“I think the toilet is leaking,” my wife tells me as I walk into our house after work. She requests that I go double-check. In my infinite wisdom, I flush the toilet and water begins leaking at the base. During the past two weeks, the tank had started to wobble, but I largely ignored it. I turned off the water line. Off I rush to purchase a new toilet. The number of toilet options is both overwhelming and astonishing.

Standing in the aisle, I text my wife, instructing her to go measure the height, length, and depth of the toilet. In my haste to save the day, I didn’t bother to do that before I jettisoned out of the house. After some thought and consternation, I choose the Kohler toilet that was on sale. It comes with all the parts that I will need and claims to be a quick and easy install. For the price, it better be, I think to myself. I could pay someone for the installation like I did for the hook-up of our stove to the gas line. Because I didn’t want to blow up my house, I thought that was worth it. For this, I’d risk doing it myself.

After lugging the new toilet home and upstairs, I took to YouTube for some guidance. It took two attempts to secure the toilet to the floor with the new seal (because it never goes 100% well on the first attempt). I then went to secure the water line. It was too short. So it was back to the store for the second time to get a longer water line (because you never escape a home project with only one trip to the hardware store). In the end, I flushed the toilet, beaming with pride because I had successfully installed it myself. Still not thinking myself to be very handy.

My mom taught me that sometimes you spend a little bit more for something you know you’ll use often and for a long time. Sometimes mom knows best. Luckily, I didn’t wait any longer to fix the problem because the couple hundred dollars could have turned into a couple thousand dollars (or more) to repair plaster, replace rotten wood, or worse.

Making these kinds of decisions can be stressful. That $200 toilet could have been $500 for new car tires or a $6,500 deductible for unexpected medical care. It can happen in a flash. Sometimes you can solve the problem yourself. Sometimes you have tried to solve the problem or have become overwhelmed and don’t know what else to try. When you are looking for support and guidance to solve your financial problems, Koenig|Dunne is here to help. Don’t wait.

Patrick Patino

CategoryMoney Matters