This week I would like to talk to you about repair and prevention of things we own that could potentially save us a lot of money in the long run. This is a very recent technique that I have implemented in my own life and I already see huge benefits of it. I just finished implementing such technique as I sit down to write this blog, but on more on that later in the blog. Let me explain.
There are a lot of articles on the internet regarding Money Management (including my previous blogs) that have a common theme running through them; spend less, save more. This is a very simple concept to understand. Right? Now, lets take it a step further. It is important to try and work towards cutting your expenses, but have you ever thought about working hard on making your inevitable purchases go further? This is another way of cutting down your expenses, but in a more subtle way. By working hard in maintaining your already purchased goods you will prolong the need to purchase such goods again. Recently I took a more detailed analysis of where specifically my money was going and why there was a need for me to spend certain money on certain things. Sure I know that majority of my money has been going towards my rent, food and my car, the “big 3”. However, I just knew that there are other areas where I could cut down costs. So I began to thinking of ways on making my money go further. To explain this concept a little bit better let’s consider my most recent predicament.
It all began few weeks ago when I ran out of some razor blades and needed to buy new ones. I have been a Gillette man for some time now. I get sucked in by their bold claims that their products provide a smooth, close and irritation free shave with all kinds of cooling and moisturising features in their blades. I am sure I am not the only one that has fallen for those tricks. Right? So anyway, I was shopping in my local store for new razor blades and through my (now) “Frugal” mindset I noticed that these fancy Gillette razor blades were astronomically expensive. I have never noticed before as my old mindset was too focused on the flashy better things to buy when it came to “everything”. However, I noticed that for a pack of 6 blades, it would cost me €24 of my hard-earned cash. I quickly did the math in my head and this meant that these blades were realistically were going to last me only few months. Now you might say to yourself “€24 for few months of use of razor blades, that’s brilliant value”. Ah ah, not for me. I needed to find an alternative. My attention quickly turned to “Wilkinson Sword” pack of razors further down the shelve, these were selling a pack of 9 for €18. Great value right there. I would be saving €6 and get more blades and furthermore I would get “decent” blades too. These weren’t just cheap alternative these are great alternative. Ok we are getting there. I couldn’t find a better deal than that, but, I was still not satisfied. I needed to squeeze more value out of these blades. Then it hit me. I thought about the reason “why” I needed new blades, the reasons quickly became apparent: blades get dull, they get rusty due to them being left covered in water after I am done with them, they are not clean properly so they no longer as effective etc. Then I began to think of ways on how I can prevent or prolong the life of my razor blades. I reckoned that by me thoroughly cleaning, drying and storing my razor blades correctly I could get a year out of this 9 pack of Wilkinson Sword blades. It is a little bit ambitious, but I put it to you this way, it has been 5 weeks since I bought these blades and I am still using one out of 9 blades that I have bought. The razor blade that is currently in use is in almost perfect order. This is because I spend few minutes after each shave cleaning and blowing out trapped hairs, shaving gel etc. and dry the blades properly. I prevent rust and rotting of the blades. I reckon I can still get another couple of weeks out of this blade before I dump it. The shave is still just as smooth and effective as ever before. So, at this rate I can get possibly a year out of this pack of blades no problem. So, in conclusion as I walked out of the shop I realised that I paid less for the pack of blades that last me double if not triple the time just because I spent extra few minutes thinking ahead and analysing my purchase a little more carefully. Yes, it is a little tedious and take time and effort but if you put this mind set towards other purchases you will be saving money left right and center. It is as easy as that. As I have mentioned before, these techniques may seem very tedious and require a lot of work, but Money Management as a whole requires a lot of work if you want to do it right. If you want it badly enough then you will find a way to save money by implementing these techniques.
So as I walked out of the shop being all happy and proud of myself I began to think of other ways I can save money by simply preventing the need for buying things as well as repairing any broken things I may have. As a matter of fact, I just spent 45 minutes prior to writing this blog sitting down and sowing up some small holes that have appeared on my jeans. The jeans overall are in perfect condition, except for couple of small holes. The old me would have threw them in the bin and bought a new expensive pair, but the new me repaired the jeans and as a result I now have two “good as new” pair of jeans plus I now know how to sow. Win-win situation. In addition, I am proud of being able to repair these things and watch my hard work turn into money in the bank.
I soon began to see a lot of things in my daily life that I can tweak or put a bit of work in to ensure my money goes further and I get the best value of out of the things that I buy. I service the car (change oil, filter, coolant etc.) on a regular (6-8 months) basis and that prolongs my cars life as a result. I use a little bit less toothpaste when brushing my teeth and this prolongs the life of a tube of toothpaste for additional few days (not to mention the dentist visits) etc. Since this technique of repair and prevention so new in my own personal life, I only have couple of examples of where I implemented this but I will have a list of more ideas of where one can save money by preventing ware and tear as well as repairing any worn or torn things.
I hope I haven’t freaked ye all out with the “frugality” of it all but these are the basic techniques that are grand-parents did in the past and they made their money go further. Anybody can implement these techniques into their lives. Anybody! We are just too wrapped up in this materialistic world that forces us to get the latest gadget, piece of clothing, car etc. We don’t think. We buy buy buy and then the things we buy we chuck them away or use them up at will without a further thought on the value we got from such purchase. Maybe I am going a little bit crazy but if you have a chance to save some money then why not do it. I prefer save money now as a result of a choice than be forced to do it when tough time hits such as an emergency, recession etc. Think about it.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog and more on this topic to follow soon. Let me know what you think of the blog or share any of your own ideas regarding the “prevention & repair” techniques that you may us, via the comments below. I am always grateful for the support. As always you can follow me on Twitter @McevoyVadim.
Thank you for reading and talk to you on the next one.