The Cost-Cutting Power Of Doing It Yourself On 'How To Money'


On this episode of How To Money, Matt and Joel talk about the millions of Americans who have yet to claim their stimulus checks, and welcome Tim Harmon from the You Can, Man podcast to discuss some DIY projects we can take on that could save us money. Plus, the coin shortage means that CoinStars are paying more for coins than usual – so if you have a giant jar of change somewhere in your house, now’s the time to turn it in. But first, airlines have certainly suffered from the pandemic economy, with travel restrictions still in place, so some airlines have started selling “flights to nowhere” as a revenue builder. One such flight, through Qantas Airlines, takes off at the Sydney airport in Australia, and seven hours later….lands at the Sydney airport. Qantas promises low-flying views of the Great Barrier Reef, but as Matt points out, airplanes aren’t great for sightseeing unless you have a window seat; he thinks it’s strange people would spend money on this experience. “Everything in 2020 is so freaking weird,” Joel concludes.

While airlines may be suffering, Home Depot and Lowe’s have reported strong earnings in 2020; with so many people still sticking close to home, many of us have turned our attention to various home improvements and renovation projects we can do to make our houses more comfortable. But sometimes, hiring help for these projects can be a real money suck. If you’re willing to put in the elbow grease yourself, you could save a big chunk of change on home improvements. But that’s only one reason to do it yourself, Tim says: He finds tackling these kinds of projects builds confidence in every area of life. When in doubt, ask friends who have the expertise you need; and if you don’t have a lot of handy or crafty friends, “YouTube is your friend,” he laughs. 

The top money-savers, he says, would be changing your own oil and handling your own pest control. He agrees that an DIY oil change can get messy, but points out that for his car, taking it to a shop would cost over $100; when he does it at home, it costs around $23. Pest control is even easier: The chemicals the professionals use are all available on Amazon, and it’s not difficult to spray them around yourself. When it comes to bigger projects, like renovating kitchens or bathrooms, you may want an expert to come in to lay the tile or handle fiddly hookups. But “you don’t need an expert to take a sledgehammer to the old tile,” he points out. Do the demo yourself to save a little money, and get a lot of aggression out of your system at the same time! It’s a win-win. Hear more great information about DIY projects, stimulus payments, and more on this episode of How To Money.

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