5 Ways to Make Your Things Last Longer

by RC on August 26, 2008

One way to save money and be frugal is by not having to purchase things too often, especially replacing things you already have because they have worn out, are broken, or are of such poor quality that they do not function as intended. Of course, nothing lasts forever, but the longer you make something last, the less often you have to shell out your hard-earned dollars to buy a replacement item. Making things last longer can improve your bottom line; here are 5 ways to make your purchases last as long as possible.

Buy quality

- If one brand of an item costs 50% more than another item, but lasts twice as long, the cost over the life of the item is the actually lower.

Examples-

  • Buying energy efficient appliances, which can have a cheaper operating cost over time than a less expensive model which is less energy efficient.
  • Buying cheap electronics, such as TVs, with a poor record of durability. You may need to replace these more frequently than a higher quality item.

Keep things clean

- Keeping things clean and free of dust, dirt, grease and grime can prolong their life, especially things that tend to get dirty.

Examples-

  • Floors, carpets, and rugs can quickly become dingy if not cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Washing your car regularly and waxing can protect the paint job.

Regular maintenance

- Performing regular maintenance is an important part of making things last. Not following regular maintenance schedules can cause items to deteriorate much more quickly.

Examples-

  • Changing your car’s oil
  • Cleaning out the dryer’s lint screen and the exhaust vent.
  • Replacing your air conditioning filter regularly.

Don’t use things improperly

- Using items in a way they were not intended to be used can damage them. Using them the proper way can make them last a lot longer.

Examples-

  • Taking off your shoes without untying them, slipping them off and on instead. (One I am guilty of from time to time)
  • Using tools improperly-a wrench as a hammer, for example.

Follow proper care instructions

- As much as many of us don’t like to follow directions, when it comes to care and maintenance, following the instructions is usually your best bet.

Examples-

  • Washing “delicates” on the regular wash cycle.
  • Putting “hand wash only” pots or utensils in the dishwasher

Being frugal is not always about bottom line cost. A cheaper alternative may not be cheaper in the end if it has higher operating costs or does not last as long as another model. Performing regular maintenance, keeping things clean, and taking care of them can make them last as long as possible.

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