Everything I Own is Broken or Worn Out

It feels like EVERYTHING I own is broken or worn out.

On a daily basis, something we own falls apart, quits, leaks, sparks, collapses, cracks, dies or all of the above. I am not sure how much more I can take.

Today, my windshield wipers broke.  Yesterday, the kettle started to leak. A few weeks ago, my nephew jumped on my son’s laptop and broke the screen. (#FirstWorldProblems?) At Christmas time, my Mother was dropping not-so-subtle hints that our house needs a little “refresh.” She is not wrong.

In my relentless pursuit of savings I forgot a few things.

  1. The Cost of Ownership: What Tyler Durden said is true, “The things you own end up owning you.” I need to remind myself again and again, that the costs don’t stop after you have acquire something. If we were renters instead of owners – the roof would the landlords problem and not ours. Good golly, things can be expensive to own.
  2. Price and value are not the same thing. Some of the issues we are dealing with are a result of choosing the least expensive option. I need to start looking beyond the price and consider utility. Sometimes the cheapest option will cost more in the long run. Our kitchen table and chairs are a good example of this. I was in a pinch and chose the cheapest set I could find. Turns out, this is furniture we use every single day, is an important part of our lifestyle (I love family mealtime.) It needs to be sturdy and well constructed. The set we own today is uncomfortable and falling apart. Same is true of our sofa. I will do better next time.
  3. Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong…” and in my experience, they all seen to go wrong at the same time. I need to build a bit of contingency into the budget for these things. It seems like every year we have at least one $1,000 “emergency”. Can I call them emergencies if I know they are bound to happen at some point? Things break and I need to plan for them.

The list of things we need to fix, maintain, or address is long. I am trying to approach it as follows:

  1. Gratitude.  Things wear out. I need to remember that some of the things we have, we have owned for a good many years. I am trying to be thankful for the service they have provided. I also need to remember that we are in a position to deal with these things financially. I imagine for some families – the car breaking down, a stove on the fritz or the house foundation cracking, could be devastating.
  2. Itemize. I am in the process of listing all the things we need to fix so that we can look at the big picture and plan. This might be a lifelong process as new items are added daily.
  3. Prioritize. I don’t think we can fix everything, all at once, so we need to make some decisions.  What is a priority for us? What can wait? What can we do without?  What other information do we need? My husband and I don’t always agree on what takes priority but at least we can make informed decisions and tackle the most important items first.

Repair, Replace or Refrain?

We have started to make a go of it and have made some progress. We have spent some time researching our options, shopping around, getting quotes and checking the classifieds. I hope this will help us make better decisions.

  • We have already repaired my car and gave it a new lease on life. I hope we can grow old together.
  • Soon, the roofing companies will be here to give us some quotes.
  • I am trying to decide if I should take a sledgehammer to the stupid hot tub.
  • Determining what is a want and what is a need is a work in progress. I am reminded of a scene from Fight Club…

 When you buy furniture, you tell yourself that’s it. That’s the last sofa I am going to need. Whatever else happens, I’ve got that sofa problem handled. 

Maybe not. Take it away Tyler Durden…

Thanks for visiting!

8 Comments


  1. Wow, I hear ya May! Our van got us up to New York and then the engine blew about two weeks later. We always buy minivans that are about 10 years old and run them until the junkyard beckons. I think we get caught up in old habits sometimes. This time, I think we’ll switch it up a bit. Looks like that’s what you’re planning too! 🙂

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    1. Hi Kay – So sorry to hear about your recent troubles. I look forward to you posting again.

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    1. Thanks Brian – I loved the Fight Club. At work we use “Project Mayhem” for any crazy initiative or project. You are right – it took us a long time to accumulate all this stuff so it will take awhile to replace it.

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  2. We definitely go through periods when it seems like everything in the house is breaking. We’re in a blessed lull right now, but who knows how long that’ll last?

    Meanwhile, I don’t want to buy any new clothes, but I’ve lost just enough weight that not a lot of my things fit me flatteringly. Luckily, I work from home, so it’s not a big deal.

    We definitely bought a couple of pieces of furniture in haste. I bought my in-laws’ dining table off them to help out in a time of financial problems. But it’s impractical (glass top) and the chairs are wobbly no matter how many times we adjust them.

    We’ll do better next time. Because I only want to buy ONE more dining table in my life if I can help it.

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    1. Speaking of dining tables – one of our kids spilled something on our antique dining room and we did not see it in time and it ate a giant patch of the finish off and scarred the wood. I don’t think we could fix it – even if we refinished it so are only option is strategic table cloth use until we can replace. Right now black electrical tape is holding the wobbly chairs together. I really should post some pictures of these things. Hmmm…..

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  3. I guess that’s how the life of ownership goes right? My wife and I have always rented, but we are considering buying soon, but what keeps us from doing it are all the expenses that we will have to cover. It’s nice not having to worry about that’s stuff when you rent. At the same time it would be nice to own a place. Stuff to think about.

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    1. Yes the rent vs. own can be a real dilemma. I have sat down with my husband and shown him the math – and from a pure dollars perspective we would be better off renting but he just can’t fathom how that can be. Renting feels like you are throwing away money or making your landlord rich but there are some serious expenses that come with owning a home and we would probably earn a better return if we invested our equity. It is amazing how much of home ownership is purely “psychological” and lifestyle based. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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