Saturday, October 27, 2012

Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without - but what about make it last?

I spent a goodly amount of time today cleaning the refrigerator inside and outside. I took everything out of the frig and freezer and washed them. I pulled it out and vacuumed floor, and cleaned the frig back, sides, door and top. A microfiber cloth works great for this by the way.

I took off the grill, pulled out the drip tray and washed both. I used a coil cleaning brush and the vacuum to clean out all of the dust on the coils. There was a lot of dust collected on the coils. Now this is a frig that is at least 13 years old which is the average life span of one. I want it to last until we sell the house in 5 years. It would help if I cleaned the coils and door seals more than once every 12 to 18 months. The manual suggests every other month! I will put it on my schedule in Outlook and be more diligent. As the idiom goes, A stitch in time saves nine - or in this case, maintenance reduces the cost of repairs or replacement.

This however led me to thinking about how to help our other appliances, electronics, cars, etc. last until we are ready to move or even longer. We are all used to the following saying.
And there are many others. Here's a whole article about frugality idioms - Idioms clarify frugality foundations. Well, I think that it is time to apply these even more about these as I countdown to retirement. I'd rather become more disciplined and have more money for travel, generosity, fun and savings.

So I am starting a new series as I look for ways to stretch the life of what we have, appreciate what we have, learn new skills and resurrect old ones, and maximize our savings while having a happy life now.

So lets all:

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without - Get creative!
Take a stitch in time to save nine - You already bought it; make it last.
Save for a rainy day - or retirement, a vacation, or whatever will drive you forward.
 a rainy day: One reader, Caitlin L. from California, shares: "The main thing my dad drilled into my head was: 'If you make $40, don't spend $50. Spend $30 and put the rest away for a rainy day.'" #For some people, it seems impossible to save any amount of money when they're trying to provide basic needs. Start a change jar. It's the easiest way to start an emergency fund or to teach kids to save money. #For ways to find loose change and kick-start your savings, visit #A stitch in time saves nine: This is helpful when confronting money issues, repairs and your health. It's better to take care of things, practice preventive maintenance or address problems earlier rather than later, when it gets worse. #Waste not, want not: Think before you spend. Don't be greedy. Take what you will use and no more than you need. Don't waste anything you might need later. Make the most of your resources. #Give a man a fish: Learn to do things for yourself in case you ever need to. Teach or show someone how to do something instead of doing it for them or giving them money. Visit for suggestions on how to do exactly that. #Were you raised in a barn? Don't let heat or cold escape through an open door. Don't leave a mess behind you, be kind to others and remember your manners. #Put a sweater on: Turn down the thermostat to save some energy and money. Along the same lines, unplug items in your house when they're not in use. Think: DVR, cable boxes, microwave ovens or coffeemakers with digital clocks. #Another reader, Gabrielle F., shares: "See if you can borrow a P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor from the library to check your electricity usage on household appliances. I can't wait to find out what is sucking up the most electricity! The devices start at about $16 retail, so how cool is it to use one for free?" #The grass is always greener: Don't compare yourself to others. Appreciate what you have. Recognize the difference between having the things you want and wanting the things you already have.

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  1. Love it... :) I agree, we should definitely "make it last"!

    1. Thanks Carla. There are so many "things" in this house I want the next owner to replace instead of me!

  2. A good philosophy. Right now B and I are furiously trying to eat up, or cook up, everything in the refrigerator . . . in anticipation of tropical storm Sandy which will likely take our power out.

  3. Love this philosophy and we try to live by it too. We are getting better and better at it...takes discipline.

    1. It does take discipline when it is not an urgent necessity. I have to push myself back into those habits periodically while not losing the fun in life.