You probably already have lots of DIY (do-it-yourself) skills that you don’t even think about. Most people have at least one. For example, maybe you love to sew, and you mend all your own clothes. Perhaps you’re the creative type that prefers making handmade birthday cards rather than buying them in the store. Maybe you make your pizza from scratch every weekend, or you change your own oil.
These are all DIY skills that help to save you money in the long run. You probably don’t think as much about saving money as the enjoyment you get spending time on your hobbies, but that’s exactly what happens. Instead of taking your clothes to a seamstress (or throwing them out and getting something new), spending money on expensive takeout, or taking your car to the shop for an oil change, you simply do it yourself.
Many people were born with this type of ingenuity, seeing every opportunity as a chance to figure out how to save money by “doing it themselves.” For the rest of us, DIY can feel like a pretty big challenge. What if you have no idea how to sew or work on a car? Are you doomed to failure?
Absolutely not! We all excel at different things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a few new skills along the way. In this post, we’ll discuss a few things you can (and should) learn so you can start saving money right now. Even mastering (or at least attempting) one of two of them can put more money in your wallet and impact your budget in a big way.
DIY Skills That Can Save You Money
Making Your Own Coffee
This first tip is an easy one to implement, although many people will resist the idea. We don’t need to lecture you about the dent your daily visit to Starbucks is putting in your wallet—you already know.
Even if you use this tip just once or twice a week, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year. If you’ve got a coffee pot, dig out the directions and learn how to use it. Or head over to the National Coffee Association website and read up on the basics. There’s more than one way to make a great cup of coffee, and this site will tell you how to do it, even if you’ve never brewed a pot of java in your life.
Mowing and Landscaping Your Own Yard
Professional lawn care can run you anywhere between $40 to $100 a visit—sometimes more. If you haven’t learned lawn care skills because you don’t have the right tools, now could be the time. You can pick up second-hand lawnmowers and weed whackers at the right price on online classifieds like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Imagine the amount of money you could save in a month simply by learning this essential skill.
While you’re at it, you can learn how to make simple lawnmower repairs just by searching online. You’ll find plenty of videos and tutorials that will give you step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting small equipment like lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc.
Come to think of it, if you get good enough at small machine repair, you could even start a side hustle to bring in some extra cash. This brings us to our next tip.
Embracing the Side-hustle Trend
Learning how to make the most of your time is a practical skill that will pay off your whole life. Unfortunately, many people don’t have time to take on a second job, but almost anyone can start a side-hustle that will help them bring in some extra cash.
The secret to a successful side gig when you’re already busy is maximizing the time you do have. It might not seem like much, but a few hours a week could be the perfect opportunity to make money walking dogs, delivering food, or even writing for the web.
If you have a few minutes rather than a few hours, taking online surveys for money is another great way of fitting a money-making activity into an already packed schedule. That’s because you can take surveys on your smartphone—an object that is always with you. The next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or have a few minutes after the kids go down for a nap, consider taking surveys for cash. You can even complete a few surveys and earn free gift cards. Every little bit counts.
Learning To Cook
If you’re spending a lot of money ordering food online or throwing a frozen entrée into the microwave, it may be time to get out your Mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook and learn some skills in the kitchen. Of course, not everyone enjoys cooking, but if you can learn to cook three or four simple yet tasty meals, you will save yourself hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars a year.
If you’re worried about not having enough variety, think about this: Do you always order something different when you eat out, or do you tend to get the same dishes time and again? We’re willing to bet it’s the latter.
Aside from the satisfaction of saving a lot of money and creating something delicious, you can save even more money by buying in bulk or using coupons and taking advantage of seasonal sales. You don’t have to become a “coupon king or queen,” but a dollar here and a dollar there adds up.
Teaching Yourself How to Paint
We’ll close with one of the biggest money-saving DIY tips of all: Learning a maintenance and home repair skill. Becoming proficient in one or two “handyman” skills can save you thousands. One of the most obvious home maintenance skills is painting—especially interior painting. Not everyone has the ladders or equipment to paint their home’s exterior, but just about anyone can learn to paint a room or two inside.
In addition to the hundreds of helpful YouTube videos on how to paint interiors, you can also learn straight from the horse’s mouth at your local paint retailer. Paint store employees are some of the most helpful people you will find, and they are usually happy to provide you with recommendations for the type of paint to use, the tools you will need, and how to get started with your project.
There are dozens more ways you can DIY to save money. Perhaps you can think of a few more yourself. From fixing a leaky faucet to cleaning carpets, there are plenty of simple skills you can learn that will pay off handsomely. Plus, when you no longer need to hire someone to do something you have become proficient at, it’s a wonderful feeling of pride and self-reliance. So here’s to doing it yourself!