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How Long Do You Wait To Replace Something That’s Broken?

Broken headphones
(flickr.com user gabrielsaldana)

Maybe I’m just kind of old school.  I was raised that if something is broken, you try to fix it before you just give up and throw it out.  If you can’t fix it, you make do with it until you can replace it.  So when you have something that’s broken, what do you do?  Are you quick to move on and get something new?  Or do you try to find ways to fix it first?

The reason I ask is that I have a pair of headphones that have been with me through a lot.  The reason I bought them is that parts of them can be replaced very easily.  But I can imagine that a lot of people would just toss them and get something new.

I have a huge amount of respect for people who like to “dumpster dive” and can make something out of what was seemingly nothing.  I think it’s kind of symbolic too how young people are quick to just throw things out and buy something new.  It’s a generational thing.  You would have never seen my grandma throw something out unless it was absolutely and completely used up.  My mom is the same way.  She will find 20 different ways to reuse a plastic bag.  Ask anyone in my family!

It seems easy for people my age to just “get a new one”.  It seems like people who try to fix things and save some money are known as cheapskates because they don’t just fork out the money for something new.  But it makes me wonder how much money we could save if we were more like our parents and grandparents.  We would certainly be more resourceful and have more respect for the things we owned if we weren’t so quick to get “new” stuff all the time.

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