Get Creative – Do It Yourself

Set of construction tools. House renovation background.

As a homeowner, I have over time grown more and more comfortable with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. I have handled a number of projects, some repeatedly – assembling furniture, replacing a leaking faucet, gardening, etc. I am not a very handy person but  I am learning to hold my own and occasionally take pride in my workmanship.

I haven’t always been this way.  I still recall the first time the garbage disposal unit in my kitchen sink got clogged. I called in the repair technician. It took him all of 20 seconds to figure out and fix the problem. Using a small wrench he was able to unclog the drain and water was freely flowing again. Then he promptly issued me a $150 bill!

150 bucks  for a twenty-second task seemed like a ripoff but in all fairness, the guy had fulfilled his own end of the deal. I paid up and resolved to learn more about simple home maintenance projects. So guess what happened when I needed to replace the garbage disposal unit about a year later? Right, I ordered a replacement then rolled up my sleeves, got under the sink and installed it myself!

Labor is generally not cheap and if care is not taken, labor costs could set you back by pushing you into credit card debt. I’m an advocate of having an emergency fund but the occasional DIY effort can preserve your emergency fund and help you get ahead financially.

Instead of shelling out top dollar for every little home improvement project, why not take on some tasks yourself? The money you would have otherwise paid to the service provider could then be diverted to fund one of your financial goals or even added to your savings for that long overdue family getaway. Plus you can enjoy the recreational side benefit derived from getting things done yourself. Yes, a little DIY this summer could go a long way – give it a shot.

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