DIY Projects That Save You Money
If you're looking to save a little money this year, there may be a few ways that your DIY can save you some cash. To get the most out of your money-saving projects, always start with DIYs that are high-priority and that you'd have to pay for otherwise.
Do the Math
Before you jump into any project, do the math. Every DIY costs something, even if you have parts laying around or it only requires time. If you really want to save money with DIYs, you need to make sure you're thinking the entire project through and calculating supplies and time.
Even if you're willing to dedicate the time if you have to take work off once or twice to finish the project or skip out on other money-making opportunities to get the project done, it is essentially costing you what you could have earned money during that time.
Doing the math first will help you determine which DIYs are money-savers, and which DIYs are money-pits.
Once you've done the math for your DIYs, it's essential to budget for the money you do need to spend. Budgeting up front will help the project run smoothly and will help you spend and save when necessary.
Even DIYs aimed at saving you money may require that you spend money to start with, and that means saving money to make sure you can fund the project.
DIY Appliance Fixes
If you've got an appliance that needs fixing, whether in the kitchen or the laundry room, you may be able to DIY the repair and save. Basic repairs on washers and dryers, dishwashers, and even the fridge can be done with a little ingenuity and basic tools.
Before you begin your DIY repair, you need to identify the problem. If you want to skip calling a technician to diagnose the problem to save money, head to Google. We find that by including details like make and model, we can generally identify the problem quickly. Once the problem is identified, we head to YouTube to find the solution.
You can also always bring specific questions to our DIY forum, where experts and users share info about thousands of projects.
YouTube is full of fix-it-yourself videos and is a great tool when it comes to saving money on an appliance fix. Make sure to include the make and model of your appliance and the problem you need to be solved.
We generally watch at least three videos on how to fix the issue and then use the best video to slowly walk us through the fixing process—pausing where needed.
We used this method last week to fix a sewing machine, and though it’s not a kitchen appliance, the method still worked great.
Displaying art in your home is a great way to let your personality really shine throughout your space, but it can be very expensive. Being able to save money and still give your home a personal touch is why we love DIY art so much. There are endless ways that you can create your own art for the home.
You can try DIYing art through traditional art forms like acrylic paint or watercolor. These DIY projects are relatively inexpensive because you just need to buy paper and a few art supplies. You can even get your art framed inexpensively and create something totally personal in your home that doesn't break the bank.
You can also get really creative when it comes to DIY art for the home. Everything from using wall spackling to reinventing paper mache is explained on the platform in quick videos that help you understand the process from start to finish.
Some of these more inventive art forms are more expensive to execute but can create a very high-end look.
As with any form of art, be patient with yourself as you're learning to create, and give yourself some grace when things don't go exactly as planned. That's what makes great art anyway.
DIY Car Care
Car care is expensive—DIY car care is less expensive. There are a few basic car maintenance tips and tricks that can save you big bucks in the long run. Start simple by learning to check your oil and change your car air filter, these are two services that you may be up charged for at a car servicing appointment.
If you're ready to tackle DIY car care that's a little more intensive, learn how to change a tire and change your car's oil. Swapping out a battery or a mass airflow sensor is also something that you can also learn to do. Whether you have an expert show you how or you use the internet as a guide, you can definitely learn how to DIY these things.
Sometimes an overlooked aspect of car care, car cleaning, and washing is also important to keep your car in great shape, and it's definitely something that you can DIY. Learn not only how to wash and keep your car clean in all sorts of weather conditions but how to keep the interior of your car looking great.
DIY Carpet Cleaning
Carpet cleaning is one of those almost-essentials that can get really expensive when you hire a professional. Even though professional cleaning services are incredibly convenient, you can clean your carpets on your own for a lot less.
First, you're going to want to rent a carpet cleaning machine. In our town, you can rent one of these at a local Albertsons, so a quick Google search will help you find where you can rent one of these professional carpet cleaning machines. It doesn't cost a ton to rent one, and often you can pay by the hour or rent for half a day to save even more money.
You’ll need to get a carpet cleaning solution for the machine, and often, you can purchase the right solution when you rent the machine. If not, most big-box stores will sell the carpet cleaning solution.
To clean your carpets yourself, you’ll want to move any big items that you can up and off the floor and you’ll want to avoid walking on the carpet for several hours after the cleaning is done. The machine you rent will come with specific instructions on how to use the carpet cleaner and best practices associated with your specific machine and cleaning solution.
DIY Paint Job
Skip professional painters and paint your space yourself. If you're looking to save money during a home renovation or room upgrade, painting the space yourself can be a huge money saver.
You're going to need to purchase paint, paint brushes, protective tarps, tape, and roller brushes. all of these project necessities add up quickly, which makes this project a little pricier than some of the other DIYs on our list, but still a lot cheaper than paying for professional painters. Plus, if you plan to paint a lot, you can reuse a lot of the supplies over and over.
To paint your space, make sure you take everything off, and if you're looking for really clean and crisp lines, we recommend running a little bit of caulk over your tape line before you paint. Remove caulk over the line, and wipe off all of the excesses with a damp cloth or a baby wipe. This will seal your tape line and make sure that your paint line is very crisp.
If you're looking to save money on paint, but you still want a color from a big brand like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, just take the paint color that you want to a paint mixing store and have them mix the color for you in a less expensive paint. We really like the Behr Premium Plus paint line because it cleans up very well and is a lot less expensive than its comparable counterparts.
When you mix paint colors between brands, sometimes there is slight color variation, but it is a huge money saver.
DIY Hardware Upgrades
If you want an upgraded look in your home but you're not ready to commit to a full renovation, you can update your own hardware. We're talking about everything from changing out the pulls on your drawers and the knobs on your cabinets to changing out your sink faucet or your shower head.
Small tweaks can make a huge difference around your house, but it can be expensive to pay somebody else to come and make these tweaks for you. Learning to make a little change or two on your own can help you feel at home in your space and can save you money.
If you really want to save money on this DIY, you can work on updating the hardware that you currently have. In our builder-grade home, we didn't love the pulls in our bathroom. We wished they were matte black. So using a liquid sander, Rust-Oleum metal spray paint, and a sealant, we took our brushed silver pulls to matte black. It's been over a year now, and the pulls still look great.
New hardware can be really expensive, so when you have the chance to upgrade what you already have, it's good for your pocketbook and for the planet.
If you want to swap out something bigger like a faucet or a shower head, look at places like Costco or Amazon for good deals. We also recommend looking at thrift stores like The ReStore, which is a Habitat for Humanity thrift store where people can donate their unused home items. We’ve found incredible things at the restore, including a vintage faucet in great condition that is now at home in our bathroom. And yes, after a little bit of time on YouTube, we DIY-ed the swap ourselves.
Don't let tiling overwhelm you or cause you to call a subcontractor. You can title yourself. There is definitely a learning curve to laying tile, but it's something that everybody can learn to do.
As we mentioned before, you can find great things at The ReStore, including tile. This is a really fun way to save on title and still create something really immaculate in your home. If you don't live near a store like this, you can wait for deals on titles or even make your own using cement and molds.
Once you have your tile ready to lay, you're going to need mortar, grout, and some basic tiling tools. It's not a cheap project, but it is a lot less expensive than having to pay a subcontractor to come in and lay the tile for you.
DIY Pest Control
Keeping bugs out of your house is a top priority for a lot of people. Paying a pest control tech? Maybe not as high of a priority. There are a few ways to tackle DIY pest control.
One, you can purchase a kit from a hardware store or big-box chain that comes with everything you need to spray the perimeter of your home and keep the bugs outside. This method is generally inexpensive but does require a little time.
Two, you can make your own pest control solution. There are lots of different ways you can help keep chemicals out of your home, and making your own pest control solution is one of them.
Depending on the bugs in your area, you’ll want to make tweaks to your solution so that it really keeps the bugs at bay. A quick Google search will help you determine what bugs you need to be spraying for, and how to make and apply a DIY solution to help keep your home bug free.
With any form of pest control, it’s vital that you read the instructions on the back and look at the safety warnings. Keep kids and pets away from any chemicals, and consider keeping the house empty for a few hours after the initial spray.