Dipsose of the Disposable Mentality was one of the earliest posts of this blog and the basis for the Waste Not Want Not tab on this site. Some of the not-so-frugal tend to argue that tossing inexpensive items does not seriously impact their bank account. Even though post after post on this blog proves otherwise, to each his own. But when it comes to the big stuff (items that have a price tag with at least two digits), this argument falls flat regardless of your tax bracket. Even if your DIY skills are limited, many household items can be easily and inexpensively repaired by you. The internet is full of how-to sites that give you step-by-step instructions that included detailed photos, or better yet, videos. Consider this example.
We own a Black and Decker Cordless Lawn Trimmer, which was purchased for $40 about 13 years ago. Three years ago the rechargeable battery lost its ability to recharge. It was as dead as dead gets. Considering the trimmer was then 1o years old, many people would have decided that it was time to buy a new trimmer – not Ms Penny Pincher. A new battery cost $21.95, a reasonable investment to prolong the life of this trimmer; especially since the price for a new trimmer was up to $59. It took my husband just a few minutes to replace the battery. Just this past summer, the string cover snapped and rendered the trimmer inoperable. A total (including shipping) of $6.51 allowed by husband to just keeping trimming. So for those of you that are math challenged, let’s recap. A total of $28.46 was invested to repair our trimmer, which has prolonged its life 3 years – so far! If you add the cost of replacement parts ($28.46) to the original cost of the trimmer ($40.00), the difference between the cost of repairs and the cost of a new trimmer ($59.00) is only $9.46!
The next time that you have a broken tool, appliance, etc., don’t be so quick to toss it and replace it. Don’t automatically start flipping through the yellow pages looking for a repair shop either. Instead, consider a simple internet search using phrases like “how to repair…” or “how to fix…” The internet also gives you access to all kinds of replacement parts that may not be available to most of us locally. Too afraid to try DIY repairs? Think of it this way – what do you have to lose? If your inclination is to toss the old and buy something new, who cares if you totally mess it up? But if you repair it successfully, you have boosted your confidence and left money in your wallet!
Add to change purse.