DIY Savings Hold Up on the Homefront

April 18, 2016
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If you are like most household money managers, your budgeting balancing act churns along without incident, until your financial flow is interrupted by unanticipated expenses and other monetary demands. Occasional financial speedbumps naturally slow you down, but household expenses stay manageable when you take a hands-on approach to savings – wherever frugal opportunities are found. As you look for creative ways to save cash, this do-it-yourself mentality can help you stay on top of domestic duties, even as you cut costs.

Using talent and elbow grease to complete common household jobs, rather than paying for services, presents a viable money saving approach. A word of caution for ambitious, yet inexperienced do-it-yourselfers: Be realistic! Tackling complex projects your skill-set does not support can lead to costly repairs. Within reason however, hands-on DIY can be a rewarding way to accomplish household and personal tasks, while saving money on the cost of labor.

Evaluate Your Strengths and Then Apply Them for Savings

Each person brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the table, so DIY opportunities are different in each individual case. Your professional experience, for example, may prove valuable at home if your talents include domestic trade skills like plumbing, electrical, masonry and carpentry. At the same time, a history working with paint or interior design can also be an asset trimming household expenses, furnishing frugal DIY designs and fresh aesthetics for the home. Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning new skills as you tackle do-it-yourself work, just stay realistic as your knowledge grows – keeping DIY expectations in-line with your capabilities.

Home Improvements – According to, personal loan rates are favorable for short-term home improvement financing. For home owners handy with renovations and domestic maintenance, there has never been a better time to fund a project. In addition to the value upgrades add to your home, the cash saved by doing it yourself is just like money in the bank. Consider these accessible updates, which can be carried-off by moderately skilled do-it-yourselfers:

Light Carpentry – With a basic set of tools and some woodworking aptitude, you can replace kitchen cabinets and other outdated features for a fraction of the cost of hiring a contractor to do the job. That’s not to say you’ll set up a full-on cabinet-makers shop as a casual way to save money, but you should be able to demolish and replace basic pre-made cabinetry and countertops without attending trade school. Online resources and seminars conducted by home improvement stores are good places to see trained tradespeople at work, sharing experience and tips with novice DIY home owners.

Painting/Plaster Repair – Nothing transforms interior spaces like wall and ceiling work. Old, chipped plaster, for instance, can be skimmed and smoothed, updating surfaces for fresh coats of paint. And with a modest investment to cover paint and other supplies, your do-it-yourself spirit can change the appearance of a home in just a few hours’ time. Although painting is among the most accessible ways to upgrade surfaces, laying wallpaper is another DIY improvement within your grasp. An instructional video and a wall on which to practice furnish starting points for adventurous do-it-yourselfers willing to learn wallpapering techniques.

Landscaping – Curb appeal creates lasting impressions, so your landscaping experience and outdoor staging skills are valuable assets on the home front. Large installations, like sizable trees and retaining walls may be better left to professionals with industrial-scale equipment, but substantial impacts are possible, without significant investment. Keep ongoing landscaping costs low by cancelling lawn care services and composting waste.

Storage and Organization – Home owners typically share a common desire for better organization and less clutter around the house. In many cases, inadequate storage leaves little room for belongings, so living spaces end-up cluttered. Most times, sweat equity and a few DIY installations are all that’s needed to create order. Closet organizers, for example, give you multiple options for configuring tight spaces. As elaborate and pricey as your budget allows, the advanced closet systems are available in various materials and finishes, with shelves, bins, racks, and hanging bars to suit your organizational needs. Turnkey companies transform closets and other storage spaces for a fee, but with self-inspired design, planning, and execution, you’ll match their results at a fraction of the cost.

Upgrades and improvements are a natural part of home ownership – not to mention repairs and maintenance. Becoming self-sufficient in these areas leads to a lower cost of living, as long as you are willing to get your hands dirty tackling do-it-yourself projects. In addition to saving money on DIY work, you’ll come away with a sense of satisfaction and a property more valuable than it was when you started.

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