Over the last few weeks, I’ve repeatedly had to make the choice whether to REPAIR or BUY NEW.

First, it was with my washer and dryer unit. After it started chewing holes in my clothes, the repairman told me the fix would cost about $700. A new unit sells for $1,100. The broken unit was about 10 years old, so I decided it was probably best to buy a new one. I wasn’t thrilled with having to spend so much cash just a few months into homeownership, but I’m happy to have a washer and dryer unit that’s no longer shredding my clothes. I lost hundreds of dollars worth of clothing due to this issue.

My second REPAIR or BUY NEW decision is also related to clothing, but has nothing to do with the problem I had with my washer and dryer unit. Unfortunately, I’ve gained a few pounds over the last few months. I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve already taken steps to get back on track. Anyway, I started to notice holes in my jeans a few weeks ago. Maybe due to the weight gain? These weren’t like the ones the washer and dryer created. These were the holes around the crotch area that many of us get in our jeans.

After having lost so much clothing already, this really frustrated me. On top of that, I loved my jeans. I’m one of those people who has a hard time finding jeans that fit just right, so when I find the right pair, I stock up. The two pairs of jeans in question were not cheap, either. They retail for about $200 each. I know I didn’t pay that, but perhaps I paid $100 for each pair? I don’t remember.

I spent a couple of hours trying on dozens of pairs of cheaper replacement jeans, but I had no luck. Finally, I decided to take my jeans to the cleaners for repair. One pair cost $35 and the other, repaired at a different location, cost $25. Now, I’m sure I could have found a patch online and borrowed someone’s sewing machine to save money, but I haven’t sewed anything since the 7th grade. I was happy to spend the $60.

Now, what was different about these two decisions? First, price. Repairing the jeans was inexpensive. Repairing the washer and dryer unit was not. Also, I had to think long-term. A repaired washer and dryer might have only lasted me a couple of years, then I would have to buy an $1,100 replacement anyway. However, my fixed-up jeans are almost like new. With proper care and weight management, they could last a long time. Finally, convenience. The repairman selected the new machine and installed it for me.  No fuss. On the other hand, shopping for jeans is a time-consuming hassle. Having them fixed was so much easier.

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