Rewarding Your DIY Efforts

Posted on 21. Feb, 2012 by in Your Wealthy Life

Home DIY

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day who likes to do a bit of DIY (do it yourself) at home, he told me a story about a guy he knows who was getting someone in to put up a garage for him.  My friend couldn’t believe that this guy was willing to spend additional money to get someone else to do the work for him, when he knew that the job was really straight forward.  My friend even went as far as offering to help him put the thing up so that he would save the money.

In the end the garage was completed by some hired help at pretty significant cost, which got me thinking about the pros and cons of DIY and why others may not be quite as quick jump to doing work for themselves as my friend is.  Personally I have no problem with having a go at home DIY, I’d much rather keep the money than give it away if I can, but others may not be as confident.


I’d have to say that confidence is a big factor in your ability to take on a task.  When it is something that you have never done before, it can be extremely overwhelming and you don’t know where to start.  Generally a bit of desk top research, a few trips to a hardware store and the gradual building of confidence by growing from smaller to larger jobs will get you over the line.  If you are really struggling it is also very helpful to get a friend to help you on the job, I’ve found it useful both physically and psychologically as you don’t feel like you are taking the job on alone, or making all of the decisions yourself.

By now, I hope that you are thinking about other things you can DIY besides a garage.  This mentality can apply to any of your personal finances and has the potential to save you big money over time.  A little work on your behalf can go a very long way.


This is usually the standby excuse given by most people, but it can be justified as DIY projects generally take a lot longer than you anticipate.  If your time could be better spent working and making money doing something else, or as quality time with your family, then you may decide to have someone else do the job.  Think carefully about this however, because most of us really do have the time, we just choose not to use it effectively.


Let’s face it, there is generally a price that most of us are willing to pay to pass a problem along to someone else (many people make a great living taking on other peoples problems).  If the cost of a project is small, it may not be worth doing if you don’t have all of the right tools, or the confidence.  If the cost is substantial, but the actual work is relatively straight forward, then you may want to give it some thought.


Most of the time, my reward for home DIY is the satisfaction of the job and being able to use the savings to improve something else (on my house, or my personal finances in general).  For some people this might be enough, but if it isn’t you may like to think about developing a rewards system to recognise your DIY efforts.

Let’s say you have been quoted $500 in labour (materials are extra) for someone else to do a job for you, but you feel that you could take the job on without too many problems.  You have all the tools you need, so it is just a matter of your time.  Your could complete the job and be pleased with the saving that stays in your bank, but to ensure you get the job done, you could decide on a fitting reward.  How about some beer at the end of the day, or a nice dinner with your partner or friends?  Theoretically anything less than $500 is still a saving, so you may even decide to splash out and get something that you have desired, but couldn’t justify.

Rewarding your efforts is very important and an incentive generally always makes hard work that bit easier.  In my eBook, I suggest setting rewards as savings goals and a DIY reward is just a logical extension of this.  If you find ways to reward your efforts, you are far more likely to focus on getting them done.

Do you reward your DIY efforts?

Image By Vincent Ma

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13 Responses to “Rewarding Your DIY Efforts”

  1. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    22. Feb, 2012

    I do some DIY projects, but for the most part, I’m more than willing to hire someone. I can find myself, or at least my situation, in all of the points that you mentioned. If all things are equal, I think it is a matter of priorities.

    BTW, cool idea 🙂

    • Money Cactus

      22. Feb, 2012

      Totally agree Roshawn, it definitely comes down to a matter of priority.

      If you can do it and save some money, then it certainly helps, so always worth at least some consideration. If you can sweeten the deal for yourself as well, then there may even be a better chance of you doing it and still saving money.

  2. Great thoughts here – I do some DIY Projects but I would like to do much more in the home-improvement arena. Once I purchase a home I’ll look into doing those things but unfortunately that is still a ways out. I’ve found other fun things to DIY – like hard apple cider and other types of food.

    • Money Cactus

      23. Feb, 2012

      Ha! I like to brew beer, more than enough satisfaction in that saving 😉

  3. MoneyforCollegePro

    23. Feb, 2012

    I dont often look at the monetary reward for DIY, I also look at the satisfaction and enjoyment I get out of knowing that it is done right. It also makes me happy to save money, so its a win win.

    • Money Cactus

      23. Feb, 2012

      I agree that there is plenty of enjoyment and reward to be had by just doing the job and knowing that it was done right. Sometimes we need a little incentive to get motivated, so a change of view never hurts.

  4. MoneyCone

    24. Feb, 2012

    When we bought our first home, I had no idea how to go about simple task such as changing from a dimmer to a regular switch. But the beauty of the internet is you can learn almost anything if you put in some time!

    More than aptitude, you need the attitude! Aptitude can be acquired, thanks to YouTube!

  5. My DIY preferences change often. Each time something comes up I may take a different approach. Sometimes I’ll wash my car and other times I’ll bring it in, just depends on my mood, the weather etc.

    On real projects, I don’t particularly reward myself for each one as much I just use those savings to reinforce my spending decisions. But, it’s never a motivational tool.

  6. Jana @ Daily Money Shot

    24. Feb, 2012

    We don’t necessarily reward ourselves for DIY projects. There are a lot of things we do that are just normal for us to do ourselves that when we do pay someone, we’re shocked. However, we know our limits and would never try to DIY something that would make more sense for a professional to do.

    I am impressed with how much more self-sufficient we are now that we DIY most things.

  7. I don’t do DIY, I am afraid. And the world, my family and everyone around me should be grateful I don’t. You see, confidence is not the issue; never mind how confident I am I really suck at most things like that. So better to call in people who know what to do,

  8. Barbara Friedberg

    24. Feb, 2012

    I love working with my hands and diy projects. Due to time constraints I hire out some jobs I could do myself. Time vs money is a perpetual challenge.

  9. Untemplater

    27. Feb, 2012

    I do some DIY things if they’re easy enough and I have the time. I don’t really feel a need to reward myself though even if I’m saving a lot by doing it myself. I’m happiest keeping the savings in the bank! -Sydney

  10. 101 Centavos

    03. Apr, 2012

    Nice clamps. I have the exact same.

    DIY contributes to an independent mindset.