We've all been there. Your dishwasher breaks for the eighth time in as many months, and it's the moment of truth: Do you pay to fix the darn thing, or do you replace it altogether? It's tempting to just save yourself the trouble of paying for labor, but sometimes it's wiser to make a repair. So next time something breaks, don't be caught off guard and make the wrong call. Instead, know which items are worth the trouble, and which are simply worthy of the trash.

6 Simple Solutions For Organizing On A Budget
15 Home Gym Essentials For Any Budget
DIY Essentials: What To Know Before You Paint

Kitchen Appliances
If one of your kitchen appliances is making that awkward whirring sound again, then you know it's time to see about a solution. But oftentimes, repairs are expensive. In general, if a kitchen appliance is still within warranty, then it's worth having it fixed. Depending on your warranty specifications, the manufacturer will make the necessary changes for free or for a very small service charge. If your product is out of warranty, then skip any repair that would cost more than half the price of a new product. In general, a newer product is the better long-term investment. If your appliance is more than eight years old and is having problems, then it may be best to replace it. (For related reading, see Extended Warranties: Should You Take The Bait?)

Tutorial: How To Manage Credit Cards and Debt

Carpet is a tricky contender. While a carpet's age plays into the decision of whether to clean or replace it, there are many other factors to consider, as well. The typical lifespan of a wall-to-wall carpet is five to 10 years. Any carpet under five years old is worthy of professional cleaning. Past that, you should evaluate its condition. If there are any heavy stains, mold underneath or heavy odors, then you should replace it immediately. Consider having the ground underneath professionally cleaned, as well. However, if you are moving out soon, then don't bother replacing the carpet. Chances are that the next residents will want to remodel for themselves, and that's an investment not worth wasting on someone else.

Very rarely is quality furniture trash-worthy. With the exception of broken plastic furnishings, almost everything can be fixed, and for a reasonable price. Upholstery shops, for example, offer great deals and will do custom work, ensuring you get exactly what you want out of the update. If you'd rather do it yourself, then reupholstering is a relatively simple home project, and actually a pretty common DIY hobby. Broken furniture can usually be fixed with some nails, glue and time.

Energy-Efficient Appliances
As a general rule, energy-efficient appliances are pricey. One of the many reasons for this is their investment value. Over time, energy-efficient appliances save you money on utilities. They're also made to last, so for the most part, their problems are fixable. Deciding between repairing and replacing something is all about the value of your investment, so take comfort in knowing that every penny going into your energy-efficient appliance is another you get back in savings later. Repair as much as you can with these.

Computer Hardware
Technology is a funny thing. It seems to evolve daily, making it gradually more difficult to find the right replacement parts or repair shops. For this reason, though, it makes the trash vs. replace decision an easier one. If your computer hardware is still under warranty, then use that warranty to have it repaired, making the most of what you paid for it. If not, then replace it. Chances are that by this point, a newer computer part will serve you better, anyway.

The Bottom Line
Dealing with repairs is never fun. But when you're a little more informed about the value of your belongings, the process doesn't have to be quite as stressful. By simply evaluating the value of your investment, and by following the simple tricks above, you'll be on your way to making sound financial decisions for many years to come.

Related Articles
  1. Savings

    Best 7 Money Saving Tips for Your Electric Bill

    Learn how to make simple changes around the home to save on your electric bill, such as fixing drafty windows and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  2. Home & Auto

    7 Absolute No-Nos When Selling a Home

    Avoid these mistakes if you’re looking to make a quick and easy home sale.
  3. Personal Finance

    How Tech Can Help with 3 Behavioral Finance Biases

    Even if you’re a finance or statistics expert, you’re not immune to common decision-making mistakes that can negatively impact your finances.
  4. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  5. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  6. Budgeting

    How Much Will it Cost to Become President In 2016?

    The 2016 race to the White House will largely be determined by who can spend the most money. Here is a look at how much it will cost to win the presidency.
  7. Budgeting

    Six Most Popular Hobbies You Can Do For Free

    Does your budget not allow you to have expensive hobbies? Here are six great ideas for occupying your free time without spending money.
  8. Home & Auto

    How Property Taxes Are Calculated

    Property taxes are calculated through use of the mill levy and the assessed property values.
  9. Home & Auto

    Understanding Property Deeds

    A property deed is an instrument that enables sellers to convey real property to buyers, who become the new owners.
  10. Home & Auto

    This Is How You Could Live in the Philippines on $1,000 a Month

    Consider what your life might be like in the Philippines on a $1,000 budget, and determine whether this Southeast Asian country is for you.
  1. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I use the rule of 72 to estimate compounding periods?

    The rule of 72 is best used to estimate compounding periods that are factors of two (2, 4, 12, 200 and so on). This is because ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How much risk is associated with subprime mortgages?

    A large amount of risk is associated with subprime mortgages. Since the mortgages are specifically for people who do not ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center