He looked at me like I had 3 heads to even consider a fridge repair and a week or so later sent me a pic of his new, $2000 fridge in place. I tried.
Two notes on ice makers specifically: 1. There is a much smaller number of models of ice makers than refrigerators. (One model of ice maker crosses over to many fridges, though you may need to unplug and move the fridge-specific wiring harness over to the new ice maker.) Many times it's an extra half hour of googling to find the generic ice maker part number and then chase that down. 2. Some ice makers that are not OEM are painted to look non-stick and that paint will start flaking off into your ice in about 2-3 years of use (disgusting). This is a case where I'd rather take a used OE part over a new part of unknown provenance, even though they are a high failure part.
It's almost my story as well.
My microwave I had for 8 years (and I got it second hand) stopped working. A quick inspection + watching a couple of YouTube videos revealed that a plastic latch inside the door got broken.
It would have been very easy to replace it if only it was still being sold. Extensive search on the internet showed it was not :( :( :(
If only I had some time (well a LOT of time) to reverse engineer the existing latch and 3D-print a new one... But I did not.
So, I had to put the microwave outside on my curb. I attached a note to it saying it works well if the latch is fixed and also attached the broken latch.
I was happy to see it was gone in a few hours. I live in a city (Montreal, Canada) so I guess it helped my microwave to not be wasted.
I wish 3D-printing technologies - or more precisely, a technology that helps to create 3D specs out of an existing object - would be more advanced. Well, I did not do an extensive search about it so I may be well mistaken :)
The latch for my vacuum clean bin broke. I fished it out (10m), modelled a replacement in FreeCAD (2hr, I had to learn how to use FreeCAD since I’d never used it before), and printed a replacement (40m print time) - and now I don’t have to buy a new vacuum cleaner.
But that’s happened once in the three years I’ve owned a 3D printer. Simple mechanical part failures just don’t seem to happen that often.
I’ve actually fixed this vacuum cleaner numerous times! Not always with 3D printer parts though.
You can try sculpy or similar things next time too to make plastic parts. There are several materials that are basically play-dough that hard set to plastic like materials.
I guess my point is "don't discount traditional processes". Someone good with a razor and file could make a new plastic latch from an old cutting board faster than someone with a 3D printer could print the part, much less design, print, and verify.
Or let you keep yours there where more people can get use out of it and it isn't taking up space in your garage.
I was quoted 600 for a whole system part of a car (dubcomponent wasn’t sold separately), the actual necessary used sub-part was 50 on eBay.
Even in cars, you gotta figure, is the part critical? (brakes, steering) or non critical (wipers, seats, heating/ac, etc).
Those aren't the only failure modes to consider for washers, dryers, and toasters. Flooding (for the first) and fire (for the other two) are concerns.
Yes be careful, you could get an electric shock photograph before you take things apart and read instructions before putting things back together.
Don't buy a fridge with an ice maker.
The ice maker is by far the least reliable portion of a refrigerator.
Ice cube trays don't break down and need repair.
YouTube and specialized forums are very helpful in pinning the issue and parts.
Even, some years years back (10 or so?) when buying a woolen pullover you’d get a bit of mending yarn wrapped around cardboard bobbins with the exact same color as your sweater.
Nowadays they’re not included, at least where I buy.
I found that I had to chip ice out the base back panel of the fridge, where it had significant ice accumulation. No way in hell I'm treating something we paid 1.5k$ for and 'throwing it away'.
I still maintain there's 4 R's: Repair, Reduce, Reuse, and eventually Recycle.
For the Samsung fridge getting ice buildup, there are relatively few causes and likely the simplest is the same defrost timer mine had issues with. I like https://repairclinic.com for appliance parts, though they don't have any of the 3 models of Samsung defrost timers in stock right now.
Just remember to set a timer and turn that back off after 20 minutes or so, because the same nonfunctional timer that starts it turns it off as well.
I'm not picking on your friend specifically, just pointing out one factor that can reduce the immediate friction of people buying new stuff, instead of trying to fix the old.
People look at me funny when I say "corporate propaganda", but in case you needed evidence that corporate propaganada is a real thing, here it is.
It is best if we both recycle and fix the refrigerator. But doing either is better than doing nothing. In other words, arguing that one good is more effective than another good doesn't mean that it isn't admirable to do only the smaller good.
Many of us up here on Hacker News are good at fixing things. But some of us might be less skilled in other areas, such as organizing political campaigns or working in the medical field. It's easy to criticize someone for not doing something we find easy, but it is harder to see how they might be skilled in areas where we struggle.
It might just be marginally better.
If "fixing the refrigerator" (and other such items in our lives, cars, etc) yields 100 e (e = a made-up token measure of environmental benefit) and not using plastic bags for a decade yields 1 e, then it's almost irrelevant.
I'd like to see a "CO2/water/etc cost" sticker
There might even be more mass of just polystyrene insulation in the fridge he's just trashed than the mass of plastics he keeps out of the landfill. There is certainly more overall plastic in there.
To my mind, that is a significant amount of waste, and definitely worth chasing.
* Durable Plastics: 72.9 lbs
* Nodurable Plastics: 28 lbs
* Plastic Bottles and Jars: 17.7
There is more, but this gives a sense of the statistics they quote on their site. These do not seem unreasonable to me, and they suggest that recycling plastics would save a refrigerator or two in weight per household per year, depending a bit on the size of the household.
Seems people were moving out and it was too much trouble to take it with them. Nevertheless, it was there for some weeks before someone collected it (I don't have room or I would have taken it pronto).
Seems many have too much money these days.
I would only recommend people stay away from microwaves.
Even professional house cleaners could do some checks as add on sales.
Also, a lot of people complain to generate conversation, not for the 2nd opinion they get.
A few of my mechanically inclined but lacking confidence friends and a few of my other broke as a joke friends have taken me up on it over the years. Most can't believe how cheap, fast, and easy to do/hard to screw up it is. Very few repeat "customers" though. :(
In the fridge case, it turns out he had already ordered one for delivery in a few days and had already mentally parted with the money, so didn't want to fix his and call to cancel the order...
Doesn't make his friend look any better...
I thought it was crazy but he swore by them so I tried it. They were thick, stiff and uncomfortable at first, but after a couple months had transformed themselves into my favorite thing ever as they "wore in".
After a year of everyday wear they start developing holes. But they're far too expensive to throw away, so first I took them to the local "denim surgeon", but then realized I could learn to darn them myself.
I bought myself the cheapest Singer sewing machine, a darning attachment, and specialty denim thread, and in the past 4 years have probably darned 30 holes across 3 pair, also reinforcing button holes and pocket edges. They look great and unique and are completely "me". I have no doubt the jeans will last me for another 10 years at least, and will turn out to have saved me money in the long run (crazy!).
It's very satisfying to have things you care for, that aren't disposable, and are worth the effort of maintaining. But really, the only clothing items for men that seem to be constructed with enough quality in the first place to be worth maintaining are things like raw denim jeans, leather boots (e.g. Red Wings) and quality leather jackets.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms: The Play
Some of the best and affordable machines out there are the Singer 301s, which were made back in the 50s. They're bullet proof and repairable. You can do a lot with a straight stitch machine, and a single use machine like that will outperform any multi-stitch machine by a long way.
It's a shame that a lot of people come across these and think they're junk because they're not computerized.
The second is a Toyota Jigline. It’s from the 70s and is mostly stainless steel. It has multiple stitch patterns but the pattern selector has the only plastic gear in the entire machine and it’s cracked. It still works fine but I’ll have to replace it at some point. At least I can see and understand the entire mechanism.
The Toyota was cheap but the Singer was around market price. The Toyota was marked as not worked but with a liberal application of machine oil it came free. There are plenty of guides online for fixing up machines.
That goes for much earlier models too. Recently, during a factory clean-up, I came across a Singer that predates yours by some 50 years—it was made in the early 1870s—1874 to be precise—and it too was built out of cast iron and made to last seemingly for ever (it was still quite functional).
Incidentally, you can tell the date of your Singer easily by by checking the many Singer serial number databases on the Web. Here's a couple to start with:
Singer hobbymatic machines from the late 70s and later also have plastic gears, but for some reason these last no problem. They also mostly use bushings for bearings (I mean obviously it would make the mechanism much larger if you had to fit roller bearings everywhere), and they also last, provided you oil it every couple years.
I got it because the plastic gears in my wife's singer self destructed when I was using it to sew camping gear. About the same size, 2x the price, just insanely better.
If you're not going to do anything heavy than then the parent's recommendation is fine. And it won't have a motor short like some of the old singers where the insulation is wearing out, but that's an easy fix.
I’ve bought APC jeans (French, raw denim) for the last 10 years. I wear them for 1-2 years nearly everyday, getting them patched at my local tailor shop as needed for $5-10 while I wait. After 6 months or so they take on an amazing patina and fit like a glove.
Not only do I get compliments on them constantly (they are an authentic version of the faux fade and wear pattern many companies sell) APC will actually purchase them back from you for 50% of original price and sell your worn versions in the store for $400.
Even more mindblowing is you can get $250+ selling them yourself on eBay (search APC Butler) effectively getting paid for wearing your pants.
I also repaired or had repaired outdoor gear of various types. That's mostly about functionality so the repairs don't need to look great.
Highly recommend, wasting clothes is a serious problem.
But the reason I find it worth it to repair my raw denim jeans is that they're so much thicker than regular jeans (e.g. Levi's), which means:
- It takes a lot longer to develop holes
- Once you finish darning a hole, the darned part is the same thickness as the rest of the jean (on "thin" normal jeans it would stand out as much thicker)
- A separate issue is entire sections "wearing out", particularly crotch and knees, just a 4x4 inch area getting so thin it essentially disappears, and you can't really darn that. That doesn't really happen with raw denim because it's so thick to begin with
(I'm pretty sure you can also buy raw denim that is thin, I've seen $100 raw denim jeans like that, but for me that defeats the whole purpose.)
PS: For those worried about Costco membership costs, just buying a couple of these jeans every year (compared to Levi's) is kind of breaking even on a Costco membership ;-)
The nice fabric ones that I've had from tommy bahama, levis, etc that were "soft" wear out quickly. The rough ones I have like dickies and some levis are fine. My dickies last longer.
I think the distressed denim really weakens it.
I've had a variety of jeans under 100€, none ever got any hole. The buttons or the pockets break though.
If you wear looser-fitting jeans that aren't subject to stretching forces, or only wear a given pair once every week or two, then of course you won't develop holes for a long time.
I went to a place that repairs jeans and they quoted me the purchase price of the jeans to fix it.
I've got several sets of dickies I re-sewed with stronger thread, kevlar, and soaked with beeswax as works pants. They're running strong.
I've 4x-7x'd the life of a lot of clothes with this tactic.
I think it's because my black jeans and dark indigo jeans are dark enough that stains won't show, and my first pair that have turned lighter indigo have so much variation in color and texture across them that yeah, anything you can't wash out just kind of blends in? They basically wind up looking like this (which also shows what they look like after a bunch of darning):
But ultimately, it's been a complete non-issue.
See Heddels Fade of the Day for how denim-heads love and mistreat their pants. Example: https://www.heddels.com/2018/02/fade-day-naked-famous-elepha...
I've seen this many times.
Sometimes the right answer is: get an expert to look at it. You don't need a $2000 fridge, but you may need a $200 repair job to get it done fast and right.
You can learn so much by reading repair manuals & books, watching youtube videos, and being able to recognize patterns in other things you have repaired.
Doing this will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the years. Furnace, A/C, House appliances, Home repairs, Furnitures, Cars, computers, even clothes & shoes...
A 20min job is 20mins often because it took hundreds - or in the case of professionals, thousands - of hours of learning, practicing, and experimenting.
Of course everyone’s utility function is different, but my free time is at a heavy heavy premium. I’m happy to spend money where it gets me time in return.
My growth today in IT has very little to do with IT, I'm taking much lessons from other industries. Want to learn to build reliable systems, serious study the airline industry, how do they build such reliable systems? Want to learn how to troubleshoot and solve problems fast? How does your typical ER work?
There's much to learn from cross pollinating ideas from other fields. Most of us in IT are not just lovers of computers, but just builders. We are lucky to be born in this time in history, 100 yrs ago, we might be building cars or other sort of mechanical devices.
I truly do not care about repairing fridges. Not even a little bit. Yes I’m an engineer. Still don’t care. Don’t care about repairing my car either.
Some people feel so righteous about repair for some reason and it just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would someone want to impose how they spend their time on other people? If you enjoy it, that’s great keep doing it! Doesn’t mean I have to spend my time that way.
I’m just going to get the thing fixed (even if it costs more money) and just move on with my life.
To you point though, if I was really into something then I might be up for it! But fridges? Low on my list.
And then people wonder why they are miserable.
People are not owning cars, they're Ubering. People are not buying movies, they're using Netflix. People are not owning homes, they're renting and using Airbnb. People are not cleaning their spaces, they're using Task Rabbit. etc etc..
The uptick in nomad lifestyle also means not being able to carry all the tools around. People are becoming mobile and specialists; being really good at something that pays decently well but knowing less of how to do a little bit of everything because it doesn't further their career. Jack of all trades are the minority and generally curious people that love learning new things which isn't for everyone.
For me I've found once I accumulated the skill, just doing it myself was often faster and easier.
I understand the value of free time and all that, but I bet even in your day job you gradually cultivate side skills that are not your core work function, you just use them every now and again in the process of your work.
It is harder to teach kids this attitude now. So many things that interest them are seam-welded or potted or otherwise inaccessible. It's still possible though. My daughter and I disassembled old DVD drives and made laser pointers from the diodes that still worked. She was excited to take things apart after school.
If you can't borrow a tool or need it semi-regularly, I'd recommend checking out Harbor Freight if there's one nearby instead of going to the local hardware or big box store. Their tools are not the highest quality, but unless you're a contractor or serious craftsperson, they'll probably work just fine at a much lower price point.
Often a tool can cost less than getting it repaired, paying for itself in one go. And there's many things that are straightforward to fix (bikes for example).
It also takes time to arrange a repair, go there, drop it off, pick it up, realize they didn't fix the problem, do it again, etc. I often find doing this stuff myself can actually save time, and if things break on a weekend/holiday you can still salvage your plans.
In the last year I’ve done maintenance work on the dishwasher (twice), ice maker, furnace (fuse), duct work (baffle), two clogged drains (love those air-pump drain cleaners!), sliding door (leveling adjustment), vacuum (broken plastic part), doorbell (new button), several light switches (new dimmers), stopping drafts (new weatherstripping), sump pump (burned out wiring cap), painting and spackling, 2 toilet flappers, dryer thermostat and humidistat, and hanging a new flat screen.
That’s just top of my head. And there was plenty of bigger stuff I outsourced but could have potentially taken on like installing a new front door, and seal coating the driveway.
If I hired an “expert” for all of that it would have been nearly $10,000. And next year it’ll just be another list the same length of all different stuff.
As a house owner it is far easier to build a list of trades people you won't use again, than the one to hang on to.
Its simple self-centred greed really.
The best bet, IMO, is to get advice from someone who doesn't directly benefit from a bad product, but is still an expert. For example, don't take the advice of a salesman, but instead a repair guy friend.
They will sell complete new systems, when you just need a new compressor, or even a capacitor.
So a fridge I may expect to need to repair once a decade is perhaps best for the professionals, but I have e stated fixing my own washing machine and tumble dryers because they cost maybe £200 new and a fix can be in the region of £60-£120. So 2 or 3 repairs and I may as well have bought a new one, fixing it myself usually means a quicker job and always means a cheaper job. Plus now I am pretty certain that if I could call someone to fix it then I could do it myself.
Full disclosure: I'm the freesewing maintainer
You might want to redirect http:// to https:// right now if I type "freesewing.org" into my browser it heads to a "Apache2 Debian Default Page".
All of the Patreon links so far just seem to be hugely overboard "sign up" ones, with nothing linking to the actual account.
Guessing I didn't spot something obvious? :)
The reason why you need an account is explained in the FAQ on our new beta site: https://beta.freesewing.org/en/docs/faq
It boils down to the fact that all are patterns are made-to-measure. So we need your measurements, thus we need a way to store them. That's why a (free) account is needed.
There's no catch.
A trick I picked up at my last job was to use Rubber Renue (one bottle will last virtually forever since you need so little) on the pickup rollers on laser printers when they started having paper pickup problems. Works like a charm, but that stuff is nasty. I also learned the delicate art of using a screwdriver to scrape toner deposits off of the fuser. In both cases, these are parts that are easily replaceable because the printers were designed to be maintained, but tight budgets made repairing the parts necessary. Ironically, the deposits on the fuser were due to budgets that necessitated buying cheap knockoff toner.
I still use the Rubber Renue on my 12-year-old printer at home. My girlfriend's reaction to my printer jamming was "It's time to buy a new printer!", which horrified me because the problem is so minor and so easy to fix. We do want a colour printer though, so I've been researching to find one that's maintainable instead of disposable. So far the laser printers from the usual suspects (Brother, HP) look like they haven't been affected by the same disposable mentality that inkjet printers have.
My girlfriend, on the other hand, prints a lot more (still, probably under 20 pages per month). Most of it is things that actually need to be printed, like paper-piecing quilting patterns where you need to cut pieces out in order to use them as a guide for sewing. Colour is helpful for these too.
The nice thing about a laser printer is it can go months without printing and when I click print it just wakes up and does its job and goes back to sleep after a bit.
The real issue seems to be that people are helpless without the Internet - and that our consumerism has brought a throwaway mentality with it.
The real problem is that today's technology is generally much more complicated than it used to be. Also manufacturers don't expect things to be repaired (because it isn't cost effective unless you do it yourself) so they don't make things easy to disassemble.
I broadly disagree - the proportion of people who can fix a TV is probably no lower now than it was in the 1970s; a modern TV might be more complex, but the accessibility of information, tools and parts is far better.
The wider issue is the broadly positive fact that automation has drastically reduced the cost of goods relative to labour. The range of products and failure modes that are economically repairable is much narrower, because repair is relatively more expensive and replacement is relatively cheaper. Generally speaking, the most expensive part of repairing a TV is simply the labour cost of dismantling and reassembling it. As mentioned in the article, paying a seamstress to patch a jacket or darn a sweater is often more expensive than just buying a new one. There are worse problems in the world than "we've got so good at making stuff cheaply that it isn't worth the effort to fix it".
If a TV breaks now, it's some component that's either glued in or soldered in, so good luck replacing that. Modern TVs are not designed to have replaceable parts.
I'm not sure reseating a broken component would help, I think you might mean "new" :)
But also, a set of tools was once a necessity, because things were built to be repaired. Now it's a luxury item for most people. Simple things like changing oil are, in most cars, way more complicated and difficult than they used to be, because the market has spoken. Easy DIY maintenance is not the priority.
Only because the huge negative external costs of a new appliance aren't priced in - pollution created in manufacture, environment disposal of the old one, long-term exhaustion of raw materials.
My mother made our Halloween costumes by hand. We didn't (and don't) really mend clothes, but the skill set is the same. And when I had a shirt fail by coming apart at a seam, rather than having a hole worn through the fabric, my reaction was that I should sew it back together.
Mending a seam is invisible. Mending a hole will give you a visible patch; I think there are good reasons people don't do that. And far and away the most common failure in my clothes is wearing a hole in the knee of a pair of pants.
Which might be considered stylish and left alone as it is.
What's bizarre is when you see two people wearing the same brand/pair of pants with the same manufactured holes. All the holes/rips/tears in the pants are identical, a marvel of mass-production.
Additionally, availability of replacement parts is excellent. Whatever you need is only a $2 package with free shipping from amazon or aliexpress.
I don't see being helpless without the internet as a problem. I know how to find the information i need, and barring some apocalypse knocking out the internet that's probably just as good as actually knowing it.
We collected up suitcases off the curb that in theory need minor mending (no smells, certain problems left behind), and over time the backlog has built up. Time is also an ingredient, here; in the best case it takes fifteen minutes to prep a curb suitcase, in the worst (cleaning stains, etc.) the suitcase might need to sit around in a ventilated area for days over the course of treatment.
As for the Hall field sensor yeah I know I probably could have found an equivalent on Digikey and saved $15 or so when you factor in the shipping, but the convenience factor and knowing that I just fixed an otherwise fine $1700 commercial shredder for $25 is fine.
Today it is not about knowing, it is about time. I can't spend 30 minutes fixing my clothes because my 30 minutes is more valuable than a tshirt's cost. Or I don't want to deal with ordering glue for my shoe and work on fixing it, I take it to a shoe repair and get it fixed for $10.
Things got more convenient than war times. We don't need to turn potato sack burlap into clothing anymore. Although, I also believe a man should know how to stitch a button if they need to. I want people to repair electronics rather than clothing.
So it's not about counting pennies but about justifying outsourcing jobs you don't enjoy so you can spend more time on the stuff that really matters.
This point of view is particularly important to those of us who have really busy lives and thus are often juggling our time between different responsibilities (family, work, household chores, etc).
Doing chores and fixing stuff can be an interesting activity for a kid, depending on the age. Granted, I'm not good at mending either.
To be honest I shouldn't have to defend what chores I choose to spend time doing with the kids. I'd be interested to know how many on here have kids, do all of the aforementioned chores and still find time to teach 5 year olds to mend socks, shirts and jumpers? There seems to be an inordinate amount of "high-roading" happening today.
...and that is the 'secret' to raising self-reliant children: involve them in common tasks when those tasks are performed anyway. This does not take any "high-roading" as you imply, it just takes a little bit of forethought and might make things go a bit slower than they normally would.
Good for you. However not all kids are the same so what activities worked well for you might not work well for other families - despite their best efforts.
Like I said - we have tried doing needlework with my son with a kit that was specifically designed for kids. So my comments are not without precedence.
> ...and that is the 'secret' to raising self-reliant children: involve them in common tasks when those tasks are performed anyway. This does not take any "high-roading" as you imply, it just takes a little bit of forethought and might make things go a bit slower than they normally would.
Geez, I wish I thought of that. So all those years I've spent playing number and word games with them; teaching them to cook, handle scissors, knives, gas cookers and even open fires responsibly; how to do a great many DIY projects with power tools safely and engage in their curiosity for the natural world was all just a waste of time because I didn't happen to do that one thing you do. /s
Each of them doesn't realize what they aren't doing. Only that they're very busy and somehow manage to fit in this one thing. So why can't you?
Don't take advice on parenting from HN. It's the essential oil mommy blog of the programmer community.
Of course you shouldn't, but you presented a false dichotomy with "if I spend an hour fixing this; this is an hour less I spend with my kids."
There is nothing a parent can take apart or put together without any curious child immediately having a deeply rooted interest in- and a thousand questions about the matter.
It's okay not to be able or want to fix something, but don't blame it on your kids.
As an aside, I believe it's the best way to parent. It teaches kids that no matter what happens in life, they always have themselves to rely on.
Given you know precisely zero about me, my family, nor our routines; you are in no position to assume what is a "false dichotomy".
> It's okay not to be able or want to fix something, but don't blame it on your kids.
If you're takeaway was that I'm blaming it on the kids then you've clearly not been reading my posts properly. My stance from the very start was that I don't want to do it.
> As an aside, I believe it's the best way to parent. It teaches kids that no matter what happens in life, they always have themselves to rely on.
Thank you for that titbit of advice. I'd never considered teaching my kids basic life skills. /s
> I don't want to do it.
which is different from "if I spend an hour fixing this; this is an hour less I spend with my kids". "I don't want to do it" or "I can't do it" is a perfectly fine reason by itself.
> Thank you for that titbit of advice.
Specifics do matter when they're critical to the conclusion being made. In this case my daughter it too young to do needlework and my son isn't interested in it either (as I've said before, we have tried). So ultimately I would end up -- and previously have ended up -- doing it by myself despite any best efforts to incorporate the kids.
I do get at some point he'll have to learn that not all chores are fun but he's only 5 and there are a lot of chores he does love doing (including stuff "normal" people hate) so I'm willing to let him stick to the ones he finds enjoyable while he's still young enough to get away with it. After all, he has a whole lifetime of work ahead of him.
> I have no idea why you're defensive about this.
Wouldn't you get a little defensive if I started telling you how I think you should raise your family when I've never met you? I see it time and time again where HN posters pretend to be experts on the weirdest of subjects and this is no exception. I swear this place was never like that when I first joined...
In any case, comments about ones family are a deeply personal topic so you should expect one might take those comments personally. ;)
I see, and I agree. My apologies.
The point is, you shouldn't be alarmed. You can afford your free time. Just know how pointless it is to suffer through some of your time to save a bit of money that is much less than the value of the time you spent suffering.
I'm still fixing things, but not because I want to save anything. I just like to tinker and figure stuff out so I'm geeting my money's worth out of every attempted repair.
Also I hate shoping so shopping time saved is often worth for me more then time used for repairs.
I think it's a mistake that we value our own time like this. There's satisfaction that can be derived from spending time mending some of your own clothing, and that contributes to wellbeing. That wellbeing is not something that you can put a dollar value on.
* Time spent with the family / kids? That contributes far more to my wellbeing (and theirs). Sure I could mend my clothes with the kids but that isn't something they'd enjoy (nor me to be quite honest) and there are already enough chores I make them do as a family.
* How about time spent cooking and cleaning? But unfortunately I already pay different people to wash the windows, clean the house, mow the lawn... there isn't much less responsibility I can hand off there.
* I guess I could spend less time tinkering with my own hobby projects - but that amounts to very few hours a week and given it's my own personal time, I think I should do what I find more rewarding and relaxing and that isn't mending old clothes.
I barely get time in the week to do fun things as it is. I mean stuff like going on bike rides with my eldest son (who's 5) and I certainly don't get any time to look after my own personal health (I used to run 5k several times a week - it's not much but it made a difference. These days I'm lucky if I get one 5k run in a week). So if I can outsource stuff I don't enjoy to someone else for a reasonable fee then my time is most certainly worth it.
This is also true for most adults I'm friends with - in that a couple might occasionally go on Facebook but most of them aren't heavy users of social media.
For context: on average we're late 30s and most of us have young kids. We didn't grow up with social media and we've have better things to fill our adult time with since social media become a "thing". So it's not something we spend a great amount of time on.
I'm sure yours (and a many other peoples) experience will differ but my point is you shouldn't generalise that adults spend a lot of time on social media because that isn't always true.
Speaking of the milage, I took the liberty to glance at your HN account stats. You appear to be a more prolific poster than I am, even though my account is couple years older.
Not judging mind you. I have my hobbies too, including a nice metalworking shop. But the proportion of time I stand at the lathe to me watching YouTube videos of people machining is tiny.
People in 21st century first world have a lot of disposable time. They also complain most about lack of it.
I wasn't playing an "age card" - I was adding context to why I don't use social media. Also I think you missed the part where I said:
> Speaking of the milage, I took the liberty to glance at your HN account stats. You appear to be a more prolific poster than I am, even though my account is couple years older.
I'd already addressed that point in my post: Yes I do spend a lot of time on HN. But only 5 minutes here and there during the week when I need a proverbial cigarette break. I don't generally use HN during the weekend. The fact I post a lot is really more a symptom of how opinionated I am rather than how much time I spend on HN.
> People in 21st century first world have a lot of disposable time. They also complain most about lack of it.
You cannot generalise like that. Some people need to work multiple jobs just to keep their family fed and housed. Others - like me - have long commutes and busy homes to manage. You want to know my weekly schedule?
06:00 get up and showered for work
06:45 drive to train station
07:00 catch train
08:15 arrive in office
16:15 leave for the evening
18:45 get home, bath kids, read them a story then put them to bed
20:00 do house work
20:30 cook dinner
21:00 eat while chatting to wife or watching some crap on TV
21:30 down time
I wouldn't say I'm unique either nor that I don't have a lucky life (I have a family who love me, a good job, nice house in a good area and enough disposable income to afford a few luxuries). However I don't take kindly to people who assume that I have lots of disposable time. My kids or catching up on sleep is my disposable time and I get very little left after that.
So I suggest you don't make assumptions about other peoples lifestyles based off your own. It's a diverse world out there ;)
The problem is that would mean we'd either end up in a less desirable area (less greenery, higher crime rates, etc) or have much less disposable income. The closer you move towards London the sharper the rise in house prices - and it's quite significant too. Plus as I'm just 10 minutes drive from a direct fast line into central London so moving closer wouldn't actually save myself that much in commute time (maybe half an hour each way if I'm lucky). So there just isn't the intensive to do so.
In fact my wife and I actually did the maths and the money we'd save on my season ticket (which is very expensive) wouldn't even come remotely close to the increased cost in housing. So spending that extra hour mending things wouldn't even scratch the surface. And to be honest, I quite like having that hour of relaxation time on the train ride home as it's uninterrupted me time - which means by the time I get home I've recharged my own proverbial batteries a little so are more energized with the kids. So the time with them is of a better quality.
I'm not suggesting this would work for everyone but there's a few other guys in my office that have the same routine and find it works for them too. In fact it's quite common for people who work in London to live a county or two away from the city and thus have long commutes.
Maybe when the kids are older and want to live in more urban areas, my wife and I might reconsider living this far out from the city. But personally I quite like the contrast of quiet village life after spending the day in the noisy capital.
I’m not an outdoors person for a lot of reasons, but I do have a bedroom set aside in our house for a home gym. My wife and I will spend time together talking, watching TV, etc while we are working out together. Also having a gym at home means I can be at home with my wife until she goes to sleep and then work out.
What I really need to do is set myself personal goals. At one point I used to train for running longer distances or to get my 5k personal best down to a certain time. But I'd reached those goals around the same time my daughter was born and never really got motivated to do any proper training again since.
So I just need to set myself motivated with some personal goals again.
However, if I think about when I won’t be earning like that anymore, it shifts a bit. That “when” is hopefully 20 years from now (when I’d like to retire), but could be next year and for awhile if the economy goes south. It also helps that I enjoy those things enough to consider them hobbbies.
We also remodeled our own kitchen, doing everything but electricals ourselves (including knocking through a new entrance and closing the old one). From an immediate cost perspective, I should have hired someone to lay the tiles instead of doing it myself. That experience, though, means that I can now easily do my own tile repairs and can better assess the quality of work I might pay others to do. It ended up being fun enough that I’m looking for another tiling project!
I'm not sure such a blanket statement is helpful. This isn't just about money, it's about opportunity cost. The time that he sinks into mending that Tshirt is time he could have put into any other potentially more worthy endeavor.
1) that it takes 30 minutes to mend, which is high in my experience.
2) That a t-shirt costs less than a half-hour's income. Less than a half-hour's after-tax income, even. Some t-shirts do: The t-shirts I got for free at conferences cost less. But my favourites, the ones I might wear out, aren't the cheap ones.
3) That purchasing new clothes takes no time.
Valuing our own time is okay, but it has to be done correctly. Not bent to produce a particular outcome.
(Yes, I mend. Not t-shirts, because I hardly ever wear those. But I mend shirts.)
Perhaps for some people. I've tried mending my own clothes, but it always ends up looking kind of crap and so I don't end up wearing it anyway.
I've got a dollar that says you watch TV while looking at a social network or something on your phone. You could fix a shirt instead.
Of course, I know what you mean. But consider, at least for a moment, that the cost of that t-shirt to you includes the wages paid to the cotton pickers, thread makers, cloth makers, cutters, stitchers, packers, transport and warehouse workers, and the amazon delivery driver, who will contribute to making that t-shirt and getting it to your door. So in a way, you're saying your 30 minutes is more valuable than however many minutes of all those people's lives that would have to be spent to get you a new t-shirt.
There's some profound insight into how economics works to be had when you truly consider what it means to trade off your time and the value of your labor output, against the time and labor of countless people, all put into supplying you with stuff.