Judge Jay-Jay shares her advice on weighing up big expenses

More FM radio diva Jay-Jay Feeney delivers her verdict on your biggest dilemmas


Hello, Jay-Jay!
I read your column every week and love your advice. I've finally got a dilemma I hope you can help me with: My partner and I don't earn a lot of money, but we manage to get by. Our dishwasher broke about three weeks ago and we've been washing the dishes by hand ever since. We had a repairman over to fix it, but he said it was too old and the parts were not available anymore, so we should buy a new one.
The ones I've seen are about $1500 at least! That would be OK if I didn't need a new tooth, but I have to replace a crown and it's going to cost around $2500. This is a lot of money for us, but I hate having a missing tooth. It's near the front, so when I smile, I have a hole! My partner hates washing the dishes by hand and wants us to replace the dishwasher, but I really want a new tooth first. What would you do?
Helen, via email
Hi Helen,
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback about the column. I'm flattered!
As to your situation, I think I have a solution where you may be able to have both. Firstly, have you shopped around for the dentistry? I'm assuming it can't be covered by ACC or your insurance, but perhaps there are cheaper options than the dentist you usually go to. I suggest you do some research here. You might be surprised what you find.
You could also ask if the dentist allows for a payment plan. Maybe you can get a shiny new tooth and pay it off in manageable sums? Health should be a priority, and if getting a new tooth gives you confidence and makes you feel good about yourself, then I suggest getting that sorted first.
Secondly, for the dishwasher, you don't need to buy a new one! Have you thought about buying a second-hand one from Trade Me or Facebook Marketplace? If that doesn't excite you, some of the discount appliance stores have stock that has been dented or slightly scratched. These items look like new but have small imperfections and can't be sold at full price. You could find yourself a bargain, even if it's just for now, then you can buy a flash new model once you get the money together at a later date.
Good luck with the research. I hope you get both pieces of whiteware!
Much love, Jay-Jay
A problem shared is a problem halved! Send your sticky issues to Jay-Jay – email wdaynz@aremedia.co.nz.

read more from