There are many jobs that we once did ourselves but find that we now pay people to do for us. Assuming that you are in reasonable health, there may be some good reasons to go back to completing these tasks yourself.
There are some tasks that we come across where we have a knowledge/skill barrier but by using books, and especially the internet, just about any small task is achievable. From a knowledge perspective, large tasks are also possible in theory, as long as we have enough people to assist or enough time and money to rent or buy the required equipment to take the place of helpers.
The internet, especially YouTube is a wonderful resource for gaining the required knowledge to complete a physical task. Completing tasks yourself increases your knowledge, independence and skill level. Doing the job yourself also saves you money in most cases but sometimes when you count the time spent on a task, materials needed and time spent learning a new skill, it may not be as much as expected.
The best example I can think of here is changing the oil in your vehicle. You need to buy the oil, a drain pan, a ramp or jack, an oil filter and an air filter, and tools that will do the job. This will all cost more than the quick oil change garage, but the upside to this is that when you have done it once you will have the knowledge, and the next time, you will be faster. The tools (hand tools are all that are needed), drain pan and ramps are a one time expense. You will also be confident that your oil has actually been changed, your oil and air filters have really been replaced and the threads on your oil plug haven’t been stripped.
Another example is taking care of your own yard. The advantages are that you will get some exercise and at the most basic level of cutting and edging the lawn, it is not hard and the initial outlay is worth it as lawn care companies are very expensive now. Maintaining the lawn mower can also become “interesting”. I have a gas operated walk behind mower that has powered wheels, front and back. The wheels are powered by drive belts and they tend to stretch, fray and sometimes break, this results in no power being transferred to the wheels and you end up with an extra heavy human driven push mower. The first time that this happened, I went online to see if there was any information on fixing the issue as I hadn’t come across the problem before, because I used to pay a lawn service. I found all the information that I needed to replace a drive belt and gained knowledge. It doesn’t take me any time at all now to replace a drive belt because I know how it works and what bolts and screws to remove to get to the parts that I need. My most recent front and back yard is modest but not tiny, the quote I got from a local lawn care company for cutting the lawns and edging was $130 twice a month and that is just too much when I am able-bodied and I can easily do it myself. I have never been a garden enthusiast but it does seem to give me some sort of satisfaction to do it myself. I am also increasing my knowledge about plants and landscaping topics to make the property attractive.
A while ago, I took on a project that took me some time to research. I built a new shower stall in my bathroom. There was an existing stall, but the base was leaking and it was getting moldy. The tiles were also getting moldy too quickly and were not very attractive. The glass shower door was about 20 years old and did not look good at all. I had to research the project in stages as I hadn’t completed this task before. I found all the information that I needed online.
The job began by ripping out the old stall, down to the wall studs and then rebuilding it, stage by stage. It did take a while, but it was completed 100% by myself, so it was slow going.
The end result was very attractive and while there were places that could have been better on the tile work, I was the only one who noticed. I increased my knowledge and skill level and I was very pleased.
As for the money saved, I may have saved a few hundred dollars by doing it myself and I also know that I could do the job faster and better if I had to complete another similar task.
Any task around the house can be completed by the homeowner with the knowledge that is freely available online. The only things that I will not tackle at present are electrical rewiring and work involving gas lines. I have confidence in my abilities but I will leave those to the professionals due to liability issues.
There are other topics that we can look at, such as stop ordering carryout or going out to eat all of the time and start cooking. Once again, if you aren’t very knowledgeable about cooking there are plenty of books on the subject and a load of information online. You will be able to choose your own menus and ingredients for health and taste reasons. Everyone has a cooker and refrigerator in the house and if you use it, you will be getting your money’s worth out of it.
I have also been my own plumber, plasterer, drywall installer/repairer, concrete work repairer and more. I didn’t know much about any of these issues until I researched them and then put that knowledge into action.
The main point of the topic is not so much “saving money”, although completing tasks yourself will achieve that in many cases, it is more a quest to increase knowledge about practical work and become more self-sufficient. Other benefits are that it gives a person a sense of achievement, which is good for mental health, and practical issues involve physical exertion, which is always good, especially if you earn your living in a sedentary occupation.