Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spin Cycle- Waiting

The waiting is the hardest part.  Every day you get one more yard...  How is it that even in the re-newed Spin Cycle, all the topics get songs stuck in my head???  Jenn does this on purpose.  Go see her.  Stick your tongue out for me.

Waiting is hard.  It's just a fact.  Whether is something you are really looking forward to (a wedding, a new baby) and the anticipation is killing you.  Or something you're dreading (root canal?) and you just want to get it over with and be done thinking and worrying about it.   Maybe whatever you're waiting for has good and bad sides, like buying a new house.  You really want the space, and that new house smell, but that mortgage payment?  Not so much.  You just want to be there now, not in the waiting pattern.

And now I shall imperfectly transition to the point of my post, but I don't have time to think of a good segue.  For a moment, picture George W. falling off a Segue, and that will have to do.

Do you put off buying things that you know in your heart you need, but you don't want to spend the money?  Your vacuum is held together with duct tape, hair bands and some twine that was recycled from tying the Christmas tree to the car?  To the point where there is less original material than fixed material?  But it still works.  It might take an hour to get the smallest things up off the carpet, but if you take your time, it (mostly) gets the job done.  Your car is more bondo than original paint, but it still runs, right?  Why get yourself roped into another payment?  Your looking at replacements, but you're going slow.  Doing a lot of comparison shopping.  Anyone on the outside can clearly see that you need to get a new one NOW, but you wait.  It will hold out just a little longer.

->  I should point something out.  I'm not one of those people who has 8 vacuum cleaners. (hi mom!)  When I get a new one, the old one must go (unless I bought the new one specifically so I could have two- for some insane reason).  It's just how I am.  So, if it still has useful life, I feel bad putting it on the curb.  I just have trouble judging what is still "useful", apparently. <-

This describes MANY of the smaller appliances in our house.  The lawn mower, the vacuum, the snow blower.  Because PB is so handy, these have all come to us after the original owner realized they weren't handy enough to fix it themselves and it would be more cost effective to just get a new one than pay someone to fix it.  But they are still "good" so that person gives it to PB.  He realizes that a new John Deere mower is really expensive.  So if he can fix this one, it'll be a steal, right?  So he does.  And for a few years, it's great.  Then it happens.  We cross the invisible line from "this was a bargain" into "now we really need to just bite the bullet and buy one ourselves".  Last winter, PB hand shoveled our very long drive more times than he could get the snow blower working.  It was sad.  But he persisted.  He talked about getting a new one.  Maybe looking at the garage sales this summer to see if someone was getting rid of an old one.  He did some research.  He's committed to getting one before the first snow fall this year.  I really hope he does.  He's gotten to the point where he has set aside the money.  It's no longer in the "what if something breaks" fund.  It's actually labeled "snow blower".  No thoughts on the vacuum, or the lawn mower yet.  That's too much new at once.  The kids would think that everything comes out of a box from the store if we went and did that.

->insert another aside here- my FIL can clearly fix all his stuff.  Yet, somehow, we get many things that are older, and in need of repair, but will work with a little effort.  I joke with him that he's never given me anything that works.  (he did once give PB a jar of oil that he thought had the extra chain to the chainsaw in it.  Turned out to be a dead mouse not a chain...)  However, this gives me hope.  Hope that at some point, we will grow out of this "waiting" stage and realize that it's just not worth it to fix stuff over and over.  You just go ahead and buy the new one.  And give one of your kids the old one to fix..<-

 Are we the only ones like this?  It's not cheap, I'm pretty sure we can afford at least passable new models of all this stuff.  It's more frugal.  Or sensible. I'd like to think it makes up for all the half eaten tubes of yogurt I end up throwing out because the little boy who asked for it changed his mind mid-snack...

And- to my boss- please stop asking when I'm going to trade in my 2003 station wagon.  It runs just fine.  I'm waiting, thanks.

15 comments:

VandyJ said...

If we can get it second hand we often do. Hand-me-downs that mostly still work are frequent acquisitions. Why buy new when you can fix something up for less? Although there are times when I just tell Nick he deserves new--new shovels, rakes and stuff like that.
Our snow blower is a hand-me-down. Our lawn mower was too, until it stopped working and we got a push mower and gave the other mower back to Nick's dad--who got it running again.

blueviolet said...

I do that too. I am so incredibly cheap now that I'm out of debt. I won't buy anything if I don't have the money, and even if I do. ;)

kendrasue said...

I'm all about second hand on a lot of things. Especially child-related things because then you always have "new"!

And I have a 2001 Ford Escort and people look at me like I'm crazy. It's paid off and runs fine. I don't need a car payment thank you!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Definitely frugal, not cheap. I watch all the pennies we spend on any appliances, John prefers to be the brand new out of the box kind of guy. I put the decision in his hands. If the money comes from his job money, I am more than happy to have it new, but the old item must be disposed of, either handed off to someone else, given to charity, or hit the curbside. I try to keep the house "efficient". However, our now 6 year old Dyson still rocks like we just bought it. LOVE IT!
You're linked!

The Crazy Coxes said...

I don't think it's wrong at all to fix and fix and duct tape things together so they work. I call it "taking care of what you have." I'm with you. Why go buy something just because it looks shiny and new?

Jan said...

Beloved is very much of the "buy new and buy best so we don't ever ever ever have to buy another one again as long as we live" school of thought. Which is how I got my camera. And why I'll probably never get another one.

Casey said...

I don't think you're cheap either. I'm about in the middle of the spectrum here... I will buy new things when I need them (Jamie's motto is that some problems are worth throwing money at to make them go away) but them I'm cheap in the way that I will only buy clothes on sale or off of the clearance rack....

The buying new stuff (for us) is only because we usually lack the know how to fix it, if we could, we totally would.

Rachel said...

I hear you, I'm the proud owner of a 1999 Toyota Corolla. Works great. Doesn't look so pretty, but is nowhere near on its last legs.

Michele said...

How did you know what our vacuum looks like?

We are of the type that drives their cars right into the ground. Seriously, we are driving a 1995 Mercury Sable for goodness sake. It looks like a tenement on wheels but it runs like a top. The hubby is not what one would call handy, we just have really good maintenance habits. And, we hate car payments. Of course, we never drive it in the "nice" part of town. That's just a way to get escorted out, my friend.

Great spin!

Mrsbear said...

Ha! We're frugal and on a budget so my husband we'll fix things when he can. Our mower has been fixed and re-fixed, welded and re-welded. Problem is he has been known to amass a collection of fixable non-working stuff that he can never get around to repair so...you may see our garage on Hoarders one day. I'll be the one with the face blurred out from humiliation.

Ellie Belen said...

This is us all over. My first question to my husband is always, "Can't you fix it?" and he does. But after fixing an item for the umpteenth time we calculate the money saved over the years and feel totally justified in buying new.
I'm sort of proud that we have the capability to "fix it" and keep it out of landfills a bit longer. It is a skill that is lost by so many people, usually by generations of the "well to do." But us poor folks, by necessity acquire McGuyver like skills. I say embrace it.

CaJoh said...

I don't know if procrastination is comparable to waiting, but you make an excellent point. So often we know that something needs to be done, but we never do it (we wind up waiting).

Excellent spin!

pegbur7 said...

I like to think of it as smart, frugal and sensible. I wish we were that handy. We end up HAVING to buy new stuff because we aren't handy.

Stopping by from Spin Cycle.

Amber said...

I looooooove second hand stuff, though usually the only things that we get used are clothes, because I do not have a handy hubby. As I type this, the area rug in my living room is falling apart. Every time I vacuum, I think it is time to get rid of it. But I don't...because I don't want to get a new one until I reeeeeeeally need to. :D

Pseudo said...

I love hand me downs and passed on clothes. We are trying to not get into debt with both kids in college and it is crazy.