Great Savings 4: Make Your Own Repairs


Make your own repairs to save money.

Do you call a repairman every time a home appliance, household items, or your car quits working? Repair bills contain charges for materials and labor. If you have the extra time and are willing to try and fix an item yourself, you can potentially save thousands of dollars over the long haul on the labor. However, it’s rare when you should expect to handle everything that comes your way. That’s why it pays to know what jobs to try, and which ones you should turn over to an expert.


Replacing a burner.

An old worn out burner is an easy fix. You can get a new burner online or at your local appliance parts store.

If you’re willing to get your hands dirty and have a few basic tools at your disposal, you’ll be surprised at the number of simple repairs you can do on your own. For example, if that cord on the vacuum is wearing down to the wire, it’s long past time to change it. The good news is repairs like these are often easier to accomplish than most people realize. Plus, doing a good job on a repair is sure path toward feeling better about yourself—you’ll feel more confident and able to handle the next item that needs fixing. Still, if you’ve done few repairs before, getting started can feel overwhelming.


See what it says about fixing the product in the manual.

Finding the information you need is easier than ever. Most large companies now post manuals for their products online.

Thankfully, there’s an amazing quantity of “how to do it yourself” information available to consumers—everything from endless YouTube™ videos giving step-by-step instructions, websites dedicated to fixing certain items, hundreds of books offering tips for repairing and maintaining basic household items, and company websites offering free, easy-to-access manuals for product operation and repair for those who may have misplaced their originals.


Here are some resources you may want to check out if you plan to attempt a fix on your own:

YouTube™: Go to any YouTube™ page and search on the particular repair or item you want to fix or maintain. This link takes you to a page listing common appliances repairs.

Any Search Engine: Just go to your favorite search engine and type words relating to your particular fix. For example, if you want to fix your washer, type something like “How do I fix my Maytag Washer?” If you know the model number include it. You can find hundreds of books, many available through download for fixing common household items. Go to Amazon and search on the particular subject of interest.



When To Let A Pro Do The Job


Making electrical fixes.

If you do any electrical repair at home, make sure the circuit breaker is turned off first. And if it’s something major that relates to the panel itself, let a pro handle it.

A little common sense can go a long way in determining whether a potential repair has do-it-yourself potential. If you (a) own the right tools, (b) can find the information you need to perform a fix, (c) have the time to do it, and (d) known there’s no serious risk of injury or of damage to other items or structures, then it may be worth a go. On the other hand, if the repair poses significant risk of injury or damage, seems complicated to you, requires special tools, or feels like it lies outside your comfort zone you’re probably better off letting a pro do the job.


A Home Depot sign.

Stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s offer many classes on fixing basic home items. Check it out.

If you fall somewhere in the middle, you can often ask people that sell parts to offer their advice —for example, you can ask the clerk at the car parts or hardware store what parts you need, whether it’s an easy or complicated job, and what pitfalls to watch out for.


Saving ten bucks here and two hundred there can add up to saving thousand’s over the years. That’s money you can put toward savings or other important financial goals.


Action Item: Make a list of 3 items that need fixing or maintaining around the home. Start with simple tasks in order to get a couple wins under your belt. Now, check the internet to see what you’ll need to make the fix. If you’ve got the right tools and the job seems doable, then by all means give it a go. And if you get stuck or run into problems don’t worry about calling on a pro for help. It’s hard to get it right every time, so don’t feel bad if you have to reach out for assistance.


We’ve got lots more updated savings tips coming your way. Stay tuned…


If you enjoyed this post, check out our Home Project Tip Series.


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