When we repair or make our own items there are obvious benefits in terms of money saved. However, there are also many hidden benefits such as transferable skills, inspiring your children to try projects, and self-reliance that makes you less inclined to panic when things do go wrong.
Photo by Chad Magiera
Personal finance weblog The Simple Dollar argues that the skills learned through DIY will allow you to barter for other needed items or skills. Imagine you learn how to replace the parts of a broken toilet instead of calling a plumber. Your costs are parts and tools you may need and your time versus calling a plumber.
You may not save a tremendous amount the first time you are called upon to use your toilet-repair skills, but if you do this three times throughout your life you'll undoubtedly save money in the long run. Not only that but you'll better understand how plumbing works in general and have the confidence to take on more advanced plumbing projects. Finally, if your neighbour who runs a landscaping business has a broken toilet you might be able to trade a couple hours of your time for free lawn care for the next few months.
In the end spending four hours learning to fix a problem that a plumber could repair in one hour may save you enough to make up for that lost time several times over.
Why Do It Yourself? Digging into the Value of DIY [The Simple Dollar]