Frugal Solutions: Repairs are Sometimes Cheaper than Buying New

The other day was I just minding my own business, vacuuming and cleaning away with music playing quietly blasting in the background, when all of a sudden my vacuum made a scary sound, started stinking horribly, and began blowing dirt back at me with a vengeance.

It was like my vacuum was possessed! (Although in full disclosure, it did not start on fire…)

Ugh!” I thought, “I don’t want to have to go buy a new vacuum right now, it’s so not in the budget this month.

Since I hadn’t budgeted to go right out and buy a new vacuum, I decided I’d try to fix. Of course I only wanted to attempt to repair it if I could do so pretty easily without making too big of a mess. I also didn’t want to end up spending too much time or money on finding replacement parts. After all, almost everyone has at least one horror story about the time they decided to fix an appliance, only to have it cost astronomically more time and money than it would’ve to just buy a new machine.

Luckily I’m a pretty picky person, so picking out a new appliance isn’t something I take lightly. I want to make sure I’m getting one that will do the best job at what I need and one that will last a long time without costing me an arm and a leg, which is a difficult (at best) combination to find. So trying to fix the vacuum I already owned seemed like the best solution in this instance.

The first thing I checked was the dirt canister. Not emptying it often enough has been the cause of my vacuum problems in the past, but that was not the case this time.

Because of my lack of expertise in vacuum repair, I did a quick internet search to find out the most common problems associated with my vacuum’s symptoms.

Then, off to the garage I went to disassemble my vacuum.

After a bit of dirty and dusty investigation, I discovered that a wad of hair the size of my cat had clogged up the filter and was causing the issues I was having. Once I removed the huge clump of hair, cleaned the filters and canisters, I was good to go. Luckily I didn’t have to delve too deeply into the vacuum repair instructions I found online.

I went back inside and picked right back up where I’d left off with my cleaning and vacuuming. My vacuum worked like a charm and there was not even a hint of the stench it had before I thoroughly cleaned it.

Total cost to fix my vacuum situation – $0

Now that’s what I’d call the frugal decision!

How often do you try to fix your belongings rather than replacing them? Where do you draw the line on repair costs?

About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. I used to be more of a person who wanted to pay to get things fixed all the time; however, my hubby is a very DIY focused guy, and now we are more apt to find a DIY solution that get anything fixed. With youtube, we have found that we can solve just about anything.

    • That is a great point too Shannon! DIY-ing it saves a ton of money over paying for repairs. Even when paying for repairs though, it’s still cheaper than buying new (most of the time).

  2. That’s awesome!!! We always try to repair first. Though I haven’t yet had to tackle a vacuum! Bravo!

    • Yes, I always try to repair before I replace. It’s usually cheaper and it’s better for the environment too. (Creates less waste/trash.)

  3. I decided I was going to repair all of our car lights when they go out. I watched a youtube video and saw how easy it was and got excited that I saved a lot of money rather than having someone else do it. Then I got really upset thinking back for the past 20 years I have had other people do it. There is so much you can learn online and do it yourself.

  4. I usually try to repair something before I replace it. I hate throwing stuff away when there might be some potential left for it to live!

  5. I bet you felt super good after fixing the vacuum – at no extra cost to boot! DH and I also will tinker with stuff to see if we can get it to work before resorting to replacing it altogether.

  6. Haha, that gif! Good for you, taking the time to check it out and fix it first. I always like to try to fix things before giving up on them, unless I really, really want to get a new one 🙂

  7. I always ask my dad for help if I need to repair something since I’m not very good at fixing things. And he always seems to know! 🙂

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