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Frugal Solutions: Repairs are Sometimes Cheaper than Buying New

The other day was I just minding my own business, vacuuming and cleaning away with music playing quietly blasting in the background, when all of a sudden my vacuum made a scary sound, started stinking horribly, and began blowing dirt back at me with a vengeance.

It was like my vacuum was possessed! (Although in full disclosure, it did not start on fire…)

Ugh!” I thought, “I don’t want to have to go buy a new vacuum right now, it’s so not in the budget this month.

Since I hadn’t budgeted to go right out and buy a new vacuum, I decided I’d try to fix. Of course I only wanted to attempt to repair it if I could do so pretty easily without making too big of a mess. I also didn’t want to end up spending too much time or money on finding replacement parts. After all, almost everyone has at least one horror story about the time they decided to fix an appliance, only to have it cost astronomically more time and money than it would’ve to just buy a new machine.

Luckily I’m a pretty picky person, so picking out a new appliance isn’t something I take lightly. I want to make sure I’m getting one that will do the best job at what I need and one that will last a long time without costing me an arm and a leg, which is a difficult (at best) combination to find. So trying to fix the vacuum I already owned seemed like the best solution in this instance.

The first thing I checked was the dirt canister. Not emptying it often enough has been the cause of my vacuum problems in the past, but that was not the case this time.

Because of my lack of expertise in vacuum repair, I did a quick internet search to find out the most common problems associated with my vacuum’s symptoms.

Then, off to the garage I went to disassemble my vacuum.

After a bit of dirty and dusty investigation, I discovered that a wad of hair the size of my cat had clogged up the filter and was causing the issues I was having. Once I removed the huge clump of hair, cleaned the filters and canisters, I was good to go. Luckily I didn’t have to delve too deeply into the vacuum repair instructions I found online.

I went back inside and picked right back up where I’d left off with my cleaning and vacuuming. My vacuum worked like a charm and there was not even a hint of the stench it had before I thoroughly cleaned it.

Total cost to fix my vacuum situation – $0

Now that’s what I’d call the frugal decision!

How often do you try to fix your belongings rather than replacing them? Where do you draw the line on repair costs?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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