The keyboard I’m clacking away on sits atop a mid-century Heywood-Wakefield kneehole desk. I bought it for a frugal $252.63 in 2018 at a local auction. At the time, I’d been shopping for an office desk, on and off, since 2013.

In the meantime, I was struggling with a cheap multi-level black pressed particle board and glass wobbling monstrosity from a big box office supply store. I’d purchased it only a few years earlier. The plastic “wood grain” veneer was already peeling up off the particle board in spots. The hefty 30″ LCD I used with my workstation caused the upper-level platform to wobble so badly when moving the desk whatsoever—naturally, on plastic wheels. I was afraid the monitor would topple over and crush more than a toe one day.

I got a cheap desk—for cheap. On sale, I managed to snap it up for $50. After an hour of putting it together from the flatpack it came in, it worked just fine for a year. That’s before mild wear and tear loosened the numerous screws. Little movements were enough to start stripping the particleboard drill holes and kick off the wobbly desk dance.

I’d suffered the lure of cheap due to a weak Frugality Muscle.

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