If you’re living on a budget, you probably try to do many things by yourself. Some of it make be homemade convenience foods or cleaners. Or maybe you even do your own home repairs and car maintenance. But have you every wondered: does DIY really save money? Sometimes yes…and sometimes no. There is no one answer to that question.
If you can get the materials you need fairly cheap, doing something yourself may save you money. I make iced tea each week for my husband’s lunches. It is far cheaper to buy teabags than it is to buy bottled tea. I make muffins and cookies each week as well. Those are also things I can make cheaper than I can buy.
We often do our own home repairs. We have enough knowledge and enough willing friends with the knowledge that all we have to pay for is materials. We used to do our own auto repairs and maintenance as well when we had access to a garage and before everything had a computer and more complicated to fix.
But when does DIY no longer save you money? When you don’t have the skills to do it. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up spending more money trying to do something yourself instead of buying or hiring. If you don’t have someone to teach you how to do something or you just try to “wing it,” you will likely end up spending a lot of money on materials to fix mistakes.Does #DIY cost or save you money? Find out! Click To Tweet
Another time that DIY doesn’t save money is if the materials are expensive. We’ve all had good intentions to save money on Christmas gifts by making them. But how often does it end up costing more to make something that it does to just buy a gift? I don’t want to admit how often this has happened to me.
So how can you make sure that DIY does actually save you money?
1- Learn and develop skills
This could be through a friend teaching you, following tutorials on YouTube, or even paying a little bit to take a class (Craftsy has a ton of online classes if you are interested in learning a craft). By learning new skills, you can eventually do more things on your own and save on having to buy something or pay someone to do it for you.
2- Shop sales for materials
This is especially true if you are baking, making cleaning supplies, or crafting. You can also sign up for the mailing lists for places like Advance Auto and some home repair centers/hardware stores. Just like with your groceries and household items, you can save on your DIY’ing supplies as well. When we know we have a big house project coming up, we try to start paying attention to sales and coupon offers so we can save a bit more on the supplies.
3- Know your limits
Know when you need to call it quits. Sometimes pushing and pushing to do it yourself will just cost you more in the long run. Know when it is time to give up and hire someone to do the work for you. I’m picturing on The Cosby Show when Cliff would ruin something and Claire would have to call in a plumber to fix all the mistakes that Cliff had done. Know your limits so you don’t end up in that situation.
Yes, DIY really does save money…sometimes. Follow these three guidelines before you try to tackle a DIY with the purpose of saving money. If you discover it’s going to actually cost you more to do it yourself, hire it out or buy the item.
Have you ever been in a situation where it was cheaper to buy or hire than it was to do it yourself?