When you look back over a typical day, how many appliances do you think you made use of?

For instance, take a simple cup of coffee. There’s the kettle or coffee machine. There’s the fridge for the milk. Maybe you’ve been distracted and it’s been standing so you need to warm it in the microwave. Maybe you clean it in a dishwasher.

When you look at it like that, you realise just present appliances are in our everyday modern lives. And when these appliances suddenly stop working, you also realise just how costly it can be to repair or replace.

When it looks as if one or other of your appliances is packing in, it can be tricky to decide whether to buy a new product or get it repaired.

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This isn’t as much of a worry with small electronics like a DVD player or hairdryer which could cost a few hundred rands to replace and which you can do without until payday.

But larger appliances such as refrigerators can’t really wait and not everyone has tens of thousands of rands stashed away to buy new ones. 

The life span of any product could be a bit tricky to determine though some experts will tell you a refrigerator has a life expectancy of around 12-14 years, while a washing machine is estimated at about 11 years.

Smaller appliances mean a reduced time frame – irons and hair dryers, for example, should last about 2-3 years.

When it looks as if one or other of your appliances is packing in, it can be tricky to decide whether to buy a new product or get it repaired. 

Consumers these days also need to take into consideration rising electricity prices as many appliances, depending on the make, differ in terms of energy-efficiency and operating costs. 

Thankfully, many product-makers have taken into account the consumer needs for energy-efficient designs. 

Putting aside (and ‘forgetting’!) just a few rands every month will save you the stress of having to spend large chunks of cash on suddenly broken products.

You might be able to get away with a sort of DIY fix of small appliances (provided you don’t end up hurting yourself!) but you’d likely be better off either replacing or calling in a repairman for larger objects. 

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That can be easier said than done though. It’s best to get in a professional electrician to take a look at just what the problem is. Fitting unexpected expenses into your monthly budget will be a huge help with that decision.

Putting aside (and ‘forgetting’!) just a few rands every month will save you the stress of having to spend large chunks of cash on suddenly broken products. 

You can do this yourself, or you can use a service like the new one from rent-to-own company, Teljoy that allows consumers to sign up for a monthly maintenance plan from R20 a month. If your products suddenly break, a repair person will take care of it. And you get the option of a loan unit while the other is being repaired. 

With a little bit of planning, you can save yourself a lot of stress.