Repairs And Maintenance That Save You Money In The Long Run

(This article is part of a weekly guest column by Claire Moylan*)

When you own something, in a lot of ways it owns you: your time, your money, and your commitment to keeping it up. This is true whether what you own is a home, a car, or a computer. Whenever you decide to make a purchase, you have to realize that there are maintenance costs that come with almost every purchase. Maintenance can help lengthen the life of your purchase and thus end up saving you money. Repairs can help you avoid costly accidents and liability issues from leaving something broken. Finally, there comes a time when you have to realize that your purchase has exceeded it’s lifespan and then you must know when to let it go and buy a replacement to save money on repairs. Here are some quick tips to repair or maintain a variety of purchases.

Wardrobe

Learn To Sew - Don’t throw a piece of clothing out if it is missing a button. Instead, learn some quick sew tips to lengthen the wear of your expensive goods.
Buy Wash and Wear – The less you have use dry cleaning services, the more you save on maintaining your clothing.
Invest In Classics – Of course, you do want some classics to dress up a wash and wear wardrobe. Leather jackets may cost a bit extra, but they also wear forever with good care.
Locate A Shoe Repair Shop – Get your soles redone or a total shoe restoration. It’s usually far cheaper than buying new shoes.

Car

Change The Oil – Changing the oil can keep your car running smoothly and prevent costly repairs.
Change Your Air Filter – This can even improve your gas mileage.
Inflate Your Tires – This is another great tip for getting good mileage out of your car and reducing wear and tear.
Follow Your Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule – Each car comes with it’s own set of repairs that should be done at 20,000 to 60,000 miles. If you keep up to schedule, you can significantly extend the life of your car and avoid major repairs down the road.

House

Cut Shrubs and Trees Away From House – If you keep the landscaping trimmed away from the house, there is less change it will damage the roof, the gutters, or attract squirrels and other pests.
Clean The Gutters – You want to keep the gutters free of debris so when it rains or snows, moisture is taken away from your house and not allowed to cause damage around the foundation or on the roof.
Caulking Doors And Windows – This is something that should be checked with the change of seasons to see if it needs to be re-caulked. It saves money on your utilities.
Maintain Major Systems – You want to make sure your air conditioner is in proper shape as well as your furnace before the season starts. Maintaining these systems keeps them working and avoids costly repairs down the road.
Install Working Smoke Detectors – This type of maintenance deals with preventing major liabilities in the future. Of course, most homes are required to have working smoke detectors.
Remove Dead Limbs And Wood From Lawn – This is to keep termites from finding them and setting up shop.
Repair Any Moisture Leaks Immediately – Whether the roof leaks or your toilet is dripping, moisture can cause excessive home damage and can be a huge expense if not repaired immediately.

Electronics/Appliances/Computers

This is one category where it sometimes pays to trash something you own, rather than repair it. Check out the prices of new equipment before you make significant expenditures to fix a problem with your electronic equipment. Other than that, here are some things that can lengthen the life of your electronics and computers:

Get Virus Protection – No one should own a pc without buying virus protection anymore. It’s simply too risky.
Do Regular Spyware Checks – You can download spyware detectors for free and run them regularly to keep this type of hack off your pc.
Use A Surge Suppressor – This very inexpensive device has multiple outlets for all kinds of sensitive electronic equipment, including pcs. Use them to avoid a surge in electricity damaging your fine electronics.
Replace Small Parts – Did your food processor container warp? Order a replacement for less than the cost of a new food processor. Just keep the information on all your appliances in one place.
Check and Replace Batteries – It may seem a small thing, but people sometimes forget that a device uses batteries.
Check The Cords – Sometimes cords can go bad but the equipment itself still works. Don’t forget to check any power cords or other types of cord that may have failed. Always throw out bad cords as they can pose a fire hazard.


About the author: Claire Moylan is a freelance writer specializing in ebooks and custom-tailored articles for niche websites. You can view her portfolio online or check out her constant content page for more information about her writing assignments.

Image Credit: http://www.u-look.com.au



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5 Comments:

SJean said...

I refuse to learn to sew!

When I read virus protection (scanning the article) I thought "I'm covered, I just got my flu shot today!" Haha.
On that note, I think you can get some really decent virus protection for your PC for free, open source. AVG comes to mind.

Also, cords have gone bad on my laptops more than once. Weird.

Kyle said...

Great tips. I have learned the hard way when it comes to not maintaining things around the house. A little maintenance goes a long way, and you can do most of it yourself!

FinanceIsPersonal.com said...

Great tips! One computer tip you might want to add is to unplug it every few months and clean out the inside with canned air. Dust really builds up inside them and on a rare occasion they can catch fire!

claire said...

sjean, learning to sew a couple of buttons is not hard. It's just in and out. You can also take things to the tailors who will do it for a fee too. Still cheaper than replacing a perfectly good piece of clothing. I sometimes get double wear out of items by sending them to the tailors and lopping off long skirts etc. to make them shorter. Like getting a new outfit for almost nothing.

kyle and financeispersonal, thanks for your comments.

ispf said...

SJean: I hate sewing too, but I have to agree with Claire - if it is something like a button that has come off, it is very easy to sew and can save a dress!

Kyle: We are not very hands on when it comes to fixing things around the house, but are picking up a few tricks as we go....

financeispersonal: That's a dicey tip - the last time I did that, I blew up my computer :) Actually it was a custom built computer, and after meddling with it for some reason (don't even remember why I had opened it up in the first place!) when I put it back together, I didn't ground it quite right, and blew up a capacitor. Next think I know the whole place was smelling acrid and I had a toasted mother board on my hands :)

Claire: Thanks for stopping by to respond to comments!