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Penny Saved: 5 Ways to Put Away Extra Cash with DIY

Today every penny counts and doing things yourself can definitely mean the difference between a comfortable life and a budget stretched thin. There are many ways DIY can enable almost anyone to save a bit of cash. With hourly rates ranging from$20 -$50 and often $100 or more, it’s often the tasks for which we pay others that represent the largest expense. Here are five examples of DIY tasks you can do yourself.

Penny SavedHome Repair and Maintenance

If you live in a house, rather than an apartment, there are a number of tasks you can complete yourself. Much of the expense of paying others to repair drywall, complete minor tasks about the house, or even assess damage to appliances has nothing to do with the actual work a repair specialist might do. You pay them for the visit and maybe travel time whether they actually repair anything or not. There are many household repairs that are simple to do including:

  • Patching drywall
  • Most Toilet Repairs- Leaks, broken lever, constant running, etc.
  • Leaky or Stopped-up Drains
  • Jammed Garbage Disposal
  • Replacing a Broken Light Switch or Outlet
  • Stuck Window
  • Squeaky Doors
  • Faucet Repairs
  • Faulty Lamps
  • Caulking
  • Painting
  • Cleaning Gutters

By familiarizing yourself with these simple home repairs you can save a great deal of money. These days you can probably find instructions on line or a YouTube video on how to fix just about anything.

Yard Work

Keeping your yard tidy and the area around your foundation clear can prevent costly foundation repairs and insect damage down the road. Raking leaves, mowing grass and gardening do not require a lot of skill and can get you some needed exercise (without paying gym fees). Plus, if you cut your lawn or care for your landscape yourself, you need not pay anyone for the service. In addition, many find gardening to be an relaxing hobby that can even supplement your food budget if you plant simple easy to grow things like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and string beans. And nothing beats the taste of fresh from the garden veggies!

Simple Mechanic

While today’s cars all require special computers to perform large repairs and maintenance, there are a number of tasks you can do yourself with a little study. First off, searching the internet and finding instruction can be a good way to start. Next look for things like promo codes for Auto Parts Warehouse which can save you a lot on parts if you plan ahead and buy online. Some autoparts stores allow you to order online and then pick up the parts immediately at the local store. But if you aren’t sure what you need local stores can be quite helpful in finding the right part. Changing the oil and other fluids is probably the simplest of tasks, but not the only ones. You can also replace your own brake pads, battery, shocks, wiper-blades, alternator, headlights/taillights, check your lines and hoses to ensure they’re sound,  and replace worn parts. Some of these tasks are so easy the parts store will even do them for free if you buy the parts from them.

Energy Conservation

Beyond just turning off the light when you leave a room, there are ways to further conserve energy that don’t require massive undertakings or special knowledge. If you live in a home that has had time to settle, you may find cracks or dried out caulk. This leads to drafts, which will cause energy drain in every season. You can curtail this loss by installing weather stripping on your windows, applying caulk, or simply placing a draft baffle beneath exterior doors. Larger projects include adding extra insulation to your attic or crawlspace, replacing windows or adding storm windows or doors, and adding an attic fan to reduce your cooling load.

Private Chef

Cook for yourself. Being proficient in the kitchen is a DIY task, too. This is an easy skill to acquire via practice, and can also be a creative outlet. If you purchase or grow your own ingredients and create nutritious meals, not only will you avoid the pitfalls of processed foods, but you also won’t be paying someone else to cook and serve you dinner. Eating out even once a week can add up to thousands of dollars a year.


Saving money can be a simple matter of enriching your own skill set. Learn how to care for yourself, your property, and your automobile, and you can forgo the expense of paying someone else to conduct routine maintenance. It’s as simple as taking the time to read a manual, a recipe, or a home repair book.

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+