I don’t think I’m the only person blogging about money who sometimes feels like there’s not a huge amount to always say about money. When everything’s automated, you’re months away from renewal of any insurance, your savings and investments are ticking up and you’re not ready to address your food costs which have spiralled out of control since you had a baby, it leads you to thinking about other things.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. You can definitely think about money too much and I have been guilty of this in the past. But, maybe you came here looking for money content and you’re sick of seeing me witter about the environment? (Although, it’s a super important topic and there’s no point retiring early if you’ve trashed the planet you’re living on. But anyway, moving on…)
The mending part of ‘make do and mend’
If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making do with what I’ve got and making do without the things I don’t have.
I don’t like spending money on stuff as I then have to find a home for it in my house and I have the underlying feeling of dread that it (whatever ‘it’ is) might end up being a waste of money. So, I’d give myself an 8 out of 10 for making do.
Mending though. Oh dear, oh dear, I am not a natural mender at all. Throwing things away that you can mend yourself is throwing money away though. And clearly isn’t a good move for the environment either. The thing is, I don’t often attribute a financial cost to throwing items away and therefore, I don’t incentivise myself to fix them and keep them.
Money blogger gets mending
I’ll first defend myself by saying that stuff doesn’t just get chucked as soon as a function breaks (on an electrical item, for example) or a teensy tiny hole appears. I’ll just potter along, ignoring the problem and making do with it in it’s ageing state.
Perhaps if I can start mending stuff, I can prolong it’s life further. Longer life leads to less of an item needed over a lifetime, leads to less money spent overall and less of my stuff ending up in a landfill for my great, great, great, great, great grandchildren to deal with. If the planet is even liveable by then.
The first mend
I went through my pile of ironing, to discover a pair of linen trousers that has sat at the bottom of the pile for 3 years because the button is at high risk of being pulled off within the next use or two. (I spent 9 months being pregnant and a year returning to pre-baby weight, so I’m maybe a little less lazy than you might be thinking at that length of time having elapsed. But then again, maybe I’m not!). It seemed pointless to iron them when I wouldn’t dare wear them. So I removed the button, and spent longer than I wish to remember sewing it back on. Yessss! 1 item mended. There is a tonne of life left in them (subject to not getting irretrievably toddler stained when I wear them next summer).
The second mend
The second mend is my 4 year old trainers. In spite of frequent use, they have held up pretty well. But like virtually all of my previous trainers. the lining at the heel has worn out. Before getting to the point of no return with them, I ordered some heel inserts from eBay. They look exactly like the sort of thing my granny might use, but as they’re inside my shoes, it doesn’t matter. I’m hoping what they lack in style, they make up for in functionality. I’d love to get another 2 years plus out of these trainers if I can! So far, they are stuck in and seem to work. I’m wondering how long the adhesive will last though…
The third mend
In the spirit of honesty, I’ve not made a third mend yet, although I actually have two things lined up; a pair of warm tights with a hole in the toe (naturally) and a dressing gown with a pocket that is coming away. I need to psyche myself up for more sewing, after the lengthy experience of sewing a button on. But it’s an easy (or at least a cheap) way of me hitting my eco-switch challenge goals so I need to get them done by the end of the year.
What’s it worth?
Knowing the financial value of mending can be a good incentive to do more in future (or at least, I hope it will be!)
I already own a simple sewing kit, so repairing my trousers had no outlay with a saving of around £30.
I did have to invest in heal inserts for £1.95, but didn’t need to spend £40 plus on new trainers, so a saving of £38.05.
If I can repair my tights, that will be a saving of £6, and repairing my dressing gown will be a saving of £50. (I love my dressing gowns, ok?)
So, four simple mends has shielded my bank account from over £120 of expenses.
Do you have anything in your house that you could fix to save yourself some money? Or are you an expert mender with hints and tips to share?