Stop Buying Your Solutions
Stop Buying Your Solutions is the thirteenth part in the series: The 15 Day Guide to Becoming a Fabulous Frugalist. Today's society is one of convenience and quick solutions but it's costing us dearly both in money and resources. Let's take a look at some simple things we could be doing ourselves
Feeling tired? down? or think you deserve a treat?
These are often reasons we give ourselves for making convenience purchases and I know I am sometimes guilty of these myself.
However we are becoming a society of people who either don’t know how to or don’t even want to do anything for ourselves anymore and this is costing us dearly.
We work more outside of the house (or in our case at home), and spend less time doing the things that not so many generations ago were the norm, like cooking our own meals, cleaning our own homes and doing our own gardening.
So, what can we do about it?
Let’s take a look at some of the triggers that cause this problem and some simple things we can begin to do ourselves to save us a lot of money.
The triggers for spending our money so easily can vary from emotional choices to the perception that we lack time. Often we think we are not capable of doing a certain task so we are willing to pay someone a lot of money for their expertise. Sometimes we feel that we work so hard we deserve to treat ourselves.
Here are a list of possible triggers, do you identify with any of these?
- a reward for working hard or achieving something
- feeling down so buying something to cheer yourself up
- too tired to cook so grab takeaway on the way home
- don’t like doing it so pay someone else to…clean,garden, repair
- self doubt…I can’t do it, so pay someone who can
- apathy…I can’t be bothered learning
- lack of time so willing to make life easier to pay for it
These triggers are all reasons why we are willing to part with our hard earned cash to pay for convenience or solutions.
Now I know that not everybody has the skills or self confidence to do be totally self sufficient, myself included but there are some simple things that we can all learn to do for ourselves to save a ton of cash. We live in a time when access to information has never been easier, so there are no excuses.
Do It Yourself
Here are a few simple things to get you started.
If you don’t know how to cook then it’s time to learn. There are thousands of recipe site on the internet and plenty of how to pages to help you along. For example I googled “how to cook rice” and it gave me 67,300,000 results. You can choose form video or text instructions. It is that simple.
Cook double of soups, stews, casseroles and curries so that you only have to cook every second night, as I often do, or so that you have meals in the freezer for nights that you really don’t feel like cooking or you are time poor.
Paying for takeaway meals or pre-prepared frozen dinners or shelf meals will cost you your cash and your health. learning to cook simple and healthy meals isn’t difficult and can be an enjoyable and relaxing event at the end of the day.
Weeding, pruning and mowing the lawn are simple gardening chores that most of us can do. If you don’t own a lawnmower check out the garage sales or local classifieds like Gumtree for a used one. You can also get yourself some pruning shears, shovels and weeding implements while you are there.
While we are on the subject of gardening how about growing some of your own food? If you don’t have a lot of room you can just grow some herbs on your windowsill or try container gardening. Not only can you save yourself some money but you will have fresh, healthy food just outside of your door.
Home Repairs and Maintenance
You may not feel capable of tackling a massive home repair project like a burst pipe but there are some smaller home maintenance jobs that you can easily learn to do for yourself.
Fixing a dripping tap is inexpensive and fairly easy. There are loads of Youtube videos like this one to show you exactly how:
Often our drains get clogged and smelly. Use baking soda, vinegar and boiling water you can easily fix the problem. Check out this video below to see just how simple it is:
There are Youtube videos and written how to instructions for just about any home repair or maintenance job you can think of. So at least attempt to solve the problem yourself before you pay someone to come and do it for you.
Paying someone to clean your house is a massive waste of money, one which I was guilty of many years ago. However, I had just given birth to twins and was completely swamped with nappies, feeding and attempting to get a couple of hours sleep a night, so I feel I can be excused 🙂
Now days even though it’s definitely not my favourite things to do I do get satisfaction as well as a decent workout form cleaning my home. Here are my tips for cleaning your home quickly and thoroughly:
- Start with the bathrooms and toilets. Squirt the cleaner into the toilets and give a quick scrub. Then clean the shower, then basin and tub if you have one. Go back to the toilets and finish off and flush.
- Clean bathroom mirrors
- Dust the entire house first from top to bottom. Start with removing cobwebs then dust above doors and then dust and polish furniture.
- Vacuum entire house.
- Mop floors
If you are feeling down and are tempted to buy away those feelings or if you are making excuses to yourself in order to make an unnecessary prurchase here are some things you can try.
A home day spa.
Light a couple of candles or a scented melt. Put on some relaxing music. Fill the bath with warm bubbly water, pour yourself a drink and hop in with a book for 15 minutes of peaceful you time.
Make a homemade mask, face or body scrub from your pantry. My daughter loves to make homemade skin care products. One of her favourites is a peppermint body scrub. It’s simply:
- coconut oil
- peppermint essential oil
She just mixes a small amount of sugar with coconut oil until it becomes the consistency of wet sand and then adds a drop or two of peppermint essential oil. Use this in the shower.
Visit the library
If you like that feeling of coming home with something new take a visit to your local library. You can bring home DVDs, magazines, books or CD’s for free, they don’t clutter up your home as you can use them and return them in four weeks and bring home something new.
Come home, make yourself a cup of coffee and snuggle up for an hour or two with a book. When is the last time you spent time reading? Reading can help to reduce stress, relax your body and lower your heart rate and is a fabulously frugal pastime.
Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
Before the advent of a nail salon in every shopping centre and mall we used to take care of our own nails, I still do. Put aside 30 minutes to cut, file and paint your finger nails and toe nails. Once the nail polish is dry apply a moisturiser to finish off the job. If you don’t like any colour, I don’t, you can buff your nails or paint with a clear varnish.
I have listed just a few simple suggestions in each category to get you started. The main idea is to start considering alternatives in life to just buying solutions. You may find a lot more satisfaction, pride and happiness in being able to do for yourself and you are sure to save plenty of cash in the process.
What are ways in which have you stopped buying solutions?