Friday, October 31, 2008

Frugal Living Friday: Doing things yourself

Welcome to Frugal Living Friday! Each week I will feature a tip that can help us stretch our budget and live more frugally! If you have a tip that you want shared on Frugal Living Friday, let me know and you could become a guest blogger for a day.

What services do you pay for that you could do at home? This takes some thought, but there is generally some things that you can change.....things you can do yourself and keep more cash in your pocket. Many times you may have to learn a new skill in order to complete the task at home. But that is all about being self-reliant, right? Maybe things like:

  • haircuts for the kids (my boys for sure)

  • detailing the car

  • changing the oil in the car

  • pedicures/manicures

  • lawn maintenance

  • basic home repairs

Sometimes you have to weigh the amount of money against the amount of time it will take you to fix/complete the task. And sometimes it isn't worth it, depending what is going on in your life. I just think this is a good concept to think about, and maybe try one new area to save money where you weren't before.

Another way to get a service or "perk" is by trading with someone else, or working a bit in exchange for what you want.

For example, I wanted a gym membership last year but am too cheap to pay the monthly fee, setup fee, etc. So I did some checking and I got hired to work in the daycare at the gym once a week, for a three hour shift. Because I do that, I get my gym membership free! I can handle that commitment, plus I can take my younger kids with me for free when I work. It's only 3 hours and it saves me $360 a year!

I used to teach piano lessons, but no longer do so (officially anyway). But I do trade with a friend..she teaches my son and I teach her son. It was getting hard to teach our own children, so it works out great for both of us!

Do you do any type of trading services? What advice/tips/info can you share about doing your own services or exchanging? What do you do on your own to save money?



Julie said...

I cut my husband's hair, but for some reason, he won't cut mine. I am also lucky to have a very handy husband. He fixes our vehicles, leaky ceilings, clothesline, builds things from scratch, and overall saves us a lot of money every year. He keeps my cars clean and shiny, too.
I try to save money by exchanging babysitting with friends. I also saved a lot of money this year on produce. I received some free peaches, shared with my friend, and in return she shared the apples off of her tree.
I think we live in a culture where we tend to cut ourselves off from other people and we are too shy or embarrassed to barter or exchange with others. But, I am trying to change that perception within my circle of friends, because I think it's really important to share our excess and our talents.

Lori said...

My husband changes our oil and it really only takes about 30 minutes. This has saved us a lot of money.
Also, we have several beauty schools in our area. We found out the studetns will cut hair for really great prices! My husband got a hair cut for $5 and eyebrow wax for $10, and I got a cut and color for $45...which is a really great price these days. AND I have never felt uneasy going there because the students always have an instructor close by to guide them and monitor the process. It usually takes a little longer than with an experience stylist, but it is worth the savings for me.

The Gray Gang said...

I am a hairdresser and I TRADE for EVERYTHING!!!!! Babysitting, carpet cleaning, chiropractic work, a few meals. I LOVE trading!!!

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