Skip to comments.The Case Against Buying New: Millenials should think twice before throwing old things out
Posted on 12/30/2014 7:43:01 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Michael Walsh linked to an excellent article on the inability of many millennials to fix the simplest of household devices. Walsh was joined by many of my Boomer/Gen-X friends in his comment that it’s usually cheaper to throw out and buy new, but speaking as one of those Gen-X/millennial crossovers, going shopping isn’t always the cheapest thing to do. Especially when you’re caught up in a lousy economy.
Here’s where I praise my incredibly handy husband who grew up learning fractions via wrench set before he ever encountered them in school. When he lost his job shortly after the recession hit, we newlyweds risked becoming a statistic, joining the millions of college graduates like us who were out of work at a time when no jobs could be found. Thankfully, along with raising us with a fabulously humble work ethic, our parents also trained us to make the most out of nothing. My husband saved us thousands of dollars by repairing cars, plumbing, even our household heater himself when times were lean.
Fixing things doesn’t always mean owning crap, either. How did my husband manage to drive a Mercedes in college? He found a wreck in a salvage yard and spent one summer fixing it up with his dad after work. That car lasted him over 10 years and remained a great investment because he took the time to learn how to maintain and repair it when necessary.
His Mr. Fix-It habit is far from over now that he’s back in the work force. Do you know how much it costs the average young homeowner to re-do a bathroom in their first fixer-upper? Enough to make them not bother, or mortgage more for a home that’s already been upgraded. Every project we’ve done in our home we’ve done ourselves with little to no outside help. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it’s hard work. But when you’re young and newly married in a depression marketed as a recession, knowing how to be handy around the house is a lifesaver for your budget and your marriage.
Speaking as the former office manager of a mom and pop TV repair shop, do I think the average TV owner is going to buy a $500 circuit board to fix their flat screen? Nope. However, I do think they’d be wise to salvage those old speakers from grandma’s stereo to build their own surround sound setup before spending anywhere from $500 to $20,000 to have it done for them. In this economy, millennials especially ought to think twice about throwing out and buying new. There’s a lot to be said for being able to do things yourself. It’s a thrilling kind of independence to not have to crack open your checkbook every time something breaks. Perhaps learning how to be handy would help the new generation to save a few more bucks, get out of the house, and even get married before they’re old enough to be considered disposable themselves.
And for the record, Michael, without that oh-so-antiquated sounding radio frequency engineering you’d be hard-pressed to access your Wi-Fi.
It is really useful when you learn to not be afraid and open stuff up when it stops working.
I got a 200 dollar professional paper shredder, that didn’t work, for a couple of dollars. All it took was for me to fix a broken switch on the inside, and it was as good as new.
Hit garage sales and thrift stores. You can load up on tools, and bits and pieces of spare parts, for every little thing you will ever encounter.
What’re you trying to do?
I get most of my stuff from ignorant/stupid millenials who don’t know hoe to fix things.
My 2008 Samsung 40” LCD crapped out the other day. Choices were to buy another TV for $400.00 or solder $4.00 worth of capacitors into the power supply board.
You would have thought I turned water into wine from my wife’s reaction when the TV powered up.
Things like this always come down to how much you make. During times when I made less, I did a lot more of my own work around the house. Currently, most projects are just not worth the hassle, when I can easily shop around for good quotes from people eager to do work in this economy.
Nothing more satisfying than fixing something yourself.
The value in what you did was not the repair but the diagnosis. Did you identify the bad capacitors yourself or did someone else? Good work.
At various points in your life, you’ll have more of one than the others.
I have found that if something breaks, It is a pretty good bet that someone else has experienced the same problem.
Common problems wind up on internet forums and YouTube videos. The amount of DIY stuff available is staggering. In this case, Samsung actually had a class action settlement (expired) to repair the boards and there are multiple resources for diagnosis and repair.
Funny thing is, nowadays the younger crowd cannot fix things in the same way that apparently most cannot cook either and are forced to be pre-packaged everything.
I just had a great experience with that. I had put a homemade CD in my brand new car, it had a label on it. When CD started skipping and I ejected it, the label did not come out. Tried several things, then went to the Internet. Someone had a suggestion for my situation which was to slide in skinny thin cardboard with double faced tape securely attached. See if it grabs it... I thought, what the heck, I'm going to try that and did. At first it did not work but then I hit the eject button, for no reason, one last time, and there it was, the label was down, completely whole, no rips, no wrinkles. It had just fallen off what ever it was stuck on and dropped right into the CD tray. All fixed, and was able to put other Christmas CDs in to my delight! Don't know if it helped or if it was all a coincidence, but I am glad I looked it up and tried.
Interesting ideas on Millennials getting out of the house and getting married before they’re too old for a family.
Like grandma for instance,
Fixed my own dryer the same way. Amazing what's out there on YouTube. Someone had a video of the exact make and model. Ordered the parts over the web, too.
See my post #10.
Didn’t know about the class-action suit, but that is exactly what happened to my 55” Samsung.
Mr. Fixit story.
Parts of this and last generation are missing and we need to fill the gap.
My Sister is already talking Number 3 and Number 2 isn't even here yet!
When the economy does pick up, I think we’ll see a baby boom simply due to pent up demand, at least among the taxpaying population.
I am very thankful that I am married to a man who from a small boy watching his dad repair TV’s, developed wondering how everything works! Most of his work is done at home with computers. So, when the neighbors or I need something it’s a shout upstairs...electrical, HVAC, plumbing, IT, car repair, tractor repair, painting, etc. Of course, each new venture means new tools, haa!
The next new thing will be animal processing as we plan to be the McDonald’s one day soon.
I am not so good with electronics or mechanicals, but I can sew, and salvage a good many items with that skill between repairs and alterations. And can create just what is needed in many instances.
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