I am always looking for ways to save money in my day-to-day life: sales, shopping strategies, coupons, and just generally living frugally. That works great, but one fast way to cut your spending is to stop outsourcing services you can do on your own. Check out the ideas below to see if you can cut your spending by doing the work yourself.
Change Your Oil
Gasoline and car insurance aren’t the only ways your car is costing you money; what about those oil changes? Maintaining your car on schedule will save you money in the long run, so you shouldn’t delay an oil change when you need one. Instead, do it yourself. Just make sure you have the right tools for the job and that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle.
Replace Your Car’s Lights
Many people take their car to a shop to get a head or taillight replaced, but that is simply a waste of money. Replacing the light yourself is easy and doesn’t even take much time. Look up how it’s done in your car’s manual.
Hem Your Own Pants
Hemming your own pants and making other minor adjustments or repairs will save you a pricey trip to the tailor. Even if you haven’t done much sewing, hemming pants isn’t difficult; just take your time and go slowly to make sure you’ll be happy with the finished result.
Make Your Own Cards
I don’t know about you, but my budget for gifts is tight enough without purchasing a card that can cost upward of five dollars. Making your own cards is less about being a fantastic artist or poet and more a matter of sitting down when you have time to put in some effort. It will save you money and be very appreciated: giving someone a homemade card really is an act of love because you’ve given your time.
Bake Celebratory Cakes
Baking and decorating your own birthday or other holiday cakes is a quick money saver, and if you have a friend to bake with, it’s fun too! Don’t be afraid to decorate it yourself, either; it is, after all, only icing. Worst case scenario, you wipe it off and try again.
Make Your Own “Fast Food”
Instead of hitting the drive-through or buying frozen French fries, make your own convenience food. Slice and fry potatoes until partially cooked, then pull them, let them cool, and freeze. The next time you want French fries, you just have to pull out your bag of taters and briefly fry until brown. If it’s burgers you crave, keep pre-pattied beef in your freezer, ready to go when you want it.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt or make ends meet, one thing you shouldn’t be paying for is a gym membership. You can pick up cheap exercise DVDs, find exercises online, do jumping jacks in your living room, or just get out and walk. If you check Craigslist frequently, you can sometimes even pick up a treadmill, elliptical, or weight set for practically nothing.
Doing “it” yourself doesn’t mean you have to become an expert at everything; but it does mean that you shouldn’t shell out your hard-earned money for services you can easily do for yourself. So hire yourself back and see how much you can save.
7 Things You Can Do Yourself is a guest post by Sabrina at The Frugalist.