Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do it Yourself

When you are frugal you either learn how to do something yourself or go without.  Life is much better when you don't have to go without.  If you are smart, and I know you are cause you read my blog, there is no reason you can't figure out how to fix things yourself.  Plus, the more you learn the more help you can be to your friends and family. 
We came home from vacation to a broken dryer.  We knew it was the heating element but we didn't know how to fix it, so we called a repair man.  After a $55 service call he said it was indeed the heating element and it would cost $236 to repair.  I laughed.  Literally.  I paid $60 for the dryer, no way was I putting $236 more into it.  We thanked the man for the information and dh got online to find somewhere he could get a part of the dryer himself.  $80 and 3 hours later our dryer was again running.  Its a virtually identical to the story of how we learned how to replace the dog ears in a washing machine.  Now some things are gonna be more complicated, like replacing the computer parts in a new front loader or the entire drum in a dryer and thats when we give in and get a new (to us) whatever we need.  We do sell the thing for parts though.

One thing we noticed about doing things ourselves is that people are more than willing to teach you how to do something.  We didn't have to pay a dime to have someone show us how to switch out 3 or 4 prong cord for a dryer, or how to replace the filters in an RO system or how to remove a toilet to extract a toy.  People respect the desire to learn and people love to teach what they know.  Watch what the repair man do as they are fixing something, go to a parts store and ask them how to replace it yourself.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  If you expect your children to ask questions so they can learn, you should demonstrate that by doing it yourself.  Be sure to show your children how you repair things while you do the work.  Someday they will have to do it themselves and will have the confidence to try before they call that repair person. 

Don't be afraid to try repairing something yourself.  Worse case, you need to call someone anyway.  And if you learn how to do it you can help someone in the future. 

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