Make It Do: Frugal Forever

This post is part three of a four-part series by SD Guy, the blogger behind Stretchydollar.com, a blog that focuses on the basics of personal finance and is geared towards those who don’t have much experience. StretchyDollar is geared towards a younger audience, and highlights frugal tips, financial books and tools, and the basics of wealth building. The blog is a great place for those starting their journey to financial independence.

Still a very active person, my Grandpa ‘putters’ quite a bit. He spends a lot of time on his computer, managing his finances, staying in touch with friends, and working on genealogy. A mainstay in his office has been his old computer – he’s had it for 8 years. It’s old, really old. I’ve fixed some things for him a couple of times, and it’s close to heading to the museum. It doesn’t even write to a CD, still has a 3.5″ disk drive. The monitor is about 13 inches big.

He knows that there are better, faster, easier to use computers out there, but as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He’s content to use his old machine, even if it takes ten minutes to start, chugs along through some of the more difficult tasks it has, and needs the occasional upgrade or repair.

Be satisfied with what you have

I’ve written about this previously, but it’s very easy to become jealous of things that your friends or co-workers have. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has something you can’t afford, and it become easy to fall into the trap of wanting, which easily leads to the even bigger trap of spending beyond your means, or debt.

Learn Basic Repair Skills

My grandpa doesn’t do much of the repairs around the house anymore, but he does a very good job of finding people who do a very good job for a low price. While ideally it’s best to learn how to fix some basic things on your own, if there are some things you can’t do, finding a reliable local repairman can lengthen the life of your products.

Purchase Quality Products

Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Quality is an important consideration to research when making any kind of a major purchase. Technology has advanced so rapidly that it’s possible for any one to start producing almost any different kind of product. The bargain brand of TV at Wal-Mart may perform the same task as a higher-end Sony or Samsung TV, but they length of time the product will work and the quality of the user-experience may differ greatly. It’s important, though, to save for these purchases.

The Point: Frugality isn’t all about buying the cheapest product or not spending money, but spending it wisely on products that will last a long time. Purchasing a high-quality product and learning to maintain it yourself can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

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This post is part of the “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without” Series

Part 1 – Bible Money Matters: “Use It Up”

Part 2 – The Dough Roller: “Wear It Out”

Part 3 – Pecuniarities: “Make It Do”

Part 4 – StretchyDollar: “or Do Without”

Thank you for reading!

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