Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March Challenge #24 Do It Yourself

When you have money, it is much easier and generally more efficient to throw it at any problem you are having.  On the other hand, there is a great deal of value to be had in fixing problems yourself.  This is not the most efficient use of your time, of course, and generally ends up being a huge PITA (and occasionally a much bigger expense than just paying to fix the initial problem in the first place), however the upside is that you acquire some useful skills in the process.  Having a large collection of skills can be very useful in a disaster.  Thus the challenge to fix things yourself before calling in the professionals.

Here are some examples of things you can do:

  • Your microwave makes a *poof* sound and quits working.  By Googling the problem and watching a couple YouTube videos, you find out it is probably a blown fuse.  You buy a new fuse and fix the problem.
  • You come out to your car after work and find that a tire is flat.  You could call AAA and wait an hour or more for someone to show up and fix it or you could break out a spare, a jack, and a how-to manual and change it yourself.  You choose option two and find it is a pretty painless and quick process.
  • Your dryer keep shutting off for no apparent reason.  It's happening more and more often and the spouse has started talking about buying an entire new set.  You hop online and Google the brand and model along with a short description of the problem and find that this is a pretty common problem with this model.  By ordering a tiny circuit board you can fix the problem yourself.  Within a couple of days and $30 the problem is fixed and visions of new appliances are no longer dancing in the spouse's head. 
  • The vacuum cleaner is doing a craptastic job of picking up anything but the biggest pieces of crud.  You could toss it out and buy a new one but first you decide to try and fix it yourself (worst case scenario, you are not being able to fix it and end up throwing it out anyway).  With a bit of patience, a bit of effort to clean the filters, and a longer time pulling out everything twisted around the beater bar, the vacuum is nearly good as new.
  • Your down sleeping bag is starting to get so crusty it can practically stand up by itself.  You could spend the money to ensure that is is washed correctly and professionally and give yourself a great deal of peace of mind.  On the other hand, you could Google the process of doing this (notably difficult) task yourself, save some money, and acquire yet another useful skill.  You pick option two.
  • You are starting to run through so much ammo when practicing that you are pondering whether you should call your financial adviser and shift your investment account to an OLN/ATK/SWHC direction.  While pondering that investment conundrum, you meet a couple of guys at the range who are heavily into reloading and ask to learn some make-your-own ammo skills from them.  They agree.  Your ammo expenses drop dramatically (after recouping the cost of reloading equipment of course).  Paying it forward, you then pass these hard-earned skills on to others who are interested to learn.
There are literally hundreds of things you can learn to do yourself that will not only increase your confidence but increase your ability to solve problems and fix things, especially in the event of a disaster.

No comments:

Post a Comment