Take Care Of Your Stuff

A few weeks ago my Kindle stop receiving data through the 3G AT&T wireless connection. I found a lot of info on broken Kindles but I couldn’t find any relevant literature for this problem on the internet so I contacted the Amazon customer service online chat. It immediately sounded odd that the representative offered to have me turn in my Kindle and buy a refurbished one for $70 instead of diagnosing the problem. The quickness that he offered this solution immediately raised my suspicions that this might happen quite a bit. I informed the gentleman that I’ll look into it and get back to him.

While I was never a communication specialist in the military, I did learn the first step in diagnosing a radio problem is to check connections. I popped open my Kindle saw the only thing I could connect and disconnect was the SIM card. So I did that and turned it on. Magically my Kindle works just fine now. Usually I wouldn’t take the time to attempt to fix something that appears to be toast, especially something I am really too familiar with but this case reminded me that it’s always a good idea to maintain your stuff.


Some people might argue we live in a disposable society, which is true to a very large extent. But the old saying goes something like this: “a penny saved is a penny earned.” I’m not advocating for you to be a cheap bastard that keeps McDonald’s cups for the refills but merely for maintaining things so they look good and last a long time.  So if you keep something working for longer there really is no downside to it.


What things should you focus on attempting to maintain? Well one category would be durable goods. One very good example of this would be your car if you have one. The usual oil change, tire rotation, and tire inflation should already be your standard. Men should also strive to have their car washed at least every two weeks, especially if you live in an environment that has corrosive elements in it such as sea air and road salt. If you want to take it even further you can replace the paper air filter in your car with one of the aftermarket washable ones that not only are cheaper in the long run but improve performance. Who knows, maybe if you maintain your car well enough, what you have today might be the equivalent of a 64 Mustang tomorrow.

You don’t always have to maintain your stuff yourself. Sometimes it is easier and more practical to have others do it for you. A very good example of this is maintaining your computer. Buying that antivirus subscription for 40 bucks year is a whole lot less aggravating than trying to solve things on your own when they pop-up. If you can’t deal with putting the Kiwi shoe polish  on your own shoes then pay someone to do it. There are very few people in the world that can legitimately afford to throw away anything as soon as it gets dirty and I’m guessing those people who can wouldn’t anyway.


Sometimes failure to maintain your stuff makes you look bad. If you cannot keep your leather shoes and/or boots tiptop with a shine you will look like a scumbag and people judge you for that. Girls for the most part will not want to have sex with you if there are springs sticking out of the mattress. This is especially true for potential employers. If you appear to be incapable of maintaining your own stuff they’ll doubt your ability to maintain company property.

In conclusion, it is a good idea to maintain your stuff especially in these trying economic times. But like anything you do, you have to be reasonable about it. Trying to re-solder that seven dollar pair of headphones you broke at the gym is not really a good use of your time. Buying an air pressure gauge  so you can check your tires is a good use of your money. Upgrading your phone at the earliest opportunity may work for some but buying a nice case for one works for everybody.

Read More: Why Adopting A Frugal Mindset Will Hurt You

23 thoughts on “Take Care Of Your Stuff”

  1. Indeed. I use my Droid’s video camera fairly often so I keep my phone protected inside one of those big-ass Otter Boxes. Pop the actual phone out and it still looks brand-new.
    The other day, a guy at work asked why I had such a “huge phone.” I explained it to him and he still didn’t get it. He’d been complaining about having to shell out the cash for a new phone soon since his current one’s been going haywire on him.
    Then, I saw his iPhone: the screen looked like someone had smashed it with a rock. Not sure if he made the connection there.

    1. I find people with smartphones that don’t have nice cases or at the very least don’t have decent cases are generally the type that buys a new one every 3 months to 1 year and don’t really care if it gets broken. Or if it gets a little cracked.

    2. Try the Griffin Defender. Beats Otter Boxes any day of the week. I went through two of the top notch Otters in a year.

  2. So true. I especially laughed at the pic of the air dale trudging through maintenance on the SH-60 you had there. Those things need constant maintenance with the work they get. The boys out to sea actually work less hours then those who are in port.
    You truly look like ass when your pilot’s aircraft crash lands “safely” in a Japanese soccer field where kids play, and you have to explain yourself to admirals of several nations, and ranking from O-6 to O-9 (out of 1-10) why the hell you did not take better care of such an expensive piece of equipment. You won’t be having to worry about “maintaining” anything, least of all your personal life, for the next 45 days at least (45 restricted from liberty/45 days “extra-duty, half month pay times two, and “awarded” reduction in rank one-two pay grades in rank), as you will be the Master-At-Arms wille biotch for the foreseeable future.
    Oh, and your officer buddy? You know, the one who is supposedly responsible for the aircraft? Yeah, I am reasonably sure he will be happy with the demotion he just got “rewarded” with.
    I get it. Life can be hard sometimes, and you can be getting it at work, and at home. But make no mistake, like wolves, human beings will eat their own when you mess up. And not tell you it was them with a smile on their face.
    Get overtly lazy at your own risk. Life ain’t fair, shut up and get your work done. Speaking of which, this site is full of assholes who make me lazy when doing calculus and chemistry. I have work to do. Can you please start to suck more so I don’t keep getting pulled in?

    1. Why would anyone want a poorly trained monkey maintaining their bird anyway. 6 months isn’t nearly enough time to teach someone how to maintain a car much less a heli… you are an idiot. Ohh and the E-1 will not be responsible for the crash, stupid.

      1. Hey fuckface, the E-1 never works alone, and the chiefs working on that plane/helo usually have over a decade of experience. Also, the maintenance program breaks everything down in steps, and at a 8th grade reading level, so even you can look at it; though they might be a bit advanced since your public education largely deals with pictures in color. Of course, you knew that. Thanks for wasting breath, now kill yourself.

  3. I have a nice old phone, about 3 years old now, and got it to fit inside of an otterbox case that was meant for another phone. It works great, has a camera that rivals any camera that isn’t a DSLR and goes great with my work. People always comment on my phone, and other items such as my 67 Impala that is still in top shape despite being my first car. I don’t throw or trash anything that is worth repairing, however I don’t let my stuff need to be repaired in the first place. I’m the type that spends the extra money so I don’t have to spend more later trying to repair or replace something. I even still have my handheld castelvania game that works better than some people PSPs or DS’s.
    I just hate throwing stuff away. Although what is wrong with keeping the Mc Donalds or Burger Kings cup and then going back once or twice a day for a refill? What is wrong with having 4 cups with you at the time and saving that drink carrier? Nothing at all, I save a minimum of 4.69$ a day just doing that

    1. Or save all the coffee money, wean yourself off the caffeine, and learn mental awareness exercises to keep yourself focused.
      That’ll save even more money.

    1. PS. Notice on the ABC News Article how many comments are deleted. That’s freedom of the press for you! LOL!!

  4. I believe that the process begins earlier, when you buy stuff.
    I always try to buy for life. It might cost more at first but in the long run you save a lot. Taking care of stuff is easier when they are well built.

  5. We do live in an increasingly disposable society. It’s cost so little to make all these expensive tchotchkes we buy, they rather sell us another one for half the price than make a quality item that lasts for a while.
    There’s one item in particular I’ve had for years where the company has offered to replace it for a nominal fee, much like Amazon did with your Kindle. Believe it or not, the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 Headphones. I bought the original in 06″ when I was in college, on their payment plans, since they cost $300. I was fairly content with the quality, Though audiophiles scoff at their lack of range and detail, the sound quality is way better than Beats headphones.
    The problem I had with the first pair was a manufacturing defect that caused the plastic arms to break after two years. They offered to replace it with an updated version for $70. I said why not? Another two years goes by, and I notice the leather cups and head rest start to crumple and peel. That time it cost me $100. It’s been three years and again, on schedule it seems, the leather is peeling off. I hear Bose is now selling them in custom colors.
    Talk about planned obsolescence.

  6. “Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without.”
    From what I understand, this was a popular saying during Great Depression 1.

    1. Too bad that generation has nearly died off by now. They told us their stories and survival strategies for reasons we’ve just recently had to rediscover in our crappy economy.

      1. To be perfectly frank, although the coming years of austerity will prove incredibly painful for most of us, it might be exactly the reckoning our brainless consumerist society so richly deserves.

  7. Invest in a good pocket knife and learn how to sharpen it. If you take care of your knife, it can take care of you. Just think if you have to cut a seat belt and clothing to rescue someone, for example. . .

  8. Forget the saying….”Buy nice , cry once ” or some such. Save the $$$ dough and buy quality. Example boots. I’m like the Imelda Marcos ( dated reference…) of guys when it comes to boots and shoes. Brands like Red Wing, Frye will guarantee their stuff for life or re sole for reasonable. Saved up to buy a pair of Alden “Indy Boots”…not cheap, nearly $ 600 bucks but they look cool and “classic ” look

  9. This article sparks a topic that I would like to see expressed more on ROK. I have always viewed being able to fix, build, craft and generally do things yourself a huge and important part of being or becoming a man. My grandfather and father were amazing carpenters and craftsman. In addition to being able to save money and not get ripped off, there is no better feeling than being able to fix things on your own without the help of anyone else (and doing it right). With that comes knowledge, tools, garage and workspace etc which teaches you (soemtimes the hard way) to take care of your stuff, resourceful and not to buy junk. It also gives you a peaceful place to go and get in a zone. I started working on cars when I was 15 years old and stuck with it until it became a serious hobby in which I still enjoy almost 15 years later. Besides simply building my weekend street/race car, I buy and maintain my own vehicles and always will. The media convinces people that they SHOULD have a new car and a loan to get you into more debt. The same is true with many other items. It’s almost like there is a “Red Pill” of fixing things. You can be a complete schmuck who can’t do anything on his own or a confident male who effortless fixing things he actually understands. I bought my first house last year and have broadened my scope slowly to plumbing, electrical etc. There is nothing better than being in my garage with my tools doing work and finding the detailed oriented no bullshit person that I want to be. I realize that some people are not mechanically inclined as others and everyone has to recognize their limitations ( I don’t do carpentry) but at the least you can challenge yourself and learn a bit in the process, it doesn’t matter what your 9-5 is either. As you learn and DO more, you spend less time doing time wasting bullshit, watching TV and going on the computer at home. Knowledge is power. I’ve even started making my wine. The possibilities are endless, it just takes patience, focus and a bit of reading to get started. In my opinion, over time you will become more aware of the world around you and have the knowledge and confidence to do and be more…to me that’s what ROK is all about.

  10. I agree with taking care of your stuff and this is because as a buyer I assign value to my purchase. Especially with a car, I assign a greater value, not only financially, but because I need it to get to work as well. We assign less value to Styrofoam cups because of this valuation for the exact opposite reason: they are cheap and have no use once they are used. The reason a product like the Kindle breaks down is because corporations assign a different value system to ‘your’ purchase. They no longer own this product which made them revenue: the individual parts and construction are often skimped on in order to improve profit. So you value differently a product that took you a month to pay for (this is by no means accurate) than a product that is near worthless by itself to a multibillion dollar company.

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