Do It Yourself To Be Frugal

Picture a handyman

Do It Yourself, or DIY is what I enjoy most about being frugal. Your confidence soars every time you succeed with DIY projects.


How much is the call out fee for a plumber where you live? $100… $200. I don’t know. This video shows you how easy it is to fix a dripping tap.

What amuses me is that it is on an Australian website. It is illegal to change your light bulbs or to fix your taps. Australian character arises from their history of being a convict colony. Everything is either forbidden or compulsory, the Australians just ignore the laws and do the sensible thing. I can almost understand why changing light bulbs is forbidden, because electricity can kill you. But a leaking tap can’t kill you.

Woodwork Is Very Useful

Ancient Egyptian woodworkers
I want you to understand the difference between woodwork and carpentry craftsmanship. Unless you are rolling in money, you can’t afford craftsman joinery.

Craftsman work is too good for everyday living. What you want to do is work at the every-day level. DIY tools can be improvised

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses. They will buy an outdoor bench for $1500 because it is “rustic” or “quaint.” Quaint means that it doesn’t meet the standards of craftsmanship so that any handyman can produce it. You can do it for a few dollars. Would that make you feel superior to the Joneses?

DIY crafts: So don’t feel inferior to the craftsmen. Your work should never reach their standards. Your do it yourself projects should be useful, not perfect.

As a child I kept bees. One day someone called to ask me to remove a swarm of bees from their house. I didn’t have a hive ready so went to my parents to make one.

Painting wall with roller
Dad was a craftsman. He would take two days to create a hive that was so well jointed that you couldn’t slip a bit of paper into the cracks between the joints. Everything was perfectly planed – and using an old-fashioned plane was a major skill in those days. Mum was a woodworker. She made a hive for me in two hours. It worked every bit as well as the hives that Dad made. The bees accepted it without all that useless perfection.

Now, how can you be frugal when you buy wood? If you have a pick-up truck, go to the building sites and ask if you can have the wooden pallets used for delivering bricks. Builders just have to get rid of them, so they are happy for you to take them away. We used to use wooden soapboxes back in the days when bulk soap was delivered in boxes. You would probably be amazed at the number of projects you can make using these pallets.

You can get sixteen thousand woodworking plans from here, and you won’t be left guessing about what goes where. The plans are professional, not like the assembly plans for furniture kits sold by shops.

House Painting

Using paintbrush on woodwork
The main consideration is that you MUST prepare the surfaces for painting beforehand. If you don’t remove flaking paint and rotting bits in wood beforehand, you’ll have it all to do again.

Use latex water-based paint. You can wash the brushes in water. Depending on the climate, the paint at one end of a door can be dry before you finish painting the other end. I’ve spent hundreds of hours painting with oil-based paint, and my advice is to avoid it.

You’ll get paint splashes where a professional wouldn’t. But the cost of the paint and brushes and an electric drill and sanding disks for the drill will cost you less than the call out fee for a professional painter.

Other DIY Projects

These are the most obvious diys to do at home, but I want to emphasize that you are aiming at usefulness, not craftsmanship in all do it yourself jobs. You’ll be paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy and never make a start if you believe you must not make mistakes.

Have fun making mistakes. Then have fun working out how to fix the mistakes. A person who never makes mistakes never makes anything and is probably in a coffin. Gardening and car maintenance are other ventures. Search Google for “tutorial your project type” for more specialized information on DIY stuff.

Frugal Section of Site

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1 thought on “Do It Yourself To Be Frugal

  1. The annual collection of green waste by the council was due in a week. So I got a quote for trimming seven trees. They would have charged me $500. So I did it myself. What did it cost me? One blister on my thumb.
    Now I can afford to buy a drum of coconut oil for $220 instead of paying several thousand dollars for it retail from the health shop.

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