No lawn mower? No problem.
“It’s a compression issue”. Those were the four words my [free] handyman (aka Fiancé Scott) said to me this week when he inspected my lawn mower after it died. And of course, it died halfway through mowing so I was left with a half mowed yard. And a dead mower. With a compression issue.
I took some small engine mechanic classes several years ago, so I have a little bit of a clue what this issue means. In short, it means that I can’t fix it myself. At least not well and most likely not properly. So in order to get it fixed so that it actually runs again, I’ll need to take it to a qualified (not free) lawn mower mechanic. Or, I will need to bite the bullet and buy a new mower. In Wisconsin in October. Pretty sure there’s no Halloween sale on lawn mowers. Guess the trick is on me.
So I was left with this short term dilemma – do I leave my lawn half mowed until the spring and ignore my neighbors’ awkward stares or do I stop over at the neighbor’s house, tell him to stop staring, and ask to borrow his mower? If you read one of my earlier blogs about being a creature of habit and that everything has a place, you can probably imagine that it would drive me crazy to keep my lawn half mowed until the spring. So I borrowed a mower to finish the yard but have determined that no matter how much more the grass grows between now and when the snow falls, I will not mow.
Now for the long term dilemma – do I take the mower to a mechanic, pay the costs for parts and labor on a mower that’s 7 years old or do I take that money and instead put it toward a new mower? As much as I don’t like the idea of having to buy a new mower, I don’t like the idea of paying someone just as much to try to fix the old one more. And so it is – I’ll start saving for a new mower.
This brings me to this week’s financial fun fact: when a major appliance or other item in your home breaks, evaluate the costs for repairs vs the cost to purchase a new one. And consider the longevity of the item when evaluating costs. For example, if I knew I could get another 7 years out of my lawn mower, I’d just pay the costs for repair. But, I’m pretty sure that I could only get another year or two out of my mower – at best – before I’d have to get a new one anyways.
I am so glad that I set up a savings account at the beginning of Project Money to cover unexpected expenses like this. And I’m so glad that the mower held up over the summer so that I have the next 9 months of winter in Wisconsin to save up for a new one. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and Santa will bring me a new one. I’ll be sure to leave plenty of room under the Christmas tree, just in case.