Tuesday, May 1, 2012


When you have a few moments to think about ways to save money try to make up an “I can do” list. Just think of all the tasks that you currently pay someone else to do that maybe you or someone in your family can accomplish and thus, save some money. Just make sure that these tasks are things that you really could do with some education if needed versus things you really should not do because you just don’t have the background and you don’t have the time or perhaps finances to learn a particular skill like electrical work or plumbing.

To put it bluntly, if you don’t know how to do something then it might be dangerous and even more costly to do something yourself. I’ll use my own experience at doing my own plumbing as an example. Yes, now I am able to do much of my own plumbing repair. However, because when I tried to do my first rudimentary plumbing on my own I ended up buying way too many parts that I did not need and could not return. I guess I was just trying to be like my dad who was an engineer and did all of his own plumbing and electrical work. My background was business and finance and all I knew when I started my first plumbing task is that water was supposed to run downhill following the laws of gravity. Boy was I wrong. Water leaks out wherever it can because pressure beats out gravity every time.

Now, I am not trying to discourage people from doing any plumbing tasks themselves or any other repair jobs themselves. Just make sure you either know what you are doing before you start or get a friend or relative who can help you learn how to do the repair. In short, if it is the first time you are doing something then get someone knowledgeable to help you with your task or at least inspect your work once you are done.

Yard care like mowing and fertilizing your lawn are two things that you might be able to do yourself without too much difficulty. Certainly planting trees and shrubs and even grass is not too far beyond what anyone can do with just a few trips to the internet or maybe a conversation with your nearest garden center manager.

Household work can often be done to save money. With all the modern conveniences things like dusting, cleaning carpets, bathrooms and, kitchens can easily be done by someone in the household. Most people can do all of their own housework because even if you have a busy work schedule how long does it take to do a batch of laundry or wipe down the banisters on the stairway? Most tasks like laundry you can do while doing some other task like wiping down the stairway banisters or cooking. Employers call this multi-tasking.

Cooking for yourself and your family will really save you a fortune. With all the terrible stuff that is reported to be put into prepared foods and certain restaurants foods now days I am not sure why everyone does not want to cook for themselves. You can make your own foods more nutritious, more delicious and save a fortune at the same time.

Of course there are many other tasks that you hire out that maybe you can do yourself or at least pay your kids to do. I am a firm believer that paying your kids to do something is a savings because you can make them do work for the family at the same time you can make them happy to get some extra money to buy a CD or video game which otherwise they would want you to buy them anyway. Making kids work for what they want is one of the greatest life lessons a parent can give. It’s like the mother bear teaching her cubs to pick berries.

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