Save Money By Learning

Save Money By Learning! ~ Our Cozy Den

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people tell me, “I wish I could _______, but I don’t know how!”

People rarely consider actually learning these skills, which is unfortunate. There’s no need to write yourself off as already knowing everything you will know! Multiple studies actually show that your intelligence increases as you get older {peaking as late as your 70’s or 80’s} if you develop it. Like anything else, if you don’t use your brain, it won’t work as well. Learning new things, reading, and exercising your brain will help you live longer, increase your overall happiness, and other benefits.

But as you can tell by my common money-saving tips, my favorite benefit of learning new skills is that it saves money!

Any time I consider paying someone to perform a service or do something for me, I ask myself, “Is this something I can learn to do myself?” Even if it seems extremely complicated or difficult, many times it can be done!

Save Money By Learning! ~ Our Cozy Den

Here are just a few examples of things that I/we learned to do instead of paying somebody else to do it. All of these things were learned with NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE or skills in these areas!

  • Preparing taxes
  • Installing a fence
  • Troubleshooting tech issues
  • Repairing a dishwasher
  • Cutting hair
  • Starting a garden
  • Repair a leaky roof
  • Building a custom built-in bookcase
  • Coaching sports (so kids play free)
  • Baking, especially fancy birthday cakes
  • Changing oil
  • Replacing a clutch on a car
  • Tree trimming
  • Sewing
  • Fix broken plumbing
  • Homeschooling difficult subjects
  • Repairing a broken side-view mirror on our van
  • Building a website
  • Run electrical wire to another room for an extra outlet

 

But how do I learn it?

These are just some of the ways we educated ourselves to be able to perform these tasks.

1. Watch Videos Online

There are tons of great educational sites. YouTube is obviously a huge resource. There are also sites like MonkeySee.com, which has hundreds of how-to videos on various topics. PlanitDIY.com has videos on many repair and DIY topics, mostly pertaining to home upkeep. CarCareKiosk.com has hundreds of videos on car repair, broken down by the make and model of your vehicle.

I used video sites like these to do car repairs, home repairs, help with homeschooling, learn html code to build this blog, and about a million other things I didn’t know how to do.

2. Read online tutorials and blogs.

It can be hard sometimes to find what you’re looking for online. Pinterest is my go-to source for tutorials. Use keywords when searching like DIY, homemade, tutorial, or how to.

I use Pinterest usually when I’m looking for a recipe — something I want to learn to make homemade to save more money. Usually I read 5-6 recipes and try a few, and tweak them to find out what works best for me and make it my own. Then I post it to share with you guys!

It’s a great source for many other things besides recipes as well! {I love this board on DIY & Remodeling ideas and tutorials!}

3. Check out books from the library.

Besides the terrible names, I’m a huge fan of the ____ For Dummies and Idiot’s Guide to ____ series of books. They both offer a huge amount of information, written in common language so it is easily understood. Go to the library and search for your topic, and you’ll likely find dozens (if not more) books teaching you just what you wanted to know!

I use the library tons, but I especially love it for learning new things. When I wanted to start my own garden to save on groceries, I checked out a half dozen books and read them all, taking diligent notes. The time and effort I spent educating myself saved me a lot of frustration and hassle what would have been a failing bed of vegetables!

4. Watch professionals.

When I used to take my kids for haircuts, I would watch the barber very carefully to see how they were holding the scissors, what they did first, second, etc. I was learning to replicate the process on my own at home. Later, I also asked a friend who cuts hair to give me some basics on cutting fine baby hair. The amount of money my family saves by not paying for haircuts is huge. (Figure 6 people times an average of every 3 months times $15 a haircut = $360 a year, or $6,480 for the 18 years my kids are at home!)

You can also watch professionals by volunteering to help more experienced friends on their projects. My husband started helping a friend in his tree-trimming business and learned skills to trim our own trees for free. He has also helped people install drywall, use an auger, fix plumbing, and run electrical wires to another room for an extra outlet. {Somebody gave us a freezer, which we wanted to put in our basement. But we had no outlets in the basement, so we were able to install one.}

5. Ask for help.

Many times you have friends who are more skilled in certain areas than you. Ask them for help! If you have a friend who knows about wiring, carpentry, technology, car repair… anything you need, just ask! After all, what are friends for, right?

We have had friends help to repair a leaky roof, fix a broken ceiling, fix a broken iphone, and many other things! In turn, be open to offering to help others. Just like we accept help from our friends, we also love to offer to help them back in areas that we are experienced.

6. Seek out adult education programs.

There are probably many adult education programs in your community that you aren’t aware of. Look into programs at your library (my library offers classes as well as one-on-one tutoring on computer use, internet use, tablet/smartphone use, resume writing, creative writing, calligraphy, and many other skills!)

Also check out your local technical school or college to see if they have classes that might benefit you. If you enroll in a non-degree or non-certification program, it usually doesn’t cost much, if anything. These programs will not get you any sort of certification to perform the tasks professionally, but they will more than equip you to perform the tasks personally.

You can also look at online colleges and courses, such as Coursera. Coursera offers 1,784 courses (at the time of this posting), and you can take them for free if you click “enroll without certificate” on the enrollment page. This is a great resource for both adults and homeschoolers!

Do a google search for “free online colleges” or “free online course ______” with your desired area of knowledge, to find more resources!

Save Money By Learning! ~ Our Cozy Den

Tell me!

What are some skills that you learned that have helped you to save money? If you have any other resources to share, I’d love to hear that too!

Save Money By Learning! ~ Our Cozy Den
Don’t lose this! Pin it on Pinterest!

5 thoughts on “Save Money By Learning

  1. I could not agree more! It really does help save money by learning how to do things. I saved big bucks by teaching myself how to sew and I was able to successfully sew my own wedding dress! YouTube and Pinterest definitely are great sources for learning new things. I still have to learn how to cut hair though! That’d be an awesome skill to have!

  2. cheryl says:

    DIY saves a lot of money. We garden and do as many repairs as possible that we can. We have done plumbing, carpentry, electrical and painting. While I am not very talented in cutting hair, I am fortunate that my husband is. He cuts my hair and my children’s hair as well. He also does my hair color with henna. My sister-in-law pays $130 every six weeks for a cut and color. I believe you are under estimating your savings by quite a large margin. I figured that my haircut every other month at $55 plus $15 transportation cost, my two children at $30 plus $25 transportation cost saves over $1000 a year. My husband colors my hair with henna, cost for materials under $40 a year. Savings versus a salon is hundreds more a year and frankly I would rather have my husband do my haircuts and color even if the salon was free. He always does a great job, never a bad haircut, which I got far too many when I still had to go to the salon.

    • ourcozyden says:

      You’re totally right! It’s pretty cool that your husband can do that for you. I’ve never colored my hair before, though I may start when I begin to go gray, lol!

      • Cheryl says:

        I am extremely lucky than not only that he can but that he will without hesitation. A lot of men are too afraid to even try, they use the excuse that they will mess it up. Seeing a lot of grays pushed me to coloring as I feel I am too young for gray hair. We choose henna as I have sensitive skin and do not want to burn my scalp with harsh chemicals that not only destroy your hair but cause cancer and birth defects. Henna is 100% natural, leaves me with great color, shine, soft and silky hair versus a monotone color and hair like straw. He watched a few YouTube videos, got a coloring cape and brush at Sally’s and put a painting drop cloth on the dining room floor for his work area. He said the lighting was best there. My hair reaches my elbows so we needed two kits for a full application.
        We have a routine, full length henna application every 3 months and root touch up at the 6 week point. Last time he did my hair we posted before/after pics. I received a lot of likes to include one comment by a friend in her 20’s, “I want your hair” and a couple requests if my husband would take appointments, including one from my sister-in-law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *