Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Is it Frugal or Broke as an Old Joke?

Frugal Motto

Use it up; wear it out~
Make it do, or do without!

How do you decide when to be frugal
and when to spend?

Is it really being frugal when you don't have the money to spend and have to DO SOMETHING... in order to make your plans come together?

Here is the thing...


…we bought a washer and dryer about 8 years ago... At the time is was about $1600.00 for the set (last years model on sale) Brand new! Blah, blah, blah... Now this washer is broken and in quite a few pieces sitting on my back porch.
We decided at one point we would make the repairs. We bought parts, put them on , and... "Yay! it works!" 
Only it didn't. Something else was wrong. So back to the drawing board, in my case Google and then You tube...yes, in that order.

Ok... well, somewhere in there I looked at the price of a new washer, similar to mine ...replacement cost?..... WHO HAS THAT KIND OF MONEY? We're retired, remember?

So here we were at the 'do without' part of our washing machine trial.

Not to worry-- My brother had brought a used washer to our place back in January for my daughter to use, way before we ever needed a washing machine. It turns out there was nothing wrong with hers  and she didn't need the freebie!  

That puts us at the 'make it do' part of our washing machine trial.

Not wanting to sound ungrateful; but I really liked my front load washer.  I’ve dreamt of a time when I'd be using it again and saving money when it comes to water use.  It is also a money saver, (and if you have a front load washer you know this already);  since it uses much less water and spins that little bit of water out SO WELL; it only takes a short amount of time to dry the clothes. Using less electricity. At this point that is of no consequence to me because I hang my clothes outside to dry.  More on the dryer in a bit.

So now, I'm at a fork in the road.

Do I buy another one? OR …Do I make repairs myself   OURSELVES? (we’re a team, we do everything together)

This is my machine... USED up and WORN OUTwasher spider assembly

Do I spend the money to make repairs to this machine; because the freebie used machine isn’t going to last forever? I’ve already mentioned the savings on water usage.

Is it being frugal to spend the money here in this area of our household budget, when we have winter coming and things like propane and firewood are still needing to be bought?

One thing I know is that I’ve talked to Honey and he says I can sell my ‘gently used’ dryer if I want, since I don’t use it that often anyway.  I was thinking of buying the drying rack shown here on my wish list page. But am now thinking the money could go towards parts for the washing machine.  At this part of our trial I’d almost HAVE  to sell the dryer  (remember, I hardly EVER USE it, even in the winter time)…CAUSE WE’RE BROKE AS AN OLD JOKE!

The parts are quite expensive and repairs are cost prohibitive really because of that very reason.  It is almost as much, minus a couple of hundred bucks to just buy brand new. We’ve already torn the machine completely apart, so the ‘LABOR’ IS DONE. We had to do this in order to see which parts were exactly needed to buy, now that it’s apart for about $300.00 we’ll have a new machine …well, almost. Even less, if we sell the dryer!

We’ve also added a new skill to our list of things we know how to do for ourselves. That is priceless,right?

So what are your thoughts on this? Is it ‘being’ frugal when your so broke you’ve got no other option? Is it just plain common sense?   What about options, do you have any suggestions? Something maybe, that I’ve not thought of yet?  Please feel free to chime in on this discussion.

I’m open…

God Bless you and Thanks for reading!


Homesteading wife said...

I would think that the money you save from not fixing the washer ($300) would off-set the extra cost of water for a while. In the mean time you can save up for a new washer. In my experience, once an appliance breaks it becomes a money pit. I would hate to spend $300 on something only to have yet another part break in a couple months. This might be a good time to invest in a james washer or a hand plunger.

Mel's Designs from the Cabin said...

I've heard of freebies on Craigslist...maybe someone in your church has a washer/dryer they'd give away...because they're downsizing from a larger house to an apartment that already has those...for us...I call a repair man...I've got to have my w/d set working....and we cut back on other stuff to pay for it....we're retired too...good luck on making a decision from some other suggestions...Mel

Kristina said...

I can completetly understand you situation. I want to have a hand wash tub for a back up some day. We've had to go to a laundry mat to do our laundry before.

Check around for display models on sale. You may be able to buy a display with dents, for less or equal to the repair.

I am stressing about firewood, wood pellets and propane as well. I can share that I found out we can prepay our propane monthyly throughout the year and have it bank up for an future order. However, we only order once a year. It only runs our hot water heater.