Do-it-yourself is a beautiful thing. There’s a feeling of real fulfillment that comes when you do something like fix your own toilet or repair your own leaky roof. It’s self-efficacy–you’re in control of your destiny. You don’t need anyone else to get you out of a jam. You have the smarts, the skills, and the power to do things on your own.
In addition to the preparedness and ego-boosting aspects of DIY, there’s another very important reason to learn to get your own things done: it save you a lot of money in the long-run.
It’s just like eating out. Every time you eat at McDonald’s, you aren’t only paying the cost of the ingredients that make up the meal. You’re paying for the labor of the staff, the facility expenses, and even the company’s marketing. By calling in the plumber, you’re also paying good money for something you could do cheaply (or even free) on your own. Even if you have cash to spare, why not put the money away and save up for a nice vacation?
Now that you see the value of DIY, these are the top skills to pick-up if you want to save loads of cash over a lifetime.
Sewing and Repairing Clothes
This is a biggie. When we get a tear in a pair of pants, or one of our favorite articles of clothing no longer fits us, what do we do? Maybe we take the clothes to the tailor down the street. Or if we have money in the wallet and don’t care enough about the article of clothing, we see this as an opportunity to go on a shopping trip. Whether you fix your clothes or replace them, you’ll definitely spend way more than if you take the time to mend them yourself.
As with any DIY skill, the key is to start small. Learn how to sew buttons and join pieces of fabric. Move on to more complicated projects as you gain experience.
Women spend hundreds of dollars a year getting their hair and nails done. Beauty has its price, right? But men spend a good deal at barbershops as well. If you get a $15 haircut every month, you’re spending $180 a year. That’s 180 McDoubles you could have eaten!
Razors and haircut equipment come in all prices, but you can find an electric clipper for around $30. You throw in a mirror, a pair of scissors, and a barber’s cape and you have everything you need to cut your own hair. The internet is full of great tutorials to help you get started!
Producing Your Own Food
In this day and age, we’ve gotten perhaps too comfortable with the notion of going to the market and picking up everything we need. What happens in an emergency when food is scarce and everyone’s fighting over the little available?
Disaster-preparedness aside, growing food at home can lead to major savings. If you have space in your yard for a garden, use it to cultivate fruits and vegetables. And if your community allows it, raise your own animals for consumption. Chickens are great because they give you both eggs and meat. Many people already pay lots of money year-round for pets that don’t do anything but lie around. Why not pay for animals that are actually useful?
You may be reluctant to mess around with your car in the beginning. When you pop up the hood, everything just looks so complex in there, doesn’t it? But doing things like changing your own oil aren’t that hard. Car maintenance should be at the top of the list for anyone interested in pursuing a DIY lifestyle.
Everyone can benefit from acquiring DIY skills. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn. Begin with one skill and go from there. Eventually, you’ll look back and be surprised at all you can do!