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