Have you ever called in a professional to fix your plumbing? Or to check your car engine? Do you call the professionals when it's time to change your windshield wipers? If you have, we have news for you: You can do it yourself! Save the time waiting for an appointment and the money you spend on the service. These people let us in on the things we often pay for but we could definitely do ourselves. The main takeaway? YouTube is your best friend.
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#1 Do It Yourself
I had a friend ask me for a reference for a plumber to change out his showerhead.
#2 Meal Prep
I wouldn't say this is the worst, but it's definitely expensive: Meals. I started prepping my meals at the beginning of the week and I save anywhere from $60 to $80 a week now that I don't buy any food other than my groceries. It's also a super-easy way to keep track of everything you consume so losing weight might be a bit easier.
#3 You Can Do Anything
I recently changed out a tail light on my car using a Youtube video and a $4 bulb. It took me 10 minutes. It really opened my eyes as to what we can do for ourselves versus paying someone else to do it. It was super easy.
Small engine repair. My lawnmower wouldn't stay running. I called the local small engine repair shop. They charged $25 to look at it, then whatever added on to fix it. My son went on YouTube with the model number and problem, did a search and the first result was my exact lawnmower with the same exact problem.
In three minutes, the guy fixed the issue and it took me, a complete noob, about 10 minutes to fix my lawnmower after watching his video. It's currently running like new. YouTube is a great resource if you know Google-fu.
Sewing back on a button.
#6 Do Your Own Internet
Setting up your own internet and cable equipment. I’ve spoken to more than a few people who pay people hundreds of dollars for people to literally plug stuff in. Modems, routers, extenders, PVRs, speakers. I’m amazed. These all come with instructions, too.
#7 Boiler Repairs
My flatmates wanted to pay for a boiler repair for low pressure. I went in and turned the taps under the boiler. Sorted.
#8 Or Don't DIY
I do almost nothing for myself these days. I did the single mom struggle for almost two decades, and I'm old and tired now. I shop online, order my groceries online, and have them delivered. I have a housecleaner deep clean every other week, I have my pets groomed, have a handyman who takes care of stuff as needed, hired a lawn service to mow, trim, edge, etc. I work 12-hour overnight shifts. I gladly pay for whatever services I can. I'm not rich. I spent so long never having any time. Now I have time. It comes at a price, but it's way worth it. I probably won't keep all of this up forever, but for now, it's what I need.
#9 Boiled Eggs
Boiled eggs. My gym sells two peeled hard-boiled eggs in a plastic bag for $3. You can buy a tray of 36 raw eggs at Costco for $5.
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#10 Washing Machines
The first time our washing machine broke, he refused to pay a service charge just for the repair guy to come out. I searched YouTube, found a video on how to fix the problem, ordered a $30 part and we fixed it ourselves.
#11 Wiper Blades
Changing your car wiper blades or air filter.
#12 YouTube Is Your Friend
Replacing the capacitor on your broken A/C unit. It's super easy to see if it's popped and they're like 20 bucks to buy online. If you pay for an A/C repairman to come out, you're looking at a minimum of $200. I had a friend that got charged $1,000 to replace the capacitor. ALWAYS google your problem first, if you can figure it out. YouTube is your friend.
#13 Wedding Rings
Making your own wedding rings. Any moron with a crucible, acetylene torch, and a cast-iron waffle maker could have done the same. The whole thing only took me about 20 minutes. People who buy things are suckers.
I just made some perfectly fitting sweatpants. I bought a sewing machine and some really nice fabric and watched some YouTube videos. I did this because I could not ever find sweats that fit me, they were always too short after a wash. I also put elastic in the cuffs so they wouldn't ride up when I sat, crossed my legs, or laid down. They are perfect!
#15 Laptop Problems
I changed my RAM in my laptop and it was so easy that next time I went into a store and noticed their ad for doing it for $80, I was dumbfounded.
#16 Car Keys
My dad used to pay $100 to replace his car key battery. I did it myself by buying the battery, which cost $5 from Walgreens, and installed myself watching a YouTube video.
#17 Slice Your Own Fruit
Cut fruits and vegetables. Seriously, people spend $6 on a sliced up pineapple when they can spend about $3 and just slice it themselves. They can pack it up and take it on the go.
#18 Don't Chuck It Out
I replaced my LG Plasma TV's power supply two years ago. When it died, a coworker got all excited and said, "You get to buy a new TV!" It was only a couple of years old at that point and it just felt wasteful. My wife had a friend over while I was installing the new power supply who also couldn't believe I fixed it. I'm old enough to remember neighborhood repair shops for electronics and other large appliances. You can still get in-home repair, but it seems most consumers just chuck it and buy a new one when a breakdown occurs. YouTube makes it so easy, but I guess people want that buzz from buying something.
Grated cheese. People pay more money for less of the same stuff.
#20 Personal Trainers
Exercise instruction. So many personal trainers are not worth half the money they charge. The industry standard is so low that I genuinely cringe whenever I’m next to a trainer in almost any commercial gym. It’s no wonder there is so much misinformation in the general population. There are a myriad of great YouTube channels that would almost be better than one-on-one instruction from people who aren’t qualified to spot your bench press let alone teach you how to do it.
#21 Oil And Guitars
Changing their oil. Also, I never understood how any respectable guitar player can bring their guitar into a shop for a simple string change.
Pest control. Any of the major brands charge $40-$60 a month. You can basically get the same stuff online and do your own house for a year and a half for the same price as a month from the pros. I am okay giving up 20 minutes of my time every two or three months for this level of savings.
#23 Pumpkin Cleaners
The thing to clean out your pumpkin before you carve it. Like you don't have a SPOON?
#24 Car Repairs
DIY car repairs. I've had two handles on the outside of my car that you couldn't open because it's an older truck, and it was going to cost $150, plus hardware. I paid $28 for each handle and my husband did it with his tools and YouTube. I'm just glad I don't have to climb through the back of the truck now to open the doors, I'm too short for all that mess.
#25 Don't Do It
My one friend asked me how much you would need to pay a person to install Chrome on her new computer... People are really quick to spend their money.
A male acquaintance of mine complained that he had to buy a pair of new headset because the earpad cushion on his are falling apart. We have the same model and I had changed my earpads before, so I provided him with the link to buy replacement pads which are very cheap. He asked me, "Know anyone that provides that service to replace them?" You literally just have to pull them out and stick on new ones, how is it that hard?
#27 Syrup Ingredients
Simple syrup. It's water and sugar...
#28 Delicious Hummus
HUMMUS. So easy to make and so much cheaper.
#29 We're Wasteful
Not really do it themselves, but people waste shoes like paper. Bringing a good pair of shoes to a cobbler is way cheaper than having to buy another pair and it makes them last so much longer. Society is just wasteful.
#30 Game Consoles
Just general tech repairs. The amount of “broken” devices I see selling online makes me believe people don’t know how to Google things. I’ve been able to flip a lot of game consoles this way though so I can’t really complain.
#31 It's That Easy
Underbed restraints. All you need is nylon webbing, D rings, triglide slides, and clasps. It comes to $10 bucks at a hardware store.
#32 Car Repairs Are Rip-Offs
The wife's car needed a new wheel bearing and brake pads. Toyota quoted $1,300 to do it all. I was outraged with the price and I usually play on my own cars, so I decided to buy the parts and tools I needed for the job. I YouTubed how to change the wheel bearing. It's an AWD Rav4 and an enclosed wheel hub. All up, it only cost $250 and I now have more tools.
#33 Cook Yourself
Cooking. Not going out to eat on occasion, that's different. I'm talking about hiring a home cook. That's lazy and way overindulgent in my books.
#34 Stop Eating Out
Meals. I don't mean special birthday lobster-and-champagne meals, but mundane filling I just want to stop my hunger sort of meals. I had to eat out for three weeks when I had no kitchen once, and the impact on my wallet and waistline was painful. I think I spent five times as much on food than I normally would.
Repairing your own bicycle. Seriously, it's not that hard to fix a flat tire.
#36 This Sounds Complicated
This one doesn't apply to everyone, but e-liquid for vaporizers. A 30ml (1oz) bottle of e-liquid at a store is anywhere from $15 to $25. E-liquid consists of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring. You can buy a gallon of vegetable glycerin (which is 50-80% of the volume) for $20, a liter of propylene glycol for $8, enough nicotine base for the gallon for $8, and the flavorings are $5 each. The cost breaks down to around 50 cents per 30ml bottle. It's extremely simple to make. There are calculators online that will tell you the exact amounts for your recipe. You put a solo cup on a scale and pour in each ingredient following the recipe. Stir with a spoon. Done.
#37 DIY Lunch
#38 Bike Tubes
Changing a bicycle inner tube. A guy at work rides in every day. If he punctures a tire, he walks the bike the rest of the way, then goes to a bike shop at lunchtime to get the tube replaced. I can't comprehend why he doesn't just learn to deal with it himself.
#39 Find A Good Bike Shop
Most bicycle stuff. Lots of people want to own a bicycle but I've seen or heard of people walking into their bike shop to 'fix' their wheels and all that's needed is a little air in the tyres. A good bike shop will do that for free and explain to them how to do it themselves.
#40 A/C Breakers
Pro handyman here. The stupidest thing I've seen was when a client called because their A/C had tripped a breaker. I explained over the phone, for free, how to fix it but they insisted I come and do it. I explained they will be paying me $75 to come throw a switch. They said, "Yes, please." I went over and clicked the breaker back on. I wish they were all like that.
#41 This Is Unecessary
A lady asked me if I know anyone that can replace her toilet seat.
#42 Shops Take Forever
One time, I got a new hard drive for my PlayStation 3 and my dad said that I couldn't do it myself because you can't touch them with your bare hands and needed anti-static gloves. He made us go to a computer repair shop and pay somebody to install it for us. They take about two minutes to replace and I had to wait a week because that guy had more important things to work on.
#43 Outdoor Floodlights
My parents bought a new outdoor floodlight instead of changing the bulb in the older identical one. There is a screw in it to make it waterproof. Nope, that's too complicated. Better buy a new one!
#44 Don't Need to Call Someone for This
My uncle hired an electrician to replace the outlet covers in his house. The family offered to do it for free, but he wanted to have it done by “the professionals.”
#45 The List is Endless
Anything hands-on. YouTube can teach you how to fix ANYTHING and people still call over the plumber to clean out a pea trap for a sink. The list is endless.