Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fix it or buy new, that is my choice

I may write about how my savings accounts are growing and that my net worth is up but I still make decisions that may set me back. Recently, I had to decide between fixing my electric lawn mower or repairing the one I have. Let me set up the story:

I was reluctantly mowing my lawn and completed cutting 2/3 of my grassy area when I decided to stop and get a drink of water. After I came out of my house and tried to mow again, absolutely nothing happened. I did the basic troubleshooting: is it the power to the lawn mower? Fuse box was fine. Was it the cord? Second cord (with light on end) lit up but did not move the motor. What did the owner's manual say? Perform the steps I did and if that did not resolve the issue, take the mower to a Black and Decker service provider.

Two weeks later, I get the news that the motor was the problem, a replacement part was $150 and labor would be $60. I was advised to junk my lawn mower and get a new one. My dilemma was do I fix what I have and waste fewer resources or buy a new lawn mower and hope it lasts longer than three years? I was assured that the lawn mower would not simply go into the big garbage hole in the ground so that was one less burden.

After doing some looking around, reading specifications and consumer reviews, I settled on buying a new lawn mower for $205. However, it had been two weeks since I last mowed my lawn and while my neighbor kindly offered his gas-powered lawn mower whenever I needed it, I have not asked him for it. With the necessity of mowing my lawn (some areas definitely needed a trim), I paid extra for two-day shipping bringing my total purchase to $280.

Buying a new lawn mower was not in my sights at all. I was happy with my Black and Decker model--until it quit on me. I am disappointed I received just under three seasons of service before the motor came to the end of its lifetime. I am hoping my new Earthwise 20-inch electric mower has a longer lifespan than my other corded electric model. Luckily, I did have money in my home savings account that easily covered this cost but I did create a greater cost by paying for two-day shipping.

Do you agree with my actions?

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