HelloGigglers are all about the Do It Yourself (DIY). From fancy nails to freshening facials, this site is awash with great ideas that you can accomplish at home. You could set up a whole Etsy shop in no time.
DIY projects, whether its artsy or tasty, for your home or for your car, intrigue people for many reasons. Some people enjoy these projects as a hobby. They provide a great outlet for creativity. And there’s always something about a DIY gift that makes it seem so heartfelt.
DIY projects are also great for frugal folks like me. Often times you can save money by purchasing supplies on your own and applying a little elbow grease. Money was tough growing up, so my grandmother used to make all of our clothes because it was much cheaper than going to the department store. Just yesterday, I purchased a cabin air filter for $12 on Amazon to clip into my car. This is much cheaper than asking a mechanic to buy it for me (no doubt with a small markup) and then paying him more to do the labor.
But if your primary motivation for doing something yourself is cost savings, DIY is not always the best idea. You may end up spending a lot more than you need to, with plenty of frustration on the side. So before you take on something new, here are a few things to consider.
1) The cost of supplies: Sometimes sellers get a good deal on the supplies needed to make their items because they buy in bulk, which often drops the unit and shipping costs. Unless you are planning a much larger DIY project than usual, this will not be the case for you.
2) Your time commitment: Some DIY items, like these colorful thrift store lamps, only take a few minutes of your time. Other things, like a roast chicken a la Barefoot Contessa, take a lot more time. Before I begin a DIY project, I like to estimate how much time it would take me. Then I assign a monetary value on my hours. This amount can be how much you normally make in an hour or how much you think each hour of labor might be worth if you were to pay someone to do it for you. Roasting a chicken costs about $5 but takes 5 hours. Buying a roast chicken costs $7 but takes about 15 minutes. So yeah, I buy my roast chicken.
3) Your skill set: I am sure I could save a fistful of dollars each Thanksgiving by making my own Turducken. I get the day off and I have all the time in the world. But am I capable of sowing a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey with layers of Cajun stuffing in between? Hell no. This principle applies to changing my oil, moving furniture and elaborate accessories. Sorry, I’m just not that crafty.
On top of that you always run the risk that when you fail miserably at your DIY attempt or the quality of your amateur product won’t hold up, you will have to pay for the services or goods anyway. That will cost you more in the long run. As Judge Milian always says, “The cheap becomes expensive.”
I’m not saying that DIY is a bad thing. If you’ve got the time and ability to take on new crafts, recipes and other projects, do your thing! You’ll save money and make me jealous. You’ll also have tons of stuff to Instagram to make you look kitschy and cool. But if you are short on time or skill, or maybe you don’t stand to save all that much, maybe it’s best to leave it to the pros.
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