Life is full of inconveniences – large ones and small ones. We all put up with things that irritate us, sometimes due to general inertia, other times to save the cost of fixing.
The lone window that sticks so bad you can’t open it; the zipper that doesn’t quite close right; the lights that sometimes go on and sometimes don’t or the burner on the stove that just won’t light.
How much do you tolerate to save money? Shouldn’t you have a right to expect everything to always be in working order – or is that too much to ask?
Some days I feel as though I tolerate way too many things gone wrong, but then, perhaps it doesn’t really matter in the bigger picture.
Why tolerate broken?
Perhaps you are willing to tolerate an item that works partially rather than fixing or replacing that item. After all, there may still be useful life left in it, no reason to trash it just because one little thing goes wrong.
I’ve a 16 year old side by side refrigerator/freezer that works perfectly, looks great and still fits style wise in my kitchen. The only thing is, the ice maker no longer works at all and the ice dispenser will only put out crushed ice. My spouse suggested springing for a new frig, but I wasn’t ready to do that yet (even though we can easily afford one). I bought some ice cube trays and now make ice once a day in them. My rationale? I might want to replace all my appliances with a different exterior (think stainless instead of black) when I redo my kitchen in a few years.
I love that ice maker and making ice every day is a royal pain. It does however, reportedly save on the electric bill. Ice makers apparently are an energy hog.
On the other hand, when the door spring on my super quiet dishwasher broke, rendering the unit unusable, I had the repairman look at it quickly. When he indicated it would be better to get a new one, I had one within the week. I went without a dishwasher for years and years and years and vowed never to do so again. For me, having a non-functioning dishwasher was intolerable.
Where not to tolerate broken.
There are things you shouldn’t let go bad. Things that can cause injury or harm, things that if left unattended will grow worse. Those are the things to fix right now, whether or not they really bother you personally.
Leaks, where ever they occur cause water damage and potentially allow for the growth of mold. Fix that faucet, don’t let the water drip down into the cabinet beneath. Repair that roof leak, whether it is via putting on an entire new roof or doing a short term fix to extend the life of what you have.
We waited too long to realize that the gaskets around our plumbing vents on the roof had dried out and cracked, letting water trickle down the roof and onto the ceiling. I bought some wet patch and we applied it to all of the vents – an easy fix that we should have taken care of a year ago.
Many other items, which if left untended cause safety issues should be handled soonest as well. Loose railings, clogging toilets, septic system breakdowns and electrical or natural gas issues are among them.
When to tolerate and when to fix.
I say, if the broken item is not a safety concern, will not cause further damage if left untended and doesn’t drive you or your housemates crazy, it can afford to wait.
Other times, you need to address the situation rapidly. We are currently dealing with an issue of this type. We have an earth berm home, the back wall is built into the hill with the other three sides of the one story ranch open. The garage is detached but also bermed along that same back wall. There is a breezeway/porch between the house and the garage. Last week, we noticed that the corner of the porch, by the house along the back wall was leaking when it rained. Apparently there is water seeping through the bermed wall somehow and then down onto the porch floor. We have a structural engineer coming tomorrow to tell us what he thinks should be done to fix it. Good thing we have that emergency fund because this won’t be cheap to fix.
For how long should you tolerate broken?
Unless it is a safety or further damage possible type situation, I think the answer to how long to tolerate is entirely subjective. It depends.
- It depends on how often you use or access the broken situation.
- It depends on how inconvenient it is for you and your family.
- It depends on how important it is to you and your family.
- It depends on what other things require your money and attention and time.
- It depends on how you will feel if you end up fixing it up for someone else to use!
Perhaps you own your home, for instance, and put off doing some of the things you want to do either because you don’t have the time or money to mess with it, or you feel it can just wait. How will you feel when you get ready to sell and end up re-doing that kitchen so someone will buy your house?
What are some of the things you have put up with over the years to save on money? Are there things you used to tolerate but now insist on having in proper order?
Cold damp houses, basically as long as we rent.
Dodgy freezer, wonky benchtop oven.
I really feel like I’m living a temporary life as a renter.
I’m with you on fixing anything that’s a safety/health concern. I also concentrate on fixing things that’ll yield long-term benefits–like the leaky faucet you mentioned. On the other hand, if something is broken but not impacting anything negatively (other than the inconvenience of it being broken), we’ll either try to fix it ourselves or just live with it being broken. I have a pretty high tolerance because I’d rather just live with it than spend the money to fix it.
My parents never fix anything if it costs money to do so. It makes me crazy! The back door knob on their house has literally been broken for 20 years.
I’m pretty cheap, but I am willing to get things fixed when I use them frequently.
I really feel like I’m living a temporary life as a renter me too 🙂
Fixing stuff that’s health/safety concern. If it’s merely convenience then it’s probably not worth fixing.
DIY will also save quite a bit of money instead of hiring someone.
We always push things really far. I enjoy it though. I like to see just how much use we can get out of an item. I just don’t have that “throw away” mentality. But, yes, there are limits. I just sometimes ignore them. 😛
House repairs you ALWAYS want to fix. They compound over time. Bad move if you plan or need to sell your house.
Small appliances and other small issues, meh, let ’em go for a bit.
DW and I have been nursing our dishwasher. It leaks about 8-10 ounces of water every time it is used. Just enough to aggrevate ya. The dishwasher is 19 years old…We place a cookie sheet under the dishwasher when in use to catch the water. Repair is not an option as a service call would be about $100 for the tech to tell us that it’s time for a new one. We know it’s time for a new one. Our plan is to replace it when it’s 20 years old….or maybe later…
I once had a broken dishwasher for about 7 months. I didn’t want to pay a repair man what I thought would likely be about $150 to come fix a broken latch on the door. One day I searched youtube and found a video on how to replace the part, and then ordered the part for $20. If only I would have known how easy and inexpensive it had been to fix it…!
Ha I was actually thinking about this earlier today as I have a bathroom sink that just won’t get unclogged and some drywall that needs patching up. Nothing life altering, but slightly annoying. I will just have to use a free day to take care of those things.