Housing blogger Sean Cooper figured he had a repair bill of $200 to $300 on his hands when part of his garage door broke recently. He ended up spending just $9.95 by using a resource I’ve tried in the past, and you should, too.
Mr. Cooper identified the problem as a broken roller, a component that guides the garage door along its track. He then watched some DIY home repair videos on YouTube, bought a replacement roller at a big box hardware store for $9.95 and installed it himself. “When I opened the garage door it worked,” he writes. “Good as new.”
If you type “how to” into YouTube’s search box, you get some interesting results – how to tie a tie, how to draw, how to make slime and so on. Keep on typing and you’ll find a huge selection of household how-to videos covering things like replacing garage-door rollers, fixing kitchen and bathroom taps, clearing drains and much more. These videos have helped me with a couple of minor plumbing issues over the years.
Most of us will still need to call plumbers, electricians and heating/cooling technicians from time to time. But if you can do a few small repairs yourself, you could save hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars over the years.
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Rob’s personal finance reading list…
Why houses are so big
A look at why homes in the United States are so large on average. Guess who has comparably large homes in the newly-built category? Yup, Canada. “The [former] British colonies have a McMansion problem, and I think part of it is cultural,” an architecture critic says in this article.
More talk than action in sustainable investing
A survey highlights how Canadians are much more likely to say that environmental sustainability factors play a role in their investment choices than they are to actually buy sustainable investments. Here’s a website that can help you learn more about sustainable investing and show you what products are available.
12 baby freebies
The Gen Y Money website rounds up offers of gift boxes, goodie bags, coupons and more for new parents.
What young people want in a partner
Asked what attributes they wanted in a long-term partner, young people around the world said kindness. After that, women chose good financial prospects. Men? Almost universally, they favoured physical attractiveness.
Q: Why are insurance brokers not required to disclose their commissions on insurance-policy invoices?
A: A great mystery. Regulators, how about requiring insurers to meet disclosure requirements on fees and commissions that are similar to the investment industry? I’m waiting for an insurance app that helps people find insurance by including data not only on premiums and coverage, but also on sales commissions paid to sellers of insurance.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.
Today’s financial tool
Here’s a TFSA vs. RRSP calculator that will show how your marginal tax rate affects growth in these two types of registered account.
What I’ve been writing about
- The Globe’s guide for matching your ETFs to the right type of account to save on tax (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
- The cost of a strong Canada Pension Plan is that the survivor’s benefit is pretty bad
- Politicians should keep their hands off stress tests for first-time home buyers
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