Too often it’s too easy to just let someone else do it…no matter what the “it” is. From lunch to changing the oil in our car to mowing the lawn, these tedious little chores seem to be worth the extra $20 or $30 spent to not have to do them.
But with the price of gas and food rising, it might be wise to start cutting back on expenditures. A great place to start is to start doing the little chores we pay others to do for us. You might find that you’re paying somewhere around $100 a week — or even more — to other people for chores you could be doing yourself. Think of the ways you could spend — or save $100. At the end of a year, that could be the cruise you’ve been dying to take!
In addition, there is something very satisfying about completing basic tasks, especially if our jobs aren’t very physical in nature. Doing chores like yard work and housecleaning get you working out a bit, without having to “work out.”
Here are a few common chores you can do yourself:
1. Basic Auto Maintenance
From changing your own oil to changing the air filter, there are many small car chores you can do yourself. Have that neighbor you always see under his car teach you how to change your oil — or grab a Haynes manual from the local auto parts store and read how to do it yourself. You can also replace your own lights, air filter, windshield wipers, battery and brake pads. All of these things are fairly simple to do, you just need the manual specific to your car to see how it’s done. Don’t be afraid of doing these little things! You can save yourself a ton of money by performing these basic maintenance chores by not paying someone else to do them — and in the preventative maintenance that will keep your car running well.
2. Prepare Your Own Taxes
This is really simple, especially with the advent of online tax preparation software. It’s amazing, in fact, that anyone (aside from a large corporation) still pays other people to do their taxes. Programs like TurboTax, ask you simple to answer questions and you just plug in the right numbers from your W-2 or 1099. The cost is low or free depending on your income and you can even file different schedules for businesses, farms or other tax issues. Your state taxes can also be done at the same time. And with direct deposit, you receive your refund quickly — without having to pay a fee to a tax preparer.
3. Yard Work
Doing your own yard work is one of the best ways to get in a great work out and still get your yard work done. Grab a push mower and weed whacker and have at it. Take your time. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Make a plan for tackling different jobs from mowing to weeding the flower beds. And if you’re going to be away for a couple of weeks, schedule someone to come and do the job. With some companies charging as much as $50 a lawn, it’s money in your pocket to mow it yourself.
How much do you really need a housecleaner? I mean really. If you’re suffering from a large mess due to an illness or some other issue, it might be nice to hire someone to help you get started, but once you have things under control, it’s easy to keep up. When you’re in the bathroom in the morning, brushing your teeth, take a second to wipe down the sink. The shower can be easily scrubbed once every couple of days while you’re in it. Do all the floors at once, while you have the broom and mop bucket out. Make sure you always wipe down the sink after you do the dishes and the stove after each meal. But no one cleaned behind the piano? Well, if you can’t see it and your mother-in-law can’t see it — who cares? Get behind the piano during spring cleaning and forget about the baseboards most of the time. Most people don’t even notice — and you’re real friends know that you live in your house, you don’t just clean it.
Check out the Fly Lady, who has great tips for keeping a clean house without going crazy.
5. Wash your own car
And don’t do it very often. Really, how dirty does your car really get? I mean really? Won’t it rain soon? If not, and you just can’t take the build up of dust on your car, then get out the hose and the sponges and let the kids go to town doing it. But really, car washing is one of those things that’s best done once in a while – save yourself the time, the water and the cash.
6. Dry cleaning
Does anyone go to the dry cleaners anymore? Well, they shouldn’t. Between handwashing and those funky packages they sell to do your own dry cleaning in your dryer, you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for someone else to do your laundry. Even better — don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned.
What other chores are simple to do yourself and can save you money? Let us know! Comment below.