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Learn these DIY Skills to Save Big

How are you doing on that New Year’s resolution to save more money in 2017? If your savings balance isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like, it’s time to buckle down and get serious. Not sure what more you can do to save? You will see your savings start to add up when you stop spending money to have others do things you can easily do yourself. If you haven’t mastered the following DIY skills, now is the time to learn.

woman fixing a leaky faucetBasic Home Repairs — If a leaky faucet, squeaky door or chipped paint has you reaching you for the phone to call a handyman, it’s time to start reaching for the toolbox instead. There’s always something in the house that needs fixing, and learning to do it yourself can save you hundreds of dollars or more over the course of a year. Check YouTube for detailed DIY tutorials, or ask the salesperson at the home store for expert tips. You can save even more by borrowing or renting the tools you need, rather than buying them new.

Cooking at Home — You’ve heard it plenty of times before, but that’s because it’s true. Cooking your own meals at home, rather than dining out or getting take-out, is one of the most effective ways to save money. If you just can’t find your way around the kitchen, try a meal preparation service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron to get you started. It’s going to be more expensive than buying groceries on your own, but still less expensive than dining out. Once you get comfortable in the kitchen, you can quit the meal service and start choosing ingredients and recipes on your own.

Salon Services — You probably don’t want to try cutting your own hair. But other salon services, such as manicures, pedicures and even hair color, are relatively easy to master and can help you save a significant amount of money every month. Purchase high-quality, professional tools and products at a beauty supply store, then spend an hour or two each week taking care of yourself. Save the salon splurges for special occasions — you’ll enjoy them even more when you don’t have them all the time.

Basic Alterations — You’d have the perfect wardrobe — if  those pants were just an inch shorter and that shirt wasn’t missing two buttons and those jeans didn’t have a hole in them. If half the clothes in your closet never get worn because there’s something just not quite right about them, that’s money wasted (not to mention temptation to shop for something new). Learning basic sewing skills such as shortening a hem, replacing buttons or mending small tears and holes is an essential money-saving skill. Along with not paying someone else to do it, you won’t spend money buying duplicates of things you already have.

Negotiating a Lower Price  — If you’ve never negotiated a lower price on something other than a vehicle or a home, you’re missing out on the chance to rack up everyday savings. It definitely takes some guts to get started, but learning to negotiate for a lower price can help you save on everything from apartment rent to appliances. It might feel awkward at first, but remember, all they can do is say “no.” Generally speaking, you’ll have better luck if you ask to speak with a manager or another decision maker, and ask politely.