Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Year of the Screwdriver

The Husband and I have been married for 15 years this year. When we first started our family, we filled the house as quickly as we could with inexpensive furniture, home wares, and appliances. Some things have changed over the years, usually replaced second hand or cheaply again, but not much of what we have is of long lasting quality.

This year we are finding that everything we own is breaking down, falling apart, reaching the end of its life. But with a very recent house purchase behind us, and lots of home improvements ahead of us, now is not the time for me to be trying to find money to replace so many things.

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. When we moved into this house last October, the Husband and I agreed that we would take our time with our improvements and changes, choosing top quality that would either add value to the house or be intended to last a long time. Unfortunately it's not really working out that way with our disposable income not able to keep up with our wants and needs for the house.

Instead of buying new on credit we can't afford, or making do with second hand, we are repairing, patching, stretching, or stitching!

The dryer broke down in April, but the Husband is reasonably handy with a soldering iron and screwdriver, so he organised a replacement part and fixed it for $16. It won't last forever, but it buys us more time. We don't use it often, but we often can't get everything dry in winter so it's been hard work making do without it!

When everything started falling through the seams of my handbag and shuffling around in the lining, instead of throwing it out, I've stitched the lining back up to reinforce it. It's looking tired, and worn out, but it will do for a few more months.

My old work shoes had all the black scraped off the toes but also the sides, but instead of buying new, cheap shoes that will again get damaged too quickly, I've dug out a pair or old, good quality leather shoes that had a damaged heel from years ago and had them repaired for $28. They look like new again, and are better quality and more comfortable than anything I could buy right now.

We've repaired work clothing, small appliances, and I'm dragging out the life on an iPhone with a cracked screen. Anything to avoid spending money right now. I don't know how long we can keep up this cycle of repair instead of replace but it's doing the trick for now.

Whatever it takes.


  1. I hear you! We moved into our house 5 years ago with plans to renovate but had a few kids and nothing has happened!

  2. I hear you! We moved into our house 5 years ago with plans to renovate but had a few kids and nothing has happened!

  3. I'm hearing you! We bought our house three years ago but with the industry my partner is in, employment always hangs in the balance so whatever money we have ends up being saved in case he doesn't have a job so we have money to live on. It has led me to a life ( and hobby) of up cycling free furniture pieces I find online or fixing up things in the house cheaply and dividing things up into wants and needs. It's so hard when I also like to scroll interior design instagram pages and lust after a $99 beach towel or a $200 donna cover :(

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  7. Oh the perks of being a homeowner :). The little things definitely start to add up quickly. The biggest advise I would have for anyone just purchasing a home is to ensure that you have a great homeowners insurance policy lined up, first and foremost. Best of luck with everything!

    Jaclyn from Winchester Home Insurance

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