Washer broke, no EF yet.
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  1. #1
    Registered User Kyfirestorm's Avatar
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    Default Washer broke, no EF yet.

    I am a perfect example of the "Don't wait, start TODAY" philosophy. You see, I was given a Guideposts magazine by my mother-in-law in January of 2005 that featured Dave Ramsey and his entire program. I remember reading it and thinking that he had the right idea and that -- SOMEDAY -- I'd start following his plan, just as soon as I got in good enough shape financially to do it. Then I joined FV a little over a month ago and found so many people talking about the TMMO that I dug out that copy of Guideposts and re-read it. Yes, I saved it through all these years. Again, I decided that I was going to follow his plan -- SOMEDAY SOON -- because it made sense and I saw in the forums how many people were living happy lives because of it.

    I set some serious goals last month for groceries, household supplies, and my utilities . . . but still no EF. Step one, right?

    Last week my washing machine broke. No problem, I thought, I'll just get it fixed since it's only 10 years old. Wrong! Every repairman that I talked to said to just get a new one because it wouldn't be worth fixing. It's kind of sad (in hindsight) that we've become a society of people who buy new instead of fixing what we have. So, the beginning of the week I was out shopping for new washers. And since I don't have an EF built yet I either had to scrape pennies and buy the cheapest one I could or I had to finance. The top load washing machines were my option if I was going to try to scrape together enough to pay cash. But, the front loaders really attracted my attention due to all the great things I've heard about them being so efficient. In a town with outrageous water prices, that is a GOOD thing in my book. I ended up choosing a front load set . . . an Amana (now built by whirlpool I think) because it was what I could afford. I went ahead and purchased the dryer too because I got scared that my dryer might go out next and they were running a really good deal on the set. The ironic thing? One of the salesmen that was chatting with me while the guy I was working with was getting all the paperwork together had heard of Dave Ramsey and his program and began to tell me that Dave would say not to buy a new washer and to use a laundromat for a while. My salesman kept looking at this guy like "What are you DOING?!?!?!? I'm in the middle of a SALE?!?!?!?!?" Luckily for my guy though is that there aren't any laundromats in my town anymore since water and sewer prices went sky-high.

    I'm putting this on here (and feeling completely embarrassed and stupid by it all) because I hope I can inspire others to start their plans TODAY instead of SOMEDAY. Had I started back in 2005 I wouldn't be in this situation now. Had I even gotten serious and started when I joined FV I would be in a little bit better situation . . . every penny counts, you know?

    Looking on the bright side (and making lemonade out of lemons) the new washing machine fits DOUBLE the amount of clothes that my old one did per load. My old washing machine used 30 gallons for each load . . . so 60 gallons for two loads. My new front load machine? I read the meter and didn't let anybody use ANY water while it was running; one wash and THREE rinses later I re-read the meter and didn't believe it so I did another load. Same reading. TEN GALLONS per load folks. Ten gallons vs. SIXTY. So, I'll chant that as a mantra each time I make a payment because I believe it will eventually pay for itself in the long run. I just didn't want to buy it right NOW.

    New goals? Build an emergency fund NOW. Snowball these payments NOW. Take control of my life NOW . . . not later.

  2. #2
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    I was in the same situation and used the laundromat until I could afford to pay cash and get mine repaired. It worked out to be less spent for me and my old washer is still running. I loved the laundromat. I got all of my laundry done all at once.

    What broke on your washer that made it more expensive to repair than to buy a frontloading new set?
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  3. #3
    Registered User latierra84's Avatar
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    i did the laundromat option too. im actually doing it right now. washer works but dryer doesnt and between all the laundry that dh and i produce, theres no way we could dry it all in the house or outside and things. so we wash at home and dry at the laundromat. its always dead empty and its nice to get some quiet reading time.
    Marie

    I had a baby!

    Single mom, frugal to the bone, love doing stuff with my little one.

  4. #4
    Registered User Dancing Lotus's Avatar
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    When my washer broke I washed all the laundry mat and brought wet clothes home to put in my dryer. I don't know if it was worth it or not but I did it.

  5. #5
    Registered User Kyfirestorm's Avatar
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    I wish I could do the laundromat option . . . unfortunately we live in a rural area and there isn't a laundromat that I can find anywhere in this county. The only option that I had that I probably should have explored was going to my mother-in-law's house and doing my laundry there.

    As for the washing machine, I noticed one day last week that I had a load that didn't spin out. So, I reran the load thinking that maybe I forgot to close the lid or something. This time I was standing in with the washing machine and noticed a funny humming noise and when I opened the lid the agitator wasn't even moving. The basket was just sitting there even during the wash cycle.

    According to both the repairmen that I talked to my washing machine isn't belt driven but basket driven (I think) . . . and it also had a lid lock that somehow has something to do with the transmission. The first guy said that Frigidaire parts (my old set is Frigidaire . . . paid cash for a Lowes 10 years ago on sale . . . *sigh*) are horribly expensive and he won't even work on them. Wouldn't even come out and look at it. He works on all my mother's appliances and has for years so I trust him. The second guy (and the only listing in the yellow pages) said pretty much the same thing except he was willing to come out and look at it for $60/hour which started when he left his shop (almost twenty minutes away) to let me know for sure if he could or couldn't fix it. He said it sounded like the transmission and some sort of boot that the tub sits on . . . I got online myself and looked at the parts he said I probably needed and I was looking at a parts cost in excess of $250 (and then adding on the $60/hour for him to fix it). I really thought I was doing a good thing by just going ahead and getting another set . . . but now buyer's remorse is setting in.

    I guess I could always make extra money with it though . . . a couple of friends and my mother are willing to pay me to wash their sheets and comforters.

  6. #6
    Registered User HandyMom's Avatar
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    I used a laundromat for months until I could afford a new washer and dryer since I had none. Then I had to save again to pay the gas man to hook up a new gas line for the dryer.

    I've since bought a couple books on fixing large appliances so I might have some idea what's wrong in the first place and there are also forums where you can ask and find out where to get parts.

    I used one book to find out what was wrong with my furnace and my brother came over to fix it. We found the part it needed at the local hardware store. I did the same with my air conditioner when it didn't work - turned out to be a simple fuse that time.

  7. #7
    Registered User Kyfirestorm's Avatar
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    I noticed your nic before I read your post and I loved it

    I'm usually the handy one around here (hubby . . . bless his heart . . . took home ec in school while I took shop -- talk about role reversal) and I honestly thought about trying to repair it myself. In fact, we didn't let them haul off our old set because I fully believed that we could either sell them or keep them in case somebody needed a working dryer sometime down the road. I've gotten one of the screws loose to take the front off the washing machine, but the other one is stripped out and rusted on. I believe I've used over half of a can of WD-40 trying to get it loose. That was one of the reasons I waited for a week before doing anything; I was going to try to fix it myself. And I still may, provided I can get the front off of the darn thing. I've been lurking on appliancerepair.net, applianceaid.com and repairclinic.com and looking through their articles for several days now.

    I'm aggravated tonight, because I've sat down and figured what I'll save yearly on the new set in water and electricity charges. I've come up with $300/year which is not a horrible number, but not a great one either. At that rate it'll take a little over three years for them to pay for themselves. I gave right at $1000 for the set (a regular top-load set was around $600 here) and really thought I had gotten a good deal. Now I'm not so sure.

  8. #8
    Master Dollar Stretcher
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    Well, live and learn...and it seams you have done just that.

    Just start your EF ASAP.

  9. #9
    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    It may seem like a better deal once you see how much it saved you on your next water bill. Maybe you could also try selling your dryer for a few extra bucks. If I were you, at this point I would put the washer out by the curb with a note attached explaining it's current situation. Maybe someone would pick it up, just to tinker with it and see if they could fix it to use for themselves.

    I think you did what you could at the moment to fix the problem and it brought you back to the TMMO book, and that book is great. I am not debt free yet, but I am working on it and I love reading about frugality and how to save and pay extra towards debt each month, even when you didn't think you earned enough to live on and pay back debts. Now I am excited about my possible tax return, stimulus check and an extra pay check in May because I can't wait to apply them towards debt and my EF.

  10. #10
    Registered User jamie79's Avatar
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    you did what you needed to do and now you wont have laundry issues for years to come hopefully

  11. #11
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    I had a washer that just kept breaking, we'd buy a part and fix it ourselves but it kept adding up ($60 hose, etc etc). It finally broke and I didn't want to touch our EF for a new one, one more paycheck and we had the cash to buy a new washer without touching the EF.
    I handwashed all of our laundry for several days, had some strong muscles after that! Felt like a pioneer woman LOL

  12. #12
    Registered User qtkitty's Avatar
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    For a top loader there are articals on DIY on fixing different problems with them. I know i had my top loader back when i was with my ex the repairman found a bra wire stuck in the washing machine. He told my ex well there is part of your problem, obviously this isn't your wifes ( it was a smaller cup size ) *rotfl*

    Back when i was with that same ex and we had NOTHING and i mean NOTHING.. i had to get water from his dad's to drink, wash dishes, wash clothes, flush the toliet, or anything else cause the land lord never turned on the water but was going to have someone turn it on 3 mo. later he did *rme* but any ways. I did laundry in the sink for a good while and dried on hangers where ever i could find a spot to hang them. I hated it, but least i had undies and clothes to wear.

    If i knew i was going to my MIL i would take as much laundry as i could and do some there.
    Last edited by qtkitty; 03-01-2008 at 03:58 PM.

  13. #13
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    I have to use the laundry room at the complex I am in. I have enough clothes so that I only have to wash every other week. At $1.50 a pop it really adds up!! I spend a total of $9.00 each time I wash. If I did this every week that would come to $468 a year.

    All I can think of is having my own washer and dryer. Grant it, being able to wash and dry all at once is a big time saver.

    Stop making yourself feel guilty. A washer and dryer is something you will use for a very long time. Maybe this is what you needed to get motivated to really start the Dave Ramsey program.

  14. #14
    Registered User cissylu's Avatar
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    I agree stop makeing yourself feel guilty. enjoy it. I don`t have an ef either but I need to start one.

  15. #15
    Registered User happimommi's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents worth....but I don't think you can save all that much using the laudramat. For 5 years we lived in an apartment that didn't allow us to us our washer/dryer. With 6 people it cost a fortune to do laundry, not to mention the hassle of dragging the laundry, 3 grumpy kids and a new baby along. I actually did laundry in the bathtub sometimes to save money. We had a clothes line outside and it worked great, especially the baby clothes.

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