Downgrade costly, broken appliances to save money

Push Mower

A push lawnmower can be a downgrade that will save you money. Image: Flickr / dan4th / CC-BY

When you use things, they will break. When those items break, however, replacing or upgrading are not your only options. Downgrading can be just as legitimate an option.

The costs of keeping something running

Be it a lawnmower, a camera, or your television, everything that turns on has a cost associated with it. This could be the batteries it uses, the power outlet it plugs into, or the fuel you put into it. When something breaks, you should run an analysis of how much money you put into keeping it running. This does not need to be a full lifetime analysis, but it should be enough to at least give you a good idea of how much that particular item actually costs you.

Consider a downgrade

It can be tempting to upgrade, or replace items that break with something better. You should consider, however, whether you really need to replace or upgrade. More often than not, a less expensive and less difficult option can be better all around. These downgrades could be used items or they can be new, less expensive to maintain items. Downgraded items may also run on human power, which can be better for your health as well.

Environmentally friendly broken appliances

Often, something that runs on human power or electricity can be better for the environment as well as better for your waistline. Even a smaller house or smaller car could use less fuel, less resources and less in overall costs. While it may or may not be your main concern, downgrading to something that takes a bit more effort can be a better environmental choice as well.

Beware of cheap

One important thing to remember is even though you may choose to downgrade something, this does not mean you should be cheap about your purchase. Quality is worth the price. If you will be downgrading a gas-powered lawnmower to a push lawnmower, you should spend the extra money to get a good-quality steel lawnmower instead of a cheap aluminum one. Good-quality downgrades will always be less expensive in the end than a low-quality upgrade. Consider the lifetime costs of an item rather than the immediate costs.

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