2 minutes reading time (417 words)

False economies: when it’s better to replace than repair

broken boilerFew things annoy me more than malfunctioning appliances. A computer which refuses to boot up or a dishwasher that breaks down mid-cycle can have me in floods of tears. I can’t fix them: I wouldn’t even try. But actually my reluctance to go through the hassle of repairing bust items might be sensible.

Last year my 10 year old boiler was being temperamental. My boiler man said he could get a part but it would be several hundred pounds – and there would be no guarantee the boiler would last much longer anyway. So I paid out nearly £2,000 for a new boiler. I think if I’d resorted to having the old one fixed the repair bills would have kept on coming. And while it’s laudable in an ecological sense to repair, something has to give.

Buying better in the first place is a good idea too: I’ve got an expensive vacuum cleaner but it’s unbreakable and (importantly) it is really easy to change the bags. When you’re as clumsy as me, things like that are important.

A survey just out from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards found that a third of UK adults have bought a lower quality item and regretted not paying more later for one that would last longer. This was the number one financial decisions adults regret. In second place (29%) was paying for insurance monthly rather than in a lump sum. This is always a bad idea: see Jane’s blog on this. Buying cheap plane seats but then paying more for allocated seating; spending money on running an old car when a new one would be cheaper in the long run and not buying sufficient baggage allowance and having to pay more at the airport were other money-wasting regrets.
And 9% said they had tried DIY but failed and had to pay for a repair. More than third said they regretted fixing an item with 44% saying it would be cheaper to buy a new one. Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Card’s reason for doing this survey is to promote the use of a 0% credit card.

If you want a 0% card, then search deals online at comparison sites such as uSwitch*, Moneysupermarket*, confused.com and comparethemarket.com*. I would suggest however that unless you need to borrow the money, the better idea is to dip into your rainy day savings to fund your long-term money saving purchases. And buy the best you can afford: it will pay off.
See our guide to credit cards here

Which is better – an Isa or a pension?
Why you need an emergency fund


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Wednesday, 22 May 2019