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5 Tips For Saving On Handyman Services

5 Tips For Saving On Handyman Services

Once, coming back from my university, I found an old chap washing his car with so much fondness and care that I had to stop and congratulate him on maintaining his car in such a great shape. It was really well-maintained Audi and the owner seemed like a person who could do most of the small house gigs on his own.

However, some of us just don’t like doing that stuff on our own. Perhaps it’s a lack of time, expertise, or motivation to do some of the more menial tasks, such as cleaning the wash basin drain. That’s reality and many actively seek external support for these jobs around the house.

So, if you’re looking for window insulations, carpentry work, painting, and more, what you’ll need is a handyman. To find one, most resort to Google to find a good handyman in the area.

However, not all good handyman services are listed on online yellow pages or on gumtree. Word of mouth is the best approach to finding a good handyman in your local area. So, ask your neighbors and friends first.

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Having said that, let’s discuss how you can avoid their heavy fees and save on a service which many of us need from time to time.

1. Look for Groupon Deals

Probably your biggest cost saver on handyman services and finding a good local handyman is Groupon. Groupon regularly lists good handyman deals, offering discounts as high as 70%. What is good about these deals is they also offer recommendations and word of mouth about the quality of services offered by local handymen.

And here is a secret tip: you can further save a buck if you make a deal with your local handyman to leave him a good positive review online.

2. Know exactly what you want

One of the biggest cost drainers when it comes to hiring a good local handyman is not knowing exactly what modification work is required. Many people have just a vague idea of what they exactly want and end up signing up for extra services that they don’t really need.

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Remember, a handyman is a salesman first and he will try his best to sign you up for other services also.

Always discuss with your partner or parents what bare minimum they want. If it is window replacement, keep it to window replacement only. Don’t go for extras like pasting nice-looking wallpapers on your windows or buying an extra set of window blinds.

Knowing exactly what you want can save you a lot of money.

3. Ask what you can do yourself

When making a deal with handyman, ask him if he will reduce his fee if you prepare or do some work before he arrives. Similarly, ask if he will reduce his fee if you do the debris removal yourself.

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If your handyman is charging you an hourly rate, doing some work before and after the job can reduce his time and you can save some money also.

4. Group the repairs

Patience is probably one of the best personal traits we develop as we age. Delayed gratification and the ability to not rush into things is what separates a mature individual from someone who is less apt with self-control.

Thus, if your home requires a few small repairs and replacements, wait till you need multiple fixes before calling up the handyman.

Going for single handyman jobs can cost you more money, but you can save a lot if you group your repairing requirements and negotiate a whole deal with handyman rather than calling him each time you need to replace a switch in your home.

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5. Don’t go for big

Don’t get into the emotional mantra of more is better. If bathroom can be fixed by just fixing the shower and bathtub, limit yourself to that much work.

Big is not always better, so focus on essentials and you can save few bucks on handyman services or even completely avoid hiring a contractor.

Handyman services are essential during retirement as comfortable living requires one to live with peace of mind. Small and repeated gigs can be pain for older individuals, but you can avoid paying more for handyman services if you follow the above tips.

If you have personal experience with dealing with handymen, please share your views and tips in comments section.

Featured photo credit: teikjoon via flic.kr

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Adnan Manzoor

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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