Everything is a numbers game.
When we get anything new, we look at style. We look at cost. We look at benefit to the family. We look at durability.
But since our time here is coming to an end next year, the biggest thing we look at is...
"How much does it weigh?"
As we replace items, there a victory whenever the new version cuts down our overall load. If we buy something new the first concern is whether it will put us over our limit. We're allowed 7200 pounds of personal items when heading to a furnished post and coming to Manila we had somewhere around 5000 pounds. Plenty in the clear but the worry still hangs. We hear stories of recent departees who've been over the limit and paid ~$20/kilo of excess, totaling thousands of dollars. The trick for them though was that this was their final post. They stocked up on items like full custom made bedroom sets and a pool table and are taking it all home. We might do that in 20 years, but not now. For now, we count the toys and decide on the smaller TV.