Monday, August 19, 2013

Do it Yourself!

One of the great money-saving principles in personal finance is DIY, i.e. do it yourself. This isn’t just a way of saving money, it also expands your horizons and can lead you to an interesting hobby. Depending on what we do for ourselves, we may even improve our health, increase our net worth, make new friends, and learn marketable skills.

A forum I occasionally read lurk on asked what we do for ourselves. It was asked in the form of a sentence you could complete. I am my own. . . .

Some people completed the statement with what they were. Others found it easier to saw what they weren’t and those included tasks that one might be better off paying someone else to do such as legal representation (not much cramps your style worse than losing out in a court of law).

So I got myself thinking as to what it is that I do for myself that I could easily pay others or buy a machine to do.

1.      Stylist/hair dresser

2.      Cook (most days)

3.      Dishwasher (when hubby isn’t washing up)

4.      Pet groomer

5.      Pet food supplier (we make it from scratch with ingredients we buy)

6.      House cleaner

7.      Accountant (we do our own taxes with the help of software)

8.      Personal trainer (though not much is happening recently in this arena)

9.      Manicurist (I notice some of the wealthiest people just have neat, unpainted nails so I rarely do mine anyway).

10.  Eyebrow shaper (They don’t have to be model-thin, just neat).

That being said, Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey’s FB team recently posted the following, “When your budget is tight, don’t spend money on things you could easily do yourself”.

Now that word “Easily” is a tricky one. Suppose I’m a wimp and I think that washing dishes myself will ruin my gel manicure that I had to pay someone to do because I don’t have the equipment at home? Or suppose I am an excuse-maker. Suppose I say that pet nutrition is too complicated and I should trust a large company that can claim that vets trust their brand for the best pet health? [Side note: National brands made my cats seriously overweight to the point one was unable to clean himself. The whole point of cat ownership is the low maintenance, right? So I feed my cats chopped meat mixed with this and they lost the weight and no longer have to ask me to wipe their butts].

I think a dose of ¡Si se puede! is necessary for some people, including myself. One of the forum participants mentioned some work she did in her bathroom after a strong pep talk and a few youtube videos. So far, success! Another blogger recently renovated her kitchen cabinets and with a little help from family reinstalled them. Neither of those tasks were easy (though I admit the mental part of the game was likely tougher than the skill part) but they weren't all that hard either.

Soooo what is there I’m not doing that I could be doing for myself to get mad skillz, save money, and have interesting stories to tell about how I got that scar? A few ideas come to mind:

·         Car repair

·         Baking

·         Investing

·         . . .

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