This post is part of a 30 days series called the 30 steps program to financial independence. You can check the list of other posts here.
I don’t know the first thing about DIY. I only know what it costs me not to know the first thing about DIY. $200 was the last locksmith bill one day that I was angry and locked myself inside my room by slamming the door at my roommate.
The locksmith came over, unlocked the door in 5 minutes, and asked for $200 dollars. I was still raging, and even more when I heard the amount. I could have done it myself.
Sure, you don’t always have all the tools and the skills. But when you are able to perform small tasks, like changing a faulty wire or a door lock, you save a lot of money. It also makes you feel pretty good about yourself.
So I made it a priority of mine to learn how to DIM(myself). There are tons of very well made videos out there to teach you about anything, from painting a wall to tiling the bathroom. Unless it is very technical, and could incur huge expensive if done wrong (like bursting a pipe), you should look into the task first. Even if you are not able to perform it in the end, you will have a good idea of what it is really about, and will be able to negotiate with contractors and get a better price.
My big dream is to fix up my house. I am starting to look at properties to buy, with lots of room for improvement, because I can’t afford the ready-to-move-in ones. I seized the challenge, and it is huge. But so are the rewards, as my financially independent life will require those skills. Every dollar I don’t spend on contractors is not only a dollar saved towards early retirement, it is also a skill I learn and will be able to perform over and over again, saving me money many times.