False economies and bargain buys
Remember when your parents used to nag you to turn off the lights when you left a room or close the door behind you to stop the heat escaping?
Thanks to soaring energy costs we’ve become that family.
In fact, the cost of everything from electricity and gas to mobile phone plans seem to be on the rise.
Even services where costs seemed predictable have continued to soar.
So it’s tempting to look at making economies elsewhere. The difficulty is knowing what represents a bargain and what will be a false economy, costing you more in the long run.
I have a bit of a thing about this with appliances big and small so I was a little disappointed when our 10-year-old vacuum cleaner recently gave up the ghost. In truth, we had already replaced parts once and, when another part failed, it seemed the smarter choice to start afresh.
But it was no small expense back when I bought it, partly because it was one of the new breed with HEPA filters, which are recommended for households like ours with asthma sufferers.
I liked the service at our local electrical store so I went back to find a replacement. After being told that 10 years was a good run for a vacuum cleaner and that HEPA filters were now standard, I tried the same brand again.
Aside from finding myself using a vacuum in a public place — vacuuming is my least favourite household task — I was pretty happy with the results. I even asked for their best price, which left me with an extra $20 in my pocket.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realised that the price I had paid was the sale price, about $150 less than the original cost, which was still on the box. So I really cleaned up, as it were. Sometimes you can get a bargain and a reliable appliance too. Who knew?