This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series. You can check the first post for an updated list of the following ones.
Now that we are tackling new money goals for 2013, and have cut as much fat as possible out of the monthly budget, let’s look for areas where you could save a lot of money by doing things yourselves.
I am not very handy myself, but I have learned to do a lot of things, that are much easier than they look.
A first, obvious area, is cooking. By having a few basic recipes that you are comfortable with, such as pasta, stew, stir fry and big salads, you can invent as many recipes as there are days in the year. Preparing a huge salad with every vegetable about to go bad in the fridge is easy, cheap and healthy.
Get creative, look for recipes to accommodate your ripest food. And stop buying convenience food.
For example, when we go shopping, on the way back we are tired and stop for fried chicken. A fried chicken breast costs as much as a fresh fish from the lake. With soda and fries, it is more expensive than a full fish dinner with a glass of wine. Convenience is expensive and not necessarily better.
Since I started fixing up my house, I have learned about many little things, like putting and electric plug, installing pipes for water and painting a house. All of this is REALLY easy. And very cheap compared to having someone do it for you. Just watch a 10 minutes tutorial online, get the idea, go shopping for materials and start your project. I painted my whole house with lime wash for under $5, and probably added at least $500 value to it. Focus on leaks, bad insulation… and anything that is costing you money over time.
Another thing that I have learned recently is how to perform maintenance on cars and motorcycles. Again, it is really easy to change the oil or the brake pads on your vehicle, and something that can save you a lot of money over time.
I love my little plants in the garden and here in Guatemala, when a pound of tomatoes cost less than $0.50 it is not really worth the effort, but gardening is a hobby, it keeps your active, relaxes you and saves you money if you get a decent little crop. I chose a mix of the vegetables I eat the most, and some that I enjoy and find quite expensive, like bell peppers. I also put basil, which is almost impossible to find around here.
What other areas do you prefer to deal with yourself to save some money?
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