The Reluctant Do-It-Yourselfer

When it comes to saving money, I’m always ready to cut back on eating out, work a frugal meal plan, and study the grocery store flyers.  A recent blog post over on Northern Cheapskate had a title that really stuck with me “The Temptation to Throw Money at Problems“.  When I read the title, I saw a frugal shortcoming of my own – an over-reliance on having professionals fix things in our house.  A lack of faith that we could do it ourselves.hammerVintage-GraphicsFairy

I had an opportunity to put this lightbulb moment to the test last week when it became clear we would need a plumber to clean out the french drain in our driveway.  We have had it done before and it costs about    $ 200.00.  We had the money set aside for it, but my husband did come up with a solution he was willing to try on his own using a $ 16.00 auger-like part from Amazon.  I said (trying not to be reluctant), “Let’s give it a try!”

You know, it worked!  He pulled out tree roots and all sorts of rocks and the drain is moving much faster.  We know we may still need a professional to come back in the next year, but for now, we are about 180.00 ahead of the game and feeling good too!

You might consider heading over to Northern Cheapskate to read the article and see if it brings any frugal shortcomings to light for you.  Let me know!

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9 thoughts on “The Reluctant Do-It-Yourselfer

  1. anona mead

    Same thing here. Late husband did all the DIY and flapped me out of the way when I tried to help. Had a good think after he died and thought he wasn’t and neither was anybody else born with whatever tool in their hands so just try. Replaced the handle on the loo and the man in the DIY shop was prepared to spend a lot of time telling me how to do it. Replaced the loo seat – easy peasy. Then then the lounge ceiling. The lounge is 15′ by 18’6″ and I am 5′. I don’t have much success with rollers but paint pads – I lover paint pads. Even diddy little me got a very passable result on the lounge walls and ceiling ditto the kitchen and upstairs loo. Not bad for a 60year old with a dicky ticker! Even took a whip and chair to the back garden which was really over grown. As Oprah Winfrey said ‘take the lid off your mind’
    Anona

    Reply
    1. healthfulsave Post author

      That’s fantastic! Good for you! Sometimes it seems home repair failures can weigh on our minds and then we are afraid to try again. It’s worth “taking the lid off our minds” though, right? Are you in the UK? My mom is in Lyme Regis right now!

      Reply
  2. Anona Mead

    Don’t think my last reply got through. Yes I am in England but the other side to your mum. I am on the beautiful East Anglian coast about 20minute drive from where John Constable painted the Haywain. Mind you it is not quite so beautiful at the moment, cold, grey, windy and trying to rain. Could really do with a nice warm spell if only to get the central heating off for a bit. My fuel bills are way to high!!!!!Anona

    Reply
    1. healthfulsave Post author

      Oh, I am glad you wrote again! My family came to the US from that region (Norfolk – hundreds of years ago). I hope to get there one day myself and, in fact, that is a savings goal for us to be able to visit England as a family. That may be about 2 years away if all goes well.

      If it is any consolation, our heat has been running too up until a few days ago!

      Reply
      1. Anona Mead

        I am in Essex, A small town called Brightlingsea which is nearly an island community. Last time it was an island was in the 1953 floods. The old church just as you come in to B’sea has a tile for every B’sea mariner killed at sea. They are well on to the second row. In the 17/1800’s the vicar used to climb into the bell tower and hang a lantern to guide sailors back to port in bad weather. You can still find pieces of broken roman tile and brick in Moverons farm where the roman villa was. Brightlingsea was named after the Iceni tribe the Brightlings. And so we go on, sorry for the history lesson but B’sea has a fascinating history. Where in Norfolk did your family come from? My mums side came from the south coast and migrated to London and my dads family originated in Yorkshire where they were Methodist ministers in the 1600’s and then went to Durham as miners eventually also migrating to London.

      2. healthfulsave Post author

        I love the history! My husband would be fascinated by the Roman relics – he loves Roman history and my daughter is a US history and Native American history lover.
        For the first generation of my family all I have is “William Wells, rector of St Peter’s Church and Dean of Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk, England.” By the next generation it is the year 1635 and his son is off to Lynn, Massachusetts.

  3. Anona Mead

    then you had better add Colchester to your itinerary when you come over. Oldest recorded town in England and more history than you would believe. Roman artifacts abound, Boudicca fought here, the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty was actually based on the cannon that fell off the roman wall in the 1500’s and twinkle twinkle little star was written by two sisters who lived in the Dutch Quarter. This was an area of Colchester where the Flemish weavers settled to escape religious persecution. My daughters father in law actually lives in the Dutch quarter but not in one of the ancient houses. No prizes for guessing I love history and have a real penchant for social history.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: What I Did This Week to Save Money – Sept 1 | The Healthful Saver

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