Friday, May 22, 2009

TIP: Sweat equity is saving me $3,530 in 2009

There are a lot of home repairs and maintenance that you can do yourself and save a lot of money with a little sweat equity. Here are a few things I do that are pretty easy and will save me a total of $3,530 by the end of the year:

Lawn care: DIY $980 annual savings - with my light electric mower (no oily engine, no starter, no stinky gasoline!) I mow my own lawn every week. It takes about an hour. I grab my iPod and get some sun and exercise and save the cost of hiring a neighborhood teenager at $35 a week. I save $140 a month and $980 from May-Nov (for leaves). I have a mulching mower that allows the shredded grass to decompose and feed the lawn. I also use my mower to shred the leaves in the fall. I shred about a third and rake the rest. Free mulch!

House cleaning: DIY $2400 annual savings - I hate to clean. But I also hate a dirty house. So I enlist the help of my daughter and in 2-3 hours on a Saturday morning we get it done and then spend the rest of the day relaxing. I save about $200 a month doing it myself as opposed to hiring a service to come every other week.

Clogged drain: DIY $150 savings per occurance - According to Yahoo, to hire a plumber for one hour would cast $50-$75 per hour plus a trip charge and materials. That's steep! I recently unclogged my bathroom drain using a home solution of vinegar, boiling water and baking soda. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar. If that doesn't do it, try again but pour a few cups of boiling water after the vinegar. After it's finished bubbling, use a plunger to force the clog out. It worked great and saved me about $100-150.

I really never realized how much money these few things were saving me until I added it up for this blog post! Makes me much happier to cut my own lawn and clean my own house! :-)

You can also save money on home repairs and projects by doing it yourself. The Home Depot offers free classes that shows you how.

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