My Kenwood mixer
I baked for many years without a table top mixer and I still bake most of the times without one. I use my mixer on extremely lazy baking days when I cannot be bothered to knead bread dough, for example. I just do not like the idea of washing it just for small amounts of baking. The Kenwood mixer is so handy for large amounts of butter icing, I can leave it beating the icing while I get on with other things.
It is great to have but not necessary so do not be put off baking because you cannot afford one. You will find that in most of my recipes on my blog I stick to a wooden spoon and bowl which I feel is all you need for most home baking.
When I decided to buy a table top mixer I had to choose between a Kitchen aid or a Kenwood mixer. I did some research and even though they both have great qualities from my research the Kenwood mixer had better reviews so I settled for that one. Kitchen aids are more stylish and have a lot more different colours and styles but I did not want a good looking mixer. I wanted one that did the job right.