Have you ever had a day where you TOTALLY ROCKED at money? Like, you found a 50% off coupon on a product that was already buy one get one free, purchased the floor model for another 40% off, then slipped and fell into a pile of $100 bills on your way to redeem your $5,000 winning scratch ticket?!!!! Yeah…me neither. But last night, I had the most epic win of all time. I saved $300,000 in one night!
Our House Almost Burned Down
For the second time in the past few months, we had an appliance “act up.” Normally, this might be an issue, but since we’ve got a sweet emergency fund in place, these so-called “emergencies” turn in to nothing more than minor inconveniences. Well, at least financially. Practically, they can definitely be a bit stressful.
Two days ago, my wife was being awesome (I mean really, when is she NOT?) and doing laundry using our Maytag washer and dryer that are technically fossils (I carbon dated them), when she smelled something burning. Using her ninja-like skills of speed and stealth, she quickly opened the dryer door and noticed that there was a bit of a smoky haze coming from inside the dryer, as well as a smell of burning. She let it air out, pulled all the clothes out to hang dry, and called me to tell me what happened.
Dryers Are Ridiculously Dangerous
Little did I know that we had a crazy scary fire hazard death machine humming downstairs in our house. I did a little bit of research on how to fix a dryer, and came across this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JKrz1yqXaw. Three deaths because of a dirty dryer! Yikes! I also found this report from FEMA detailing reported dryer fires, including 5 deaths per year: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.pdf. It looks like there are 2,900 dryer fired per year, and failure to clean was linked directly to 34% of those fires. So I realized that I had to do something about this problem, because if we tried running the dryer again, it could cost us $300k!
Mr. Fix It
Michelle calls me this, because I have been able to fix most anything without hiring a professional. Now, I’ll admit, I couldn’t even find the oil dipstick in my car, let alone fix ANYTHING before I met my wife. But once I starting dating Michelle, and realizing that I was going to be with this beautiful woman for the rest of my life, I started to learn everything I could about maintenance, repairs, and just how to take care of things in general. I knew that I wasn’t going to be her rich prince charming, but I wanted to be able to make our dollars stretch as far as possible to ensure that we we’re broke all the time, and part of saving money was learning how to fix things.
So, as many of you reading this blog have seen me do in the past, I did what any handyman would do in this situation; I looked up how to clean the dryer on youtube. After watching a few 3-minute videos, I was pretty much an expert, so I got to working. I pulled the dryer out, disconnected it, and started to tear it apart. Mostly, I used the steps and video laid out here to clean out the dryer. I also talked to a friend who said I should take the back off and vacuum off the coils and air blower as well, so I did that.
I re-assembled the dryer and gave it a test spin to ensure no smoke came out. It was a total success, and we are currently drying our first load of laundry in a few days. Michelle was getting a little worried about the laundry piling up, so it was perfect timing to fix it last night so we didn’t have to hang out at a smelly laundromat with creepers (not to say EVERYONE is a creeper, but you ALL know there’s that one guy leering at everyone there). Phew!
We Saved $300,000 Last Night
Yup, we saved our home and all of its valuables last night, not to mention all of the invaluable memories that could have been burnt to a crisp! My wife’s awesome ninja skillz and some resourcefulness also saved us another $300 – $500 for the purchase of a new dryer. Basically, it took me about 2 hours to complete the task, so I earned $150 – $250 per hour for the work I put in. Not bad, huh? Do you know anyone making that hourly rate? If so, tell them my wife still wants the fancy LG dryers that come in red 😉
Comments: Have you ever had an appliance fail or get all jacked up? What did YOU do about it? And what would you do in my situation? Is it worth $300- $500 to you to just replace the darned thing? Also, why am I wearing a headlamp with all the lights on?