Does DIY Really Help Your Budget? Maybe…or Maybe Not.

How is saving $5 going to help me?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “In all things, balance”? If not, remember it. It’s the best advice you will ever receive. It applies to nutrition, fitness, relationships, and my favorite thing – BUDGETS!

Just like with every other thing, balance means different things to different people. Let me tell you what it means to me. For me, it means that I need to figure out a way to manage our household needs adequately while leaving sufficient funds for the wants that are top priorities for us. In our house that means a few trips out of town each year, healthy food, a good quality school, nice clothes and one fancy truck.

The extravagance of the “wants” completely depends on how well I can manage the cost of the needs. Just so you know, I consider retirement savings, health insurance, life insurance and an emergency fund “needs.” What I’m talking about here is expendable money for wants, not just the money that is left over after paying bills. There is a big difference.

 

When should you DIY?

Here is where Do-It-Yourself, or DIY, comes into play for me.  I consider it a game to see how much money I can save on both my needs and wants with the end goal of freeing up as much expendable money as possible.  Saving $30 a year by not buying fertilizer and using Epsom salt instead doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, unless you consider that I can use a coupon or watch for a sale and buy myself the best shirt of the summer with that money instead.  Or use three different hacks that save $100 and I have enough to pay for gas to visit my parents.

I have one rule for DIY hacks – they have to be quick, easy and effective.  Is that three rules? Well, either way, if it’s not quick and easy, I’m not realistically going to do it more than once and I will end up wasting money buying ingredients that don’t get used.  If I have to wait until the dark of the moon to pick a certain flower that needs to be stewed in 200 degree water for 3 hours, it ain’t happening. I don’t have time for that kind of nonsense and I’m sure you don’t either.  If it’s not effective, then there’s no point. Social media is so awesome for being able to read comments before trying so you have a good idea of what’s going to work.

 

When DIY is Not Worth It

At one time when my son was a baby, I was following a natural parenting page on Facebook and I had pretty much become convinced that everything he touched was going to cause cancer.  I was thinking about starting to make my own lotion and bath soap when I finally got a grip on reality. I was working full time outside of the home. He was having ear aches and sleeping about 2 hours at a stretch.  We were making all of his baby food. I was out of shape and worn out. My plate was already beyond full, did I need to be adding MORE work when there were other alternatives out there that could be purchased and serve the same need?

This is when DIY hacks are not worth it.  If you are sacrificing your happiness or time to relax to make time for concocting every single item that might touch your skin or go in your mouth, it’s not worth it.  Plus, there are plenty of small businesses that make all of these things for a living that would love to have your business. Both the internet and the farmer’s market have them in abundance.  

 

Let’s Share our Hacks

Recently, I have shared a handful of my favorite DIY hacks on social media.  I have gotten a great response, so I put them all together in one easy to read document.  If you would like a copy, please fill out this form to receive it in your inbox.  If you have tried and true DIY hacks, send me an email and tell me all about them.  I love a good DIY hack to save money and time!

 

 

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