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Making Things Last

Last week, I posted a short comment about not chasing after all the latest and greatest stuff. I hope you read that. If you haven’t, check out Lest you think I’m going off-topic for this blog, remember that I’m not only interested in helping college students graduate debt-free but also seeing those who already have debt get it paid off.

To pay off your college debt, or any debt, requires discipline. Part of that discipline is not spending what you don’t need to spend. To that end, I’d like to address the idea of making things last. It will take multiple posts. Americans too often tend to throw serviceable items away and replace them. This is not good for your debt-reduction plan or the environment.

Let’s start with cars. Assuming you own a car, are you doing the regularly scheduled maintenance? That’s what will keep your car running well beyond its usual predicted life. Probably the most important service item is getting the oil changed regularly. Do it at least twice a year to be on the safe side, even if you don’t drive all that much.

The other thing on a car is to fix anything that breaks right away. If you wait to fix something, that could easily cause something else to break, etc. Driving around with something wrong on the car will also lead to dissatisfaction with the car and a tendency to replace it, even though it may still be very serviceable.

One more thing on making cars last. Drive smoothly. We own a 24-year-old Subaru. I’ve done the maintenance, fixed things as they broke, and used the cruise control on the highway. It’s got over 250,000 miles on it and still runs. It’s not beautiful, but it gets our daughter to work and back. Using the cruise is just one of the keys to making it last.

There are more ideas, but I don’t want to get too long here, so I will stop. In the future, I have more ideas of how to save money. Stay tuned.

Please forward this to anyone who would benefit from reading it or anyone who would benefit from the upcoming posts. And thanks for reading.

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