2012 is the year of DIY. This according to FOX Business, which cites a study showing 46% of Americans will exercise on their own rather than at a gym and 59% will pamper themselves at home rather than at a salon.
More people are skipping the pros and instead opting to tackle everyday challenges themselves. From broken thermostats and slow computers to vacations, going it alone can save money while building your confidence in your own abilities.
Keeping life simple and saving money are two reasons people choose DIY over hiring a professional.
People think, ‘I need to keep life simple.’ We are seeing that manifest in everything we do and how we look at life…there’s definitely a trend toward needing to slow down.
Part of keeping it simple involves trimming the fat from our budgets, and this includes cutting out things like gym memberships and salon visits. In the midst of the Great Recession, people are looking to get back to basics. One way to do this is to teach yourself things like how to speed up your computer, trim your own hair and even think about a “stay-cation,” where you stay close to home on vacation and find ways to entertain yourself that cost little money.
I’m a DIYer by nature. Not just because I’m thrifty, but because I like the challenge. Some ways I’ve saved money while learning a new skill include:
- Changing my own oil. This might sound onerous at first. I admit the first time I was under the car I had no idea what I was looking at. After consulting some YouTube videos I had a better idea and was able to complete the task. It took me over an hour the first time, but after that I steadily reduced my time to about 30 minutes. The total cost was about $25 — $5 for a filter and $20 for some quality oil. Changing oil yourself can also save you time. When’s the last time you took your car to a mechanic and were out in 30 minutes?
- Working on my own computer. There have been times when my computer needed a new fan or additional memory, but I had no idea how to install these things. So what did I do? I opened the lid and poked around a little (with the power disconnected, of course.) It wasn’t long until I had the new parts installed and my computer was up and running again. It’s also helpful to download some basic free software to help your computer run smoothly. I recommend avast! Antivirus, Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes. Be sure to keep these updated regularly.
- Wash clothes myself instead of dry cleaning. The majority of what we wear can be washed in a regular washing machine. There are some exceptions such as suits and dresses, but for the most part you’ll save big money by washing and ironing everything you can at home. If you’re not sure, check the tag for instructions.
These are only a few examples of activities I’ve found to be worthwhile in terms of savings and developing new skills. Over the years as I’ve committed to being a DIYer whenever possible, I’ve become more confident in my ability to be self-sufficient.
Next time you think about hiring a professional, consider what you may be able to do yourself. You might learn something new and have fun while doing it.
Photo by bestmoneysavingtips.com