Why do things always break at the worst possible time?
After spending $2000 in car repairs in one month (ouch), we were working hard to replace our emergency fund and get back to our debt snowball when…the dishwasher stopped washing and the dryer stopped drying (cue tears here).
Old me wanted to run to the phone, call the repairman, and beg him to come ASAP. New me realized that without an emergency fund, we had to wait. Life without credit cards requires patience, my friends.
Thankfully, since we had to wait, we figured out a way to repair everything for $0. Yes, ma’am $0. Keep reading to find out how.
How to Save Money on Home Repairs
Let’s be realistic- how many appliances or home issues need to be fixed immediately, right this minute? Very few. Back in the day people washed dishes by hand, hung their clothes to dry, used fans when it was hot and even bundled up in the cold. You can survive a day or two without most home appliances. Rash decisions will cost you lots of money. Instead, take the time to make a smart decision about your repair.
Do your research
DIY (Do it yourself)
If you have some basic tools and a semi-handy family member, there are a lot of appliances you can fix on your own. In the past year we have (and by we I mean my awesome husband) installed a dishwasher, repaired a dryer, sealed a roof and replaced glass door panels, just to name a few.
You can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by taking the time to research and try to fix things on your own.
However, please be safe. Know your limits and don’t do anything that could land you in the hospital. Those bills are wayyyyy more expensive than your repairman.
Phone a friend
Maybe you personally don’t have the skills to complete your repair but you know someone who does. Call your friend and ask if he or she would be willing to help you out with your repair. Offer to pay them (start with about half of what the estimated repair cost is). If you can agree on a price and you feel confident in their abilities, set up an appointment so you can be sure your repair happens in a timely manner and rest assured that you just saved yourself a lot of money. You might want to throw in a pizza with the money you saved as an extra thanks for their help.
If you decide your repair job is too big for your handyman abilities, take the time to shop around. Call several different companies and ask for estimates before making an appointment.
I have found that most of the time the big names are much more expensive than the local repair companies. However, don’t just go for the cheapest price. Check the reviews on Google and Yelp to make sure you are getting a quality repair for a good price.
You’ve spent all this time researching, you have a good idea of what your repair should cost and you know prices for several companies. It’s time to put all that knowledge to work.
When you make the appointment be sure to ask for an estimated cost and an estimated amount of time it should take for the repair. Write down the estimates and who you talked to.
When you get the bill, review it and ask about any discrepancies. If the total is more than what you were quoted, asked why and try to negotiate a lower price. You could also ask if there is a discount if you pay in cash or if there are any coupons available.
I know many of these tips feel uncomfortable but let’s put it into perspective. What do you want more? A functional dishwasher this very moment or the financial freedom to do whatever you want for the rest of your life and follow your dreams?
I thought so.
Go wash your dishes :).
Or let me know how your super-cheap home repair went in the comments below.
Mom. Writer. Lover of all things DIY. My mission is to empower my fellow creatives to show money who’s boss, ditch debt and follow their dreams. Achieving debt freedom isn’t easy but our dreams are worth it!