Some people have a one-size-fits-all approach to home emergencies. As soon as there’s a problem, they’ll shell out as much money as it takes to get things back to the status quo. If you’re fine with paying for convenience, there’s no problem with that. However, if you’re looking to save money, long-term and short-term, then it might be time to consider if there’s a savvier way to deal with the situation.
Repair, don’t replace
We live in a time of planned obsolescence. The people who design everything in your home expect it to break down and degrade at some point, often beyond its warranty. If you make the mistake that many others in your shoes do, you will replace a broken appliance as soon as it’s gone. However, when this happens with things like dishwashers, fridges, and freezers, it might make a lot more financial sense of repair it instead. If they’re energy efficient models, freezer repairs can keep them just as effective for years to come. Don’t just replace something as soon as it causes a problem. See if a repair is going to compromise its performance. If not, then it’s likely to save you a lot of money.
Replace, don’t repair
There are some cases where this is the exception, of course. When it comes to the air conditioner, of course, you’re looking at one of the biggest energy consumers in the home. When they break down, sometimes they can lose some of their efficiency. Or the case might be that they are old enough to have lost much of that efficiency if they’re not made obsolete by newer models. Consider the long-term energy costs. If it works out that in the long-term you could reduce your bills enough to justify the difference between replacement costs to repair costs, you should go for it.
The unbearable heat/cold
It’s a personal emergency more than a home emergency, but taking more time to prepare for weather and temperature extremes can save you a lot of money. For instance, if you invest in more ceiling fans and fitting blinds into the window that keep out the majority of the heat, you can make big savings by using the air conditioner less. Become more self-sufficient than reliant on all those appliances.
Those essential fixes
When something in the house breaks, is your first step to get on the phone to a handyman or a plumber? If so, you might be making a mistake. Do your research and see if you can make savings through some DIY. For instance, if your faucet is starting to get stiff and more difficult to turn on and off, you might spend $10 buying a rubber washer and learning how to replace it, or you might spend four times that much getting a plumber to do the exact same thing. Don’t try anything that you’re truly uncomfortable about tackling, but build up your confidence in your own abilities over time.
When a crisis threatens the home or the family, then money should be no object compared to safety. Otherwise, however, learning to be a bit more self-sufficient, inventive, and cost-savvy can help you save thousands in the lifetime of a house.