Paycheck Chronicles

Don't Call It Repairs - Call It Tuition


When I first became a homeowner, I hated to call professionals to have things fixed.  Often, I discovered that it was something that I could have fixed myself and I would get aggravated at "wasting" money.  There are a couple of ways that I have changed my attitude and eventually, saved myself some money also.

First, I decided to use the presence of a professional to help me learn.  I would tag along, asking questions, and watching as they worked.  I have never had anyone be bothered by it, and they have always been very nice about explaining the work they were doing.  I have learned how to quickly troubleshoot most of the easy things that can be wrong with the plumbing, heating, AC and electrical.  I tell myself that I'm not paying for the repair, but rather it is tuition for learning how to fix it myself.  This helps me not be upset about spending the money for help, and I save in the future.

Second, I got a book on basic home maintenance.  This book has been really useful and has definitely saved me for than a few repair calls.  Nowadays, the internet can answer almost every question out there.  Don't know how to unjam your garbage disposal or fix your window screen?  Google and YouTube to the rescue!

Third, be nice to the people who are answering the phones.  They have heard just about every problem and can often talk you through checking simple solutions.  This, too, has saved me unnecessary repair calls, a lot of time, and a ton of money.

Though I'm still no expert, these three things have helped me to learn more about my house and also keep professional repairs to a minimum.  I save some money and I also avoid the inconvenience of waiting for a repair that I can do quickly myself.

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