times what a regular thermostat might cost. But according to one brand’s website, the purchase pays for itself in a little less than 2 years. Since the device is smart enough to keep track of your schedule, it’s able to anticipate when to run and when to conserve energy. That level of efficiency leaves you with an average energy savings of $131 to $145 a year.”

Hoboken411 Take: Disagree. The “ROI” is more like 5-10 years or more depending on the arrangement. The exorbitant cost (often needing contractor assistance) is higher than they suggest. Plus, for those who are good with keeping track of the thermostat levels – it’s almost negligible. It’s purely an excuse to let the “robot” do the thinking for you.

10. HOME GYM // 1-3.5 YEARS

Something new will always come along...

Something new will always come along…

“The average gym membership costs $58 per month, and a huge percentage of gym members quickly stop showing up. If you want to wave goodbye to monthly gym fees while still having access to all the equipment, considering building a gym of your own at home. By seeking out the best deals and buying secondhand, one site estimates you can create a home gym for approximately $1200. This investment will pay off in roughly 3.5 years if you were paying a cheaper membership fee of $27 a month, and it will pay off it in as little as 13 months if you were paying closer to $75.”

Hoboken411 Take: Number ONE: Stop paying for monthly gym memberships. Unless you’re a PAID professional who NEEDS a “fit” body. You can get “fit” first and foremost by altering your diet (go lo-carb is your best bet). Secondly – you can engage in physically sound activities outside of your disconnected life. Park as far away as you can from the shopping center. Walk extra flights of stairs. There are tons of ways to expend excess energy without paying a “membership” fee to anyone!

“Cable users may be tempted to rent their modems for the sake of convenience, but it takes a short time for the $7.95 monthly fee to turn from annoying to impractical. By paying $70 for a cable modem up front, you’ll be paid back in savings in a mere nine months. Your reality TV habit is definitely worth the investment.”

Hoboken411 Take: About the only TRUE point of good advice in this bullshit article. “Listicle” as they call them. Yes, always buy your cable modem.

So what do these articles (listicles) aim to achieve?

My first thought is that they aim to achieve conformity in certain industries. Schools. Power companies. Hybrid car manufacturers. Etcetera.

They try to come across as “authoritative,” and hope that mindless lemmings follow them without critical thought.

But if you read between the lines – it’s all mental persuasion. Nothing more, nothing less.


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RE: gyms. How do you define “fit?”

I agree that for most, gyms are a waste of money based on their chosen activities at the gym.

For those interested in achieving and maintaining performance goals (and goals get people to where they want to be), particularly strength, it’s really hard to get there without the proper equipment.

I’m still a few decades from geezerhood, where loss of muscle mass is a problem, but I want to prep for it as best I can while I can. So thanks to the right gym membership I got my squats past 235 and deadlifts to 325+ all in the last 18 months – after years (er, decades) of cardiac-unfriendly LD running.

I’ve plateaued but I intend to maintain as long as I can so that I don’t turn into a puddle of weak sick fat shortly after applying for social security benefits. In fact I hope to compress the final decline stage of life into a very short window at the very end.

I won’t get that by climbing an extra flight of stairs or parking further away. Of course YMMV.

PS: for HIIT, the hills at Stevens are great. And free. So there’s that.


One thing about the college degree should not be discounted: where you go to school is, for most people, a proxy for IQ.

Thanks to the Griggs v Duke Power decision in the 70s, an employer can’t use an IQ test to screen prospective employees. Employers know, however, that IQ is correlated with job performance and productivity. For people starting out, there is often not much else to go on.

Too bad employers can’t just use college acceptance letters and maybe SAT scores. Think of all that college debt that some could save.


The college degree thing shows the problem with statistics; it reflects a historical perspective that predates the ability to “earn” a “design your own” degree in – say – rock-climbing or graphic novel analysis as well as the current shortage of people who can actually build or repair the crap we rely on from day to day, like cars, air conditioning and elevators.