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How D-I-Y Can Save You C-A-S-H

by retirebyforty on July 19, 2011 · 5 comments

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One of the best ways to maximize your budget is by doing repair and maintenance around the house on your own. Many “do it yourself “(DIY) projects aren’t that hard. Even if you’re not particularly handy, there are a lot of projects you can easily undertake yourself that will save you money.


Clean A/C-Heating Filters

While it’s a good idea to have a professional annually check your home’s heating and air conditioning system, this simple procedure can help save year round. Just find the filter on your unit; it’s usually behind a small panel. There will probably be an off switch nearby which you should throw before opening the panel. Remove the filters, hose off, and let dry. Re-install, and move the switch back to the on position. The improved airflow will help the unit run more efficiently.


Install Ceiling Fans

If you have a light fixture in your ceiling, this is an easy installation, though you made need an extra set of hands to complete the project. If there isn’t a fixture already, you will need to have junction box installed by an electrician. You can install the fan on your own. Once in place, it will not only help keep rooms cool in the summer, but help distribute heat more efficiently in the winter.


Insulate Pipes

Your local home improvement store likely carries foam tubing that can easily be cut and placed around exposed pipes in your basement or garage. This can help you use less hot water, and reduce the time it takes for your water to heat up.


Install Dimmer Switches

Using dimmers instead of standard light switches can help save electricity. Simply go to the fuse box and cut power to that circuit, then remove the old switch. A flat-head (slotted) and a Phillips head style screwdriver should be the only tools you need to disconnect the old switch and connect the new one.


Wash Your Car  

Don’t do this at home though. Save water and find a self-service car wash. The industrial strength vacuums will also save your home unit when it comes to cleaning your car’s interior.


Minor Car Repair

You can usually find coupons for a cheap oil change, and it’s usually only a little more than the cost of the oil. However, there are a few other repairs you can do yourself that would cost a lot if done by a repair shop. These include changing bulbs, fuses, and some filters. Windshield wipers are also fairly easy to replace.


Cook Gourmet Meals at Home  

There are hundreds of resources for creating great tasting meals simply and cheaply. The Internet, magazines, the library, and family and friends can be great resources for recipes. Preparing your own meals can also be healthier too, and that can save you money in the long run.

Paint a room

With a little patience and practice you can paint a room in no time. Paint supply stores, as well as your local home improvement store, can help you with tips and pointers.


Build Your Confidence, But Take Precautions

With each project you tackle, you’ll become more confident, and be ready to take on more difficult repairs. Maybe start off small, and build your comfort level. Also, be aware of what you are legally allowed to do on your own. In many areas only certified professionals can do electrical work, plumbing, and so on. Even putting up a small fence might require a zoning permit. Check with your local government for applicable regulations.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter July 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

If you have the patience and skill needed for your project than DIY is the way to go. Just this past weekend we finished our backyard patio. It looks great and it feels great to see the fruits of our labour. Plus we saved a ton doing the work ourselves.


retirebyforty July 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

Great job! We built a backyard patio once too. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much more affordable to DIY.


Brave New Life July 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

I replaced the brake pads and changed the oil on my motorcycle last weekend. I’m generally not a DIY kind of guy, but as part of my early retirement plan, this is something I’m dedicated to learning.


retirebyforty July 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

That’s great! You’ll have more time to DIY when you retire early so might as well starts now. ;)


krantcents July 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

DIY, is actually a more expensive choice for me. I can replace A/C filters and wash my car, but anything else usually costs me money. I have some really good cheap repair people for everything else.


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