Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Built to Last - 5 Ways to Increase the Life of Your Stuff



In our pursuit to cut cost in our daily lives we are always on the prowl searching for the best deals. We want to make wise decisions with our money and get the most bang for our buck. Unfortunately, these days most consumer products are built to be disposable, meaning that products rarely last longer than their warranty and that some things are even designed to be thrown away after one use.

Not only is this wasteful and bad for the environment, but it can really hurt the pocket book. I've included a couple tips here to ensure that you will buy products that are built to last.


1) Do your homework
It's important to research the product that you're comtemplating purchasing. Whether it's a car, mp3 player, laptop, or an appliance the more information you can find on your prospective purchase the better. It's not always going to be the lowest priced merhcandise that will give you the best value, since the product may be of low quality, you may need to make the same purchase shortly after to replace it. A good resource is consumer reports which tests products and summarizes the results http://www.consumerreports.org/.

Also, marketing and fancy packaging can make you feel that you're getting a good product but in reality it might just be a lot of "smoke and mirrors". The best thing to do is read customer reviews about the product and to listen to people's experiences with the product.


2) Put it away
It's important to take good care of your stuff. Whether it's changing the oil in your car or maintaining your roof. It's going to last longer if you take good care of the things you own, that way you don't have to make the purchase again. The more you use something the more value you get from it, so making a product last is a good use of your hard earned money. Puting your car in the garage can protect it from the elements when you're not driving it, which can definately extend its life.

I remember when I was a kid, my dad would always put the bbq cover on it after each use. I thought it seemed like a hassle to take this extra step. Over time the sun and rain devestated the cover, however the bbq was still in good condition. Putting away your things can definately increase the longevity and useful life of a product.


3) Use it for what it was designed for
Stop using your I-Phone as a bottle opener. We love the fact that it can do a lot of things but when we start using it for something it wasn't designed for it will get damaged.

There's an old saying that when all you have is a hammer than every looks like a nail. It's important to have the right tools to get the job done. When we try to do something with a tool that wasn't designed for that particular job, something is going to break.


4) Know when to call it quits
It's a great idea to fix and maintain the things that you own rather than going out and buying a newer one to replace it. By extending the useful life of a product you can save tons and squeeze every last bit of value out of it. However there is a point when it may start costing you more to fix something than to buy something to replace it (i.e. a car).

It's important to know when this point is reached and to cut your loses.


5) What's your idea to make stuff last?
Please leave a comment about how you make your things last longer


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