Am I too Cheap? Dealing with my Broken Glasses

10 Sep Am I too Cheap? Dealing with my Broken Glasses

free repair for broken glasses

Should I break down and buy new glasses?

I’ve had a run of bad luck lately where Murphy has been trying really hard to move into my spare bedroom. We’ve managed to keep him out of the house for the most part but he’s still managing to harass us from the sidewalk.

A few months ago my glasses broke. They’re the type with the little nose pieces that bend really badly if you get hit in the face. As luck would have it, rough-housing with the little guy often results in me getting hit in the face somehow. This of course results in bent nose pieces on my glasses. One or two times and you’re fine, but eventually the metal on the nose piece gives out and the glasses are broken.

Buy new glasses or find an alternative?

Well that’s exactly what happened so I was faced with a decision. Should I spend a few hundred bucks that I didn’t really have at the time (except in the emergency fund) or should I resurrect my old glasses. I have no idea why I was keeping the old ones around but there they were on my dresser.

What did I do? Yep, I decided to tough it out with the old prescription and avoid spending the money. I planned on buying new glasses at some point, but now wasn’t the right time. Especially since my daughter suddenly had trouble seeing things far away. She needed glasses before school started so her glasses took priority over mine.

The plan of using my old eyeglasses worked for a month or two. Then Murhpy came back and hit me in the face. Out of nowhere, the right temple (that’s the thingy that goes from the lens back to your ear) broke. Now I had no glasses to wear and no contacts (my eyes get too irritated so I can’t wear contacts anymore).

Crisis averted… For now.

Luckily my buddy Joel at Visionary Eye Care hooked me up. Joel is the optician there and he just happened to have a spare temple from the same manufacturer. The color doesn’t match and it’s a different length, but it works. For now. Will people notice I have two different colors and styles on my frames? I don’t know but at this point I’m not too worried about that. I’m just glad I can see and it didn’t cost me anything yet.

So am I too cheap? Should I have pulled the money out of the emergency fund to get a non-mismatched pair of glasses? What would you do? Have you worn tape on your glasses before to avoid buying new ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Andrea @MoneyMastered
    Posted at 12:10h, 10 September

    I don’t think that’s too cheap – I wore a pair for years with the earpiece taped on. Luckily I only wear them at home, so it was less of a priority.

    Have you looked into online eyewear retailers? I ordered my son’s glasses from Zenni Optical last year and paid $17 including shipping. The ones I have now came from 39 Dollar Glasses, and while they were significantly more than $39 (my prescription is awful and I have to pay for thinner lenses so they don’t look like coke bottles), I think I still got them for $90 or so. Much better than the $400+ I was paying to my eye doctor!

    The reason I switched is because a friend started working in my optometrist’s office, and she mentioned one day that he marks up every pair of frames $150. It infuriated me and I decided I will never buy them from him again. He is a good doctor though, and I’ve gone to him for over 20 years, so I get my prescription from him and do everything else online.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 20:02h, 10 September

      I’ll definitely have to look into that Andrea. I managed to only pay $250 for my daughter’s glasses with exam but I think we can do better.

  • Ashley @ Money Talks
    Posted at 13:35h, 10 September

    nawww… you can see, it’s working for now. Better to stick it out and keep that money in the e-fund. 🙂

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 13:57h, 12 September

      That’s kinda how I felt…

  • Little House
    Posted at 12:21h, 11 September

    There is another alternative; find frames you like on line for way less than getting them from the optometrist’s office. Then, have your eye doctor put in the lenses. Sometimes, you can save up to 40-50% off the frames.

    Hopefully, you won’t get hit in the face anytime soon!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 13:58h, 12 September

      That’s definitely an option I’m considering for the next round.

  • Denise @ The Single Saver
    Posted at 07:36h, 12 September

    In this case I think I might spend the money rather than use an old prescription long-term, which could tire your eyes. I recently discovered that I could buy glasses for cheaper through Walmart without utilizing my insurance than I could by utilizing my insurance through one of the ‘approved’ vendors. Go figure!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 13:59h, 12 September

      Funny how that insurance thing works. I did save money on the “local business” plan, which they have set up for small businesses who don’t have insurance for their employees.

  • retirebyforty
    Posted at 12:28h, 12 September

    I tried Zenni optical too, but it didn’t really work for me. My eyes are pretty bad and the glasses often need adjustments. I think if going cheap works for you then it’s perfectly all right to fix up the glasses. As long as the prescription is good, I would do the same thing.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 14:01h, 12 September

      The prescription is borderline. I’ll have to update eventually but for now I’ll hang on to what I’ve got.

  • Everyday Tips
    Posted at 20:00h, 12 September

    Oh can I sympathize. I got glasses why I was 5 years old. Back then, if you needed new glasses, it took weeks to get new ones. The worst glasses mishap I ever had was when my brother chopped them up with the lawnmower…

    If you aren’t getting headaches and clients aren’t staring at your glasses, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

    I have never understood why vision coverage is so pathetic. Are eyes not an important part of the body? Why aren’t they covered under medical like everything else?

    I got me some Lasik when my youngest son turned 1 (13 years ago), and it was the best investment I ever made!

    Good luck.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 21:20h, 13 September

      Holy cow, that must have been a dramatic event to lose your glasses to a lawnmower! I can only imagine. It’s kind of funny but I bet you weren’t laughing then!

      • Everyday Tips
        Posted at 20:22h, 18 September

        Well, I set them on a stump that was in our backyard. Somehow they must have fallen off the stump, only to be destroyed by a lawn mower hours later. I looked for my glasses FOREVER that day. I will never forget the fear I felt when I remembered putting those glasses on the stump and thinking about how my brother had mowed the lawn. Let me tell you, it is really hard to find bits of glasses when you can’t see much to begin with!

        • Matt Wegner
          Posted at 07:05h, 19 September

          I hope this is one of those events where today is the “someday you’ll laugh about this.”

  • Funancials
    Posted at 19:02h, 13 September


    Funny example because the exact same thing happened to me. My glasses looked ridiculous for about 3 months. I finally gave in got Lasik (best decision of my life). Now that I have 20/15 I would gladly budget 4k every year if I had to.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 21:18h, 13 September

      Oh, how I would LOVE to have Lasik but it’s never fit into the budget. It’s still on my “nice to have someday” list 🙁

  • Heather Ross
    Posted at 07:46h, 15 September

    I have to disagree. I think it is one thing to use tape to secure them, or even mismatched temples, but comfort and vision correction are key for me. There is a line between frugality and self-abuse, or not taking care of my needs. I think it is important to watch that line, and err on the side of self respect. This is not about looks or other people’s opinions. You are using an old prescription, and the temples are not the same length, which could cause discomfort.

    Eyeglasses need to be a budgeted item in our house. We know that they will need repair or replacement, so we have a category for them. It’s a little like Christmas – we know it’s coming.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 22:52h, 15 September

      Such a great point about budgeting Heather! This is something we knew was coming and we were working it into the budget until our daughter suddenly shared the fact that she couldn’t read road signs and other stuff – that threw us off because we were preparing for one new set of glasses this year, not two. And you’re right – my old prescription is starting to mess with me a little.

  • Doctor Stock
    Posted at 09:00h, 15 September

    Now, this may be too radical… but how about laser eye surgery? Initial cost = high. Long term cost = low. Life benefits = high. I suppose, if you wrote it out (at least I need to), you may find laser eye surgery to be not only more cost efficient over the long term, but also bring you a great deal of enjoyment in life not having to worry about those glasses anymore.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 22:54h, 15 September

      I don’t think that’s all too radical. I’m sure if I crunched the numbers, lasik would be more cost effective. But don’t you have to have a stable prescription? Mine has been changing slightly over the last few years.

  • Amanda Griffin
    Posted at 13:16h, 19 September

    Matt! I can’t believe you could stand your old prescription so long. The mis-matched glasses are fine, and tape is a viable solution, but you need to have the right lenses or they’ll do more harm than good.

    LASIK is on my “that’d be nice someday” list, too. Right after Invisalign. 😀

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 14:45h, 19 September

      It really hasn’t been that bad so far. But I do need to update things before too long. I only seem to have trouble when I’m in front of the computer all day. Oh, wait – I guess that’s every day 😐

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