The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
This news story “Saving money never cost so much” caught my eye, not only because it involves a retired paralegal, but because recently I’ve heard numerous friends use the phrase “saving myself into the poorhouse” when talking about some of their less successful efforts to economize. Sometimes it really is more cost-effective to call in the experts – especially when you’re not one.
When the toilet in Carol Taddei’s master bathroom began to break down a few months ago, she decided it would be cheaper to buy a new one than pay for repairs. Ever frugal in this dismal economy, Ms. Taddei, a retired paralegal, then took her economizing a step further, figuring she could save even more by installing the new toilet herself.
Initially, things looked good with the flushing and the swishing. That is, until the ceiling collapsed in the room below the new (leaky) toilet. Rushing to get supplies for a repair, Ms. Taddei clipped a pole in her garage. It ripped the bumper off her car, and later, several shelves holding flower pots and garden tools collapsed over her head.
“It just kept getting worse,” Ms. Taddei said, ruefully describing what came out to be a $3,000, three-day renovation at her suburban Minneapolis home, finished by a professional from Mr. Handyman, a home repair service that takes emergency calls.
With the sour economy has come a class of ambitious do-it-yourselfers who are tackling things that, before the days of rampant penny-pinching, might have been left to paid professionals. An unlucky few like Ms. Taddei have learned that being thrifty sometimes comes at a high price and can bring along with it a new scourge of the times: saver’s remorse.
“Oh, tell me about it,” Ms. Taddei said. “Sometimes it’s better just to bite the bullet.”