Reposting this too, which I think can be very useful to people who want to get a better instrument than they currently have, are not in a hurry, and have "obstacles" (financial, marital, logistics etc) to overcome, with practical suggestions on how to make your own dream come true as I did for mine.
Background: when I saw posts similar to the one I started this conversation with, I congratulated the individuals and was sincerely happy for them, but I always thought: "how could you make it work? will I be able to, with 4 mouths to feed, bills and mortgage to pay, money to save for kid's college, all out of a single salary?" -- answer: be really frugal, save as much as possible, work a little more (things that I needed to do just to pay my mortgage and feed my single bachelor mouth when two decades ago I was living in Europe -- as a US citizen now I'm fortunate that I need to do these things only to get "disposable" income for my hobby, rather than survive as I did back then)
Let's go into the specifics: I got a management course at work, to teach me how to make people do what the supervisor wanted. No, it's not how to become a headshrinker and manipulate others, quite the contrary! It's about you understanding them, learning what they REALLY care about, and finding common points between them and you (well in the case of marital issues, being married, there obviously are already plenty of common points, or why did we marry in the first place?) -- and actually YOU doing what THEY want. As I said, the exact contrary of what you'd think. Let me share 30% of the work which achieves 70% of the result.
- have frequent conversation (which I was having with my wife regardless)
- really listen what the other party say, ESPECIALLY in between the lines, perhaps not explicitly
- do the real deal game https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BW1GP66/ and use it to understand the other party
Once you do this really well, you understand people and become best friends with anybody you want. In the case of your spouse, you actually did these things naturally "back then", but then forgot about it. Being more intentional now, you may "fall in love again".
So long story short, I got the priorities of my wife much better, and satisfied them before mine, among others regarding travel and her need to "fix" (paint and upgrade furniture) in our living room.
Back to pianos, I monitored the local market for instruments of my interest for a few years, bought and sold a few (in total I owned 6). Given my very limited budget, I needed to buy and sell without too much of a loss, while having an instrument to play, and slowing "climbing" to better ones. As such I monitored instruments I intended to sell too. So I learned when, in my market, the instruments sell well (August-October), when they sell worse (April-June), what the sellers and buyers valued most (time and convenience above money) and many other details, including the fair, lowest and highest price of the instruments in question. A couple of times I bought a new one in April and sold the old one in October, which was financially good, but not so for my wife ("oh no! too many pianos in the living room! What a mess!") -- It's also very good for us Americans, that there is plenty supply of 70-100 year old instruments which were never built in Europe, or were destroyed by either of the world wars. Many are junk, but plenty are ok, and some are pretty good.
Moreover, I made contact with technicians in the area where I could travel in a day asking if they knew of someone who was looking for the instrument like mine or who was selling the one I was looking for.
When I put my small grand on sale, knowing it was not the best time, I asked a fair price, and made it super convenient for the seller: you just tell me your address, and the piano will appear there, white-glove-services (see below). In other markets, price might be more important than time/convenience.
Lots of patience, many lost opportunities, each one with a story longer than this message and a lesson learned. Some friends made (partly thanks to 1-2 above). Eventually this M&H went on sale, and I was ready with one of my contacts (a technician) to inspect it immediately. I went to see it a couple of days after he gave me his go ahead (I'd have gone first, but it was a 3h one-way drive). I bought it on the spot. I already knew everything I needed for movers, storage (more on this in a moment) and all the logistics in place, so I had no hesitation (lesson learned from a past lost opportunity)
I turned the conversation with my wife from "oh no, you bought yet another piano? now we'll have two instruments in the living room again?" into "I bought a new piano and it's in storage, I sold the old one and it will be gone on day X -- let's get rid of old stuff and take the time to renovate the room to your liking". A bit more money to spend, but not outrageously so (thanks COVID stimulus). I stayed without any (acoustic) pianos for a while, painted the room, assembled new bookshelves, moved other furniture... had a nice time with my wife making our "nest" as when we were young and preparing to go living together.... this time with the kids helping. And now I have a new piano, new living (aka music) room (well, still some work to be completed...) and we are all happy.
Hope this message will inspire you about what you can do to change your dream instrument, if you are not satisfied with your current one. You can do it too.
PS: actually things went different compared to my plan: if we spoke in late April, I'd have told you that as soon as the baby grand sold, I'd have bought https://www.insidepianos.com/baldwin-details (with the hassle and expense of travelling there to try it, and the additional transportation issues)... but I was ready for alternatives....