You’ve probably been faced with this important decision several times: Do you invest more money in your old thing or shell out the cash for a new one?
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about your car, lawnmower, house, or computer. There’s a set of questions you run through. You make a decision based on similar factors, every time.
I’ve been facing one of these decisions all weekend. My bicycling hobby took me to the local bike shop. They kindly told me that it would take $320 to fix up my old bike. Maybe I should just buy a new one.
Factors to consider
1. Sentimental value – Obviously you’ll want to fix up old items that have sentimental value. You don’t want to just throw those out for a new one. I bought my bike off craigslist for $120. No sentimental value.
2. Age of item – A two-year-old car will get repaired, but a 20-year-old car might have lived out its useful life already. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know when some lives are done. My bike is over 20-years-old. Long enough for me.
3. Budget – How much money can you invest in this item? I try to look at all non-consumable items as investments, since I’ll hopefully be using them for years. But if your budget is small, you might have to keep hobbling along on the old lawnmower. My wife and I agreed that a portion of my blogging money would go to my bike fund!
4. Lifespan – How long do you expect to use this item? If you’re only going to need it for another 2 years, maybe fixing the old one is best. I hope to cycle for the rest of my life.
5. Self repair – When talking about repairs, there’s always an option of doing some things yourself. If you have some of the necessary tools (and know how to use them), go to town! But if you don’t know a wrench from a screwdriver, replacing your car’s fuel pump might be a disaster. I’m handy with tools, but I don’t have many specialized bike tools.
6. New features – Would the replacement item be identical to your old one? Or has technology improved and changed? The upgrades might make a new item well worth the expense. Bikes have definitely improved in the last few decades.
7. Availability of replacement – Perhaps this should’ve been first. If you can’t even buy a new one, you’re stuck repairing the old item. There’s a few bikes on the market today.
I’m sure I left out a few key factors. What do you think? Are there important things to consider that I neglected in this list?
Now I just have to pick which bike to buy….
Photo by bullish1974
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