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Should I Repair or Replace?

When was the last time you repaired a broken item? If you can’t answer that question, you may be wasting your money. Here are some occasions where you can save by making repairs.

In today’s culture, it’s common to ditch clothes, electronics and appliances as soon as they start to break down. Sometimes replacement is justified, like if there’s a safety issue or if a newer model is more energy efficient. More often than not, though, we purchase new items due to convenience factors.

Here are some items that are cheaper to repair than replace.


Luggage is expensive, so you should only throw it away if it’s no longer usable. A professional repair can cost as little as $25. If you’re dealing with a loose handle or squeaky wheel, order a replacement part from the manufacturer. You can remove and reattach these parts easily with a screwdriver. You can also fix tears or cracks on your own with duct tape, iron-on patches, a carbon fiber repair kit or glue.


Resist the urge to trash your purse the next time the zipper catches or the strap breaks, especially if it’s a designer handbag. Many companies offer repair services. You can also try to repair a split zipper by manipulating the slider with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Reattaching straps is also easy if you have some sewing experience. Avoid overstuffing your bag to prevent future damage.


Shoes are worth repairing if they’re made of high-quality materials or you love their look and fit. Basic wear and tear can be remedied with a dab of shoe glue. Otherwise, bring your shoes to a repair shop to save money and get another 20 years out of them. Shoe part replacements are surprisingly affordable:

  • Sole – $30 to $80
  • High heel – $10 to $40

Wood Furniture

Old-fashioned wood furniture is built for durability. Buff out scratches and dents easily with sandpaper or apply a new finish to revive your favorite pieces. Reupholster worn chairs yourself with the help of an online tutorial.

If your home is stocked full of particleboard items from Target or IKEA, you’re better off buying replacements.

Leaky or Running Toilet

Labor costs can break the bank. Instead of calling a plumber at the first sign of trouble, turn off the water supply line and investigate the problem yourself. Remove the toilet tank lid. Are the flapper and float broken? Can you see rust around the screws inside? If so, purchase a toilet repair kit for around $15 to $30 and replace these parts yourself.

Save Money With American Financial Solutions

The first step toward financial health is establishing good spending habits, like repairing instead of replacing. The next step is creating a game plan to manage your debt. At American Financial Solutions, our credit, housing and bankruptcy counselors can help you get your budget back on track. Call us today at (888) 864-8548 to get started.

Published Sep 5, 2018.