Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#FinancialFails – The Dishwasher Dilemma

I’ve found that it’s fun and easy to write about our financial successes. But what about our financial fails? Those are much harder to have the desire to write about. In an effort to try to stay fully open I’m going to break down and share a fail I experienced  had over the weekend.

About two weeks ago our dishwasher stopped draining. For the last few loads it had been getting progressively worse but finally stopped altogether this time.

When I realized that it wasn’t something that would just go away I started looking up DIY videos on YouTube. I was all excited to put together a great post about how I had this issue, watch a few YouTube videos, figured out how to fix the problem, and saved a ton of money on repairs by fixing it myself. But that was not the case.

When I got into it nothing seemed to go right. The videos that I had found were all on different models that didn’t look anything like ours. The only one that was remotely similar to our mechanical configurations came apart like a set of tinker toys for the guy. Ours was so old that all of the parts had sealed themselves together and nothing would budge. Things broke trying to get it to come apart so I finally took a chisel to one of the broken pieces that wouldn’t budge since it was already ruined. After I go that out of there the next piece wouldn’t cooperate either and I was going to have to remove it be force as well. To replace these pieces it would have been about $50 and a few days of shipping, and that’s just to get it put back together before addressing the draining problem it was having. By the time I gave up I was fuming mad at it and bout 5 hours into a problem that the YouTube guys solved in 10 minutes.

After talking it over we decided that we would probably have to replace it before selling the house anyways since it was having more and more frequent problems, so fixing it now would just be helping it to limp along. So we said, “screw it, we’re just going to replace it.” Each month we have been building up a savings fund for home remodeling projects that was up to $3,338 by now. We had planned to use this to knock out a wall, put down a fake hardwood floor, and eventually new countertops in the kitchen. So thankfully we already had the money set aside that could easily cover the cost of a kitchen appliance upgrade.

We are slow decision makers, especially when it comes to things we have to spend money on, so it took us about 2.5 hours of looking at Menard’s to finally make a decision on which one to buy. We ended up choosing this dishwasher in case you’re interested. I turned down the $59 delivery and installation offer, assuming that it wouldn’t be too daunting of a task. But after about 4 hours of working on installing it I was second guessing this choice. I finally did get everything put together but it was not a fun or easy experience. And to be honest, we still haven’t tested it out because I’m terrified that I inadvertently messed something up and it’s going to explode when we start using it.

Final Cost Breakdown:
Dishwasher – Regularly $599, on sale for $399
Parts for installation – $11.57
Storewide 11% Mail-in Rebate – $45.08 in-store credit
Total Cost to Replace Dishwasher – $392.42
I had gone into the store mentally prepared to spend $500 to replace it so it was a nice surprise to be able to keep that extra $100 in our account.

Could I have saved more money by finding a cheaper option? – Maybe, but it would have almost definitely been poorer quality.

Would it have been cheaper to have just called in a repairman in the first place – Probably, but it would have turned out more expensive if we had needed to replace it anyways.

Is it over and done with for good? – Definitely, unless I hooked something up wrong (knock on wood).

I hope this post has helped you realize that we are human to and sometimes we pay more for the convenience of not having to worry. We all make financial mistakes on this journey. I wish that breaking my washing machine instead of posting a repairman was the only mistake I've ever made, but it isn't. I'd be nice to turn this into a series. If you have a story you'd like to share please reach out and let us hear about it, you can be an anonymous poster of you're embarrassed to tell your story. Just email bandofsavers@gmail.com.


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