In the modern era of busy, hectic lifestyles, we often outsource some of the tasks that we could be having a go at doing ourselves, and saving some money in the process.
What can you Do Yourself? Photo: Tomwsulcer, Wikimedia Commons
Whether you've employed a handyman, a gardener, a cleaner, a carpenter or a painter, if you're trying to save money then it might be time to rethink the outsourcing of some of the DIY jobs in your household. Next time a household task crops up that you'd normally hire someone to complete, try to think about whether you can actually do it yourself. If you've not got the skills to complete the job, do your research and think about whether you could learn the skills.
An example of this is last year we wanted an external wall/garden bed built in our garden. Having never built a wall in our lives, we went about the arduous task of getting quotes for the work to be completed. The job involved building a large retaining garden bed wall, and the rendering and painting of the wall afterwards. The quotes varied from $1500 - $3000 for the job, which we felt was a simply staggering amount of money to spend on this task. As complete novices to this type of building work, we went to our local DIY store and found out about what materials we needed, how to lay bricks and even how to render a wall and embarked on the project ourselves. It no doubt took a lot longer than if we had outsourced the job, and there are a couple of bits of the wall where if you look closely you'll notice our slightly below par rendering finish, but all in all, we saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves, and we learnt a whole lot of new skills too. I'm not sure I'll be volunteering myself for any rendering jobs anytime soon, but the moral of this tale is that by doing it yourself you can save money, learn a new skill and have the satisfaction of a job well done.
If you don't have the skills yourself, and they aren't ones that you can easily learn, you should also consider asking around to see what skills your family and friends have to offer. You'll be amazed at the skills that your friends have and you could always do a skill trade where you help a friend out with your DIY skills and in return they help you out with skills that you don't possess yourself.
Absolutely! In our house we only hire a tradesman when it's absolutely necessary- like electrical work or something that is truly beyond us. We have laid floorboards, painted walls and ceilings and done a kitchen makeover which was going to cost us over $300. We did it ourselves for a little over $1000. Currently we are doing a front garden makeover. You can really save a lot of money by DIY.