We have so much to do in so little time, it’s tempting to just pay someone else to do it for us. Many people already call upon professionals for everything from dog grooming to personal training to lawnmowing, while others would love to hire out help if they could afford it.
There are even some services which people of all economic backgrounds think of as being something you hire an expert for, just because it’s seen as what you’re supposed to do. But many of these services are things you can do by yourself, saving you serious money in the process.
While we’re on the topic of spending money, we might as well mention you don’t need to pay somebody to help you decide where to put it.
Between investment strategies and tax preparation, you can now do much of the heavy lifting yourself with the help of free online apps and resources outlining the process, courtesy of people who were similarly frustrated that they needed to spend their money to manage their money.
Indoor Work and Cleaning (Besides the Obvious Stuff)
Hopefully most people know they can vacuum their own floors and dust their own shelves, but not everybody realizes they have the power to do the bigger projects that make their home livable.
A home isn’t a home unless it’s warm and cozy, and you have insulation to thank for that. Many people would hire an expert to install it, even though it’s just a process of acquiring the insulation and putting it in its place. There’s no reason you can’t do it yourself as long as you find the correct thickness for your walls.
It’s a bit more advanced to install and replace various fixtures around your house: faucets, shelves, lights, and the like.
These take a bit more thinking and you might need to recruit some friends or family for help. But when you buy the supplies, remember they’re meant to be as easy to install as they can be, so even a layman could do it.
Parts manufacturers wouldn’t make much money selling products that are needlessly complicated, right?
Outdoor Work and Cleaning (Also Besides the Obvious Stuff)
Most people think it’s within their ability to paint the interior of their house, but not so much the outside.
While it might be quite a tall order to recoat your house top-to-bottom, here’s a trick: paint as much of the exterior as you can, and only hire an expert to do what you can’t reach. This will cut out much of the labor costs.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a shot at redoing the paneling and siding on your house, though it’s probably a good idea to find the time to read up on it first.
You can also reseal your driveway with a sealant, a squeegee, and some patience.
If you’re very patient – we’re talking to the tune of a few weeks – you can remove a tree stump from your yard all by yourself. You can drill some strategic holes in it, insert some tree-rotting pellets made of potassium nitrate, give it a month, and chop up and remove the soft remnants.
An Auto Shop in Your Driveway
What about the vehicle that’s going to bring the supplies to your house in the first place? Maybe you can’t rebuild the engine from scratch, but some light fixes don’t need the attention of your grumpy neighborhood mechanic.
There are simple fixes, like air filter replacements, that you can do in a few minutes. In fact, if you can just wipe the radiator clean, you might not even need to buy a new one!
There are fluids that patch leaky radiators and head gaskets from the inside that don’t cost much at all. You can also change your own oil if you’ve got something to catch the old oil with – and if you’re willing to get a little dirty.
If you do get yourself dirty and you want to get clean, give your car a wash while you’re at it.
The key here is to be efficient with the water you use so you don’t negate the savings. But soap and sponges will last much longer than one wash, saving you money in the long run.
Looks to Maintain
There are many cosmetic services that can be done by yourself, such as manicures, pedicures, facials and hair dyeing. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can set up some mirrors, or get help from a friend, and cut your own hair.
Once you’re looking good, what will you wear? We live in an amazing new future where at-home dry-cleaning kits are sold. The kit might cost more than one trip to the dry cleaners, but it can be used multiple times, giving you have a long-term solution.
As for the home you live in, what’s keeping it free of unwelcome sights, like, say, unwanted guests crawling on the walls?
If your house has genuinely harmful pests, like bees or snakes, call an expert.
For anything that’s more afraid of you than you are of it, you can pick up some extermination supplies from your local home-improvement store. It may be uncomfortable to have to personally deal with mice or millipedes, but would you rather have a gross encounter or a gross bill to pay? The choice is yours.
Some of these tips aren’t strictly “do it yourself and only by yourself” solutions, but they beat having to pay a stranger to work closely with or near your possessions. Even if you ask your friends for help, buying them lunch to say thanks will cost you less than paying an expert who secretly knows you didn’t need to hire them.