16 Ways to Do It Yourself

Posted by Madison on January 12, 2009

Do you do it yourself…. or do you pay someone to do it for you?

Sometimes we’ve been paying someone to do something for us for so long, it would never occur to us that we could do it on our own to save some money. And sometimes we just think we don’t have enough time to do something ourselves.

However, if you want to cut corners and save some money, it’s time to look at the things that you could be doing yourself.

Here are 16 ways to get started!

Do It Yourself Ideas

  1. Perform household maintenance. From fixing leaks to painting, do-it-yourselfers know how to save money.
  2. Cut your own hair. Or color it. Or give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
  3. Pay off debt. Instead of using a debt consolidator, buckle down, do it yourself, and create a plan for debt elimination.
  4. Clean your house. Paying a housecleaner every week adds up; clean it yourself or cutback on the frequency.
  5. Mow your lawn. Or shovel your sidewalk. Or any other landscaping activities that you pay others to do for you.
  6. Manage your investments. Paying more than 1% in management fees to invest for you can have a large impact on your portfolio. Use low-cost index funds instead.
  7. Change your oil. If you are good with cars, this is probably an easy one to save money every few months.
  8. Make your lunch. It would be cheaper than paying the people at the deli to make it for you each day.
  9. Do your own taxes. Use TaxCut or VITA instead of paying a preparer.
  10. Cook dinner. We save a bundle of money now that we aren’t paying our nanny to cook dinner and do our laundry.
  11. Pay your bills online. Paying the post office to deliver your payments in the form of stamps can add up over time, even if you use discount postage stamps.
  12. Groom your dog. Learn to make Fido look his best without sending him to a groomer.
  13. Create your party trays. We hosted a birthday party recently and made our own fruit, veggie, and cheese platters for about half the price of the store-bought deli trays.
  14. Take your garbage to the dump. If you live in an area where you can still skip the garbage service in favor of dropping off your own garbage at the dump, do it and you’ll save the weekly fee.
  15. Make your own calendars. Instead of buying a calendar each year, print your own.
  16. Sell your own house. Does using a realtor to sell your house really recoup the standard 3% commission you’ll pay them?

Don’t have the skills to do some of these yourself and don’t want to learn? You can always consider swapping services with a friend or neighbor.

Add to the list with your own self-service money savers!

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Comments to 16 Ways to Do It Yourself

  1. that is a creative list! even if a reader would only do one of two of those things, the savings would add up over the year into a substantial amount. Doing it yourself does not cost anymore time and perhaps in some instances can save you time also (which is worth more).


  2. I’d argue that cutting your own hair is a terrible idea. A $15 Supercuts job would still far exceed anything I could do for myself. I know I’d just keep trying to even it out until I looked like GI Jane (and I’m no Demi Moore)!


  3. @MMK

    Okay, well cutting your own hair could turn out to be bad for many, but for somebody like me who shaves their head, I have a $40clipper that I have been using for the last two years. That has saved me from paying $20 every 10 days at the barber.


  4. My wife has cut my hair for years and I would imagine the savings to be in the thousands. I like that I never need an appointment and we get caught up on family business.

    The Passive Dad

  5. Great list — simple ideas that may get overlooked in the process of trying to cut costs. Always good to have reminders and the inspiration to take more charge in the do-it-yourself realm.

    Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

  6. This is a great list. I would add brew your own morning coffee to skip that $4 starbucks trip daily, and wash/detail your own car


  7. My husband uses clippers to almost shave his head, and then he asks me to clean up his work, including shaving the back of his neck. He has ADHD and frankly does not do his share of housework. I’ll confess what I was surfing for were ideas for the opposite of what you’re talking about: since my husband isn’t helping, what can I PAY someone to do to lighten my load. Reading this list made me realize that I could charge my husband, say, a third of what a haircut would cost him to neaten him up every time he cuts his own hair. We keep separate checking accounts, dividing bills between us, and if I have to do more second-shift work than he does, I might reap a financial reward for at least some of it! Only fair, since the last time he did me a favor, he charged me a truffle out of a box of four that he had just given me. BTW, if we sound like we spend outrageously on truffles and (as yet fantasy) off-loading of chores, you should know that while we aren’t yet where we want to be, we have no debt outside our mortgage.


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