There’s a WWII era slogan “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!” One sees it a still quoted today in frugalist circles. Between my blog reading and personal experience this last week, I was thinking about the “Make it do or go without” aspect.
In our apartment, there are a number of things that should, in most peoples’ minds, be replaced. Two dramatic examples are the VCR that spits out tapes when you hit “Eject” and the my laptop…whose case is on life support, as you can see below:
But both still work. So we’re learning how to make them do.
Yes, it would be nice to have a sane VCR, but we don’t think that’d be the best use of our money right now. In fact, this VCR was a gift from my sister who got it from my parents, who did have the money to replace it. We were just excited at the prospect of being able to watch some of our old favorites which haven’t been released yet on DVD.
When it comes time to eject them, someone just goes over and holds their hand out to catch the flying tape. It’s like changing the channel before remotes. Is it really so bad if you have to go across the room once in a while?
As for my computer, the issue is with the case. As long as it has those two bandages, everything works great 99% of the time (great for my computer, anyway). Sometimes when I’m moving it around, the screen will collapse and cause a headache. But that happens once a week at most.
We’ve actually found a solution to the laptop issue. A friend had this same laptop some years back but her hard drive died. So we’re going to try doing a body swap (full backups, of course) and see if that works. Again, a pretty frugal solution. Another thing we could’ve done was look for someone selling this model and bought it for the case (being 5 years old, it should be pretty cheap).
Sometimes you can’t do anything but replace the item. Maybe it’s dangerous to leave it as-is. Maybe it really brings down your status in a place where it’s actually important (for example, if I were doing on-site freelancing I should probably have a computer that doesn’t look so sick). Maybe it just plain won’t work.
But if it’s still working, perhaps you can make it do without any real suffering. That frees up your money for doing what you really want to with it—paying down debt, building wealth, or buying something else!
Can you “make it do” this week?