Monday, June 13, 2011

Frugality-make it last

One area of frugality that people often don't "get" is maintenance---make it last. And I find that men and women often have a great deal of trouble communicating about.

Men often don't get ordinary household cleaning as "maintenance," though a large minority do understand it. I find this a little amusing because the same man often is meticulous about his car---washing it, waxing it, detailing it, taking it in for every possible bit of preventive maintenance. And he'll tell you that this work makes the car last and retain its value better, which is true, though it's just as much about pride in owning the car as anything else. If you have a partner who's like this about his car but sees vaccuming, picking up, washing windows, etc. in the house as "fussing", use the car analogy to help him see that it's the same thing. If you vaccuum carpet regularly, it'll look nice and last longer before you have to replace it (not to mention avoiding health problems). That'll save you money. And so on.

And for women, even though a car is less durable, think of regular maintenance and cleaning of a car in the same way you would view housecleaning (for male readers, use the house analogy to get a women who doesn't "get" maintenance on a car). If you change the oil regularly and have tune ups and other preventative maintenance done, the car will last longer. You'll also feel more pride in it.

I admit, I'm kind of middle of the road. I like my home clean, but I don't try for spotless. I take care of preventive maintenance on my car and keep it reasonably clean, but I don't worry about a weekly car wash and waxing either. Partly, this is making people in my life more important than things. I try to make my things last, but as an elderly friend told me when my children were very small "the dust will be there when the kids are grown."

1 comment:

Ami said...

The dust will ALWAYS be there. All we can do is temporarily rearrange it.

I'm not very good at maintenance on my house. My car. My self. And all three are falling apart.