People Describe Which Things Are Significantly Cheaper If You 'Do It Yourself'
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Be honest: Who truly likes doing things themselves?

It can feel stressful, or scary, when you think about doing something on your own. Why risk messing something up when you could just pay a professional to come over and handle things? Turns out you can save quite a bit of money if you take a little time from your day, Google how to do something, and then go ahead and do it.

Reddit user, u/Thequeensarmpit, wanted to hear about:

What is something that is significantly cheaper if you 'do it yourself'?

Save Money Around The House

Easiest way to start saving money is at home. Simple things you pay people for can start racking up, if you invest a little time into learning the way instead of investing money to not understand anything.

Maybe The Easiest Of It All

Googling how to fix your PC problems yourself and not taking it to the shop.


This is actually how I learned most of the things that lead to me having a career in IT. I broke the computer, and my family couldn't afford to fix it, so I have to figure it out myself.


Start Learning About Your Home

Any home improvement. Labor is usually 75% of the cost or more depending on the job. If you can do it yourself you will save incredible amounts of money.

That being said, sometimes its best to let a professional do the job.


Always ask around for friends who don't mind helping out. I have a master electrician buddy who helps me out for 35 an hour and cost of materials. He's flaky as f-ck and takes forever to get things done because I'm the absolute lowest priority for him, but he's saved me an easy 20 grand over the years.


Go To The Source

If buying a house from a builder like Lennar, Ryan Homes, etc. don't pay for upgrades like a deck. You can save thousands and get the same exact deck if you go direct to their deck contractor after you buy the house. You also don't need a real estate agent if you're buying from a builder either which will save you thousands as well.


Learn To Jack, Man

Changing a flat tire versus getting towed.


Even paying for someone else to come change the tire is cheaper than getting towed.


Seriously. Learn About Cars.

Most car maintenance.

Most of it is just replacing fluids. Drain it. Plug it. Pour more in.

Filters might need a tool to replace. But still just undo a couple bolts take out old dirty filter. Put new clean filter in. Put bolts back in.

If you do all of that properly when you should, then you probably won't need any of the harder maintenance anyway. Saves a lot of money.


It's The Ones You Never See Coming

However, there are those situations where you can't predict what will come your way. When life springs up a situation where you're prior knowledge won't help you, but you have to get through it, it might help to pull a Batman and just be prepared for all scenarios.

There Is A Major Difference Between "Free" And "Money"

Getting pregnant.

Cost of unprotected sex with my spouse: free.

Cost for one round of IVF: $24,000.

Too bad that first option doesn't work out very well for me any more.


Who Doesn't Need A Fence?

Building a fence. Several quotes from contractors ranged from 7000-$11000 USD for my fence. Did it myself for $2500 in 3 weekends with help from family members and a lot of beer.

Edit to answer some questions:

  • 450 feet of wood fencing, pressure treated pine, nothing fancy. COVID caused lumber prices to surge so the material alone was pretty expensive.
  • First day to dig all the holes and set the posts (we used a 2 man auger), we were out there from sun up to sun down and was easily the most labor intensive part of it all.
  • Next weekend we did the "runners" (2x4s between posts) and this took another day with 1 other person helping.
  • Next week was pickets which I did in the evenings after I got off work. All pickets were screwed instead of nailed or it would've been a lot faster.

Keep It Down, You Ruffians!

Acoustic dampening panels.

I used to work in professional A/V, and I would help small churches and poor schools know how to save money. There are a lot of things that it will end up saving you money if you get the pros involved from the start instead of attempting a DIY first. But as for acoustic treatments, sound dampening panels can cost a small fortune coming from a manufacturer, and there are probably several different parties marking up the price before it gets to you. Whereas, you can buy the materials to make them in bulk fairly inexpensively. After that, it's mostly just like doing a very simple upholstery job. Especially if you have a staff member or volunteer that has done hobby upholstery before, you can save a ton of money.

As for knowing where to put them, you can pay an engineer like $10k for a full acoustic simulation and design. Or you can do 70% of what a professional can do just by mounting them in problem areas and wherever else just makes logical sense.

As for mounting, the ones on walls can be just mounted like heavy pictures. The professionals would use special brackets and construction glue for permanent installation, but it doesn't have to be that way. The only warning I really have is if you want any overhead; you should either pay a professional or have someone experienced enough with rigging to make sure nothing is going to fall down on someones head.


Those Of Us With Quarantine Hair Raise Your Hand!

shave head instead of haircut at barber


True, but you have to accept a little bleeding if you want a smooth finish. I've been shaving my head for 20 years and about 1/5 times I cut myself.


To The Internet!

Home appliance fixes. I'm essentially a housewife now that covid killed my career. Become the household handyman and you know what? Everything is almost always either a clog or a leak. Once I had to replace the pilot assembly on my water heater and it was a huge and difficult undertaking, I was proud because it was so complex and saved us thousands. But most of the time when the fridge/dishwasher/washer/dryer is busted, it's some hose or tube that's got built up crud or a tiny motor fan blade obstructed by more crud. Got my family thinking I'm a handyman because I can follow some YouTube videos.


Because It's Always Food, Right?

Of course it's food. Who doesn't love food? Who doesn't love spending lots of money on food?

You, after you learn to do things yourself.

Don't Do The Math Now. You'll Just Be Sad.

Coffee. Buying a barista-made coffee every day adds up very quickly, buying your beans in bulk and milk every few days doesn't add up as fast


I did the math when I got my own Breville BES840XL espresso maker and started using Black Rifle Coffee. I might have paid $350 for the machine and pay $120 every 6 months for 10lbs of coffee ($0.75/oz compared to higher quality brands at the local grocery store that are $0.30/oz) but it pays for itself in a matter of 4 months compared to getting a quadruple shot of espresso from Starbucks each day (I believe with tax it's $4.10 or so for 4 shots of espresso).

Starbucks is disgusting coffee too.


Start Growing

Gardening. Just do it yourself. I time myself 30 minutes every day (weather permitting, I live in the UK) and just go at it. It is surprising how much of a difference 30 minutes a day can make to a garden.


Plus, You Also Eat Less

Cooking food vs. Eating out

A pasta meal at a restaurant can cost $20+

At home $20 would make a whole weeks worth.


Try To Find A Way To Make It Work

Fill my water from the tap instead of bottled water. Something like factor 500-1000 cheaper.


If you live somewhere with clean drinking water yes. Some people don't have that luxury


You can still filter it at home for far less than you can get it at some places. It really depends on what you're buying and where. A Pellegrino in an Italian restaurant versus a Fuji at a gas station versus a regional bottler at a grocery store during a sale, ya know? But generally speaking, way cheaper to drink tap at home, even with a filter, RO system, etc.


While you might flinch at the idea of investing time instead of money into fixing problems, think of everything you'll save for the future if you do? Just take the leap, look stuff up, and try if yourself. You might make a mistake the first time but, hey, everyone has to start somewhere.