Saving money, trimming back the budget, conserving finances. As parents we all end up having to watch all the pennies. There's quite a few techniques we all use to save pennies. Being savvy with our shopping, looking for deals, and finding freebies.
But there's more you can do if you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone and take the time to learn new skills. Just make sure you do take the time to find out exactly how to do something. These are all very basic skills, which most of us could probably master without too much difficulty. But even so, there's a reason why most people go to professionals. Father of three, Damien, currently has his bathroom sink in two pieces because it turns out, you can't loosen a tap you want to replace with a mallet.
Read on to find out more.
Not really my favourite thing to be honest. But if you learn a few basic stitching skills you can make simple items that look fabulous. And save money on those little gifts.
I was at a baby shower recently where one guest made some bunting for the mum-to-be for the nursery. Using contrast yarn, and material from various off cuts and scraps of material, it looked great.
How about sitting down with the kids to make scented draw fresheners like the little birds shown above? A perfect end of year gift for the teacher.
There are plenty of YouTube presentations, and you can do low cost courses too at your local college. DIY stores often run them as well. Keep in mind why plasterers, plumbers, builders, etc spend years learning their trade. You are not going to be able to do most things yourself.
But there are some basics you can learn to handle without having to pay someone to come in. A patch job on the plaster, a quick freshen with paint, and even changing the toilet, are all possible. As long as you take the time to learn the basics. Here, YouTube is your friend.
Trim your children's hair
Please, don't do this if your children won't sit still for at least a few minutes. And also, do not do this without watching some online tutorials first. This is one area where I've most often heard adults say
"Well I thought, how hard can it be?"
There is a reason why hairdressers do an apprenticeship. If, though, all you want is to do a quick straight fringe, or trim the ends on a straight cut, then you can save a bit of money doing it yourself. Just don't get over confident!
Ever looked at a Haynes manual? Cars aren't like they were 20 years ago. Back when you could even learn to do an entire service yourself. Nowadays you can't even attempt it, and you probably shouldn't. Not without proper training.
But I am reliably informed there are still basic car maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Most local, community, colleges will run courses in this area, and it can be a worthwhile investment.
Woman up! Or man up!
Negotiation skills aren't something we're taught in school unfortunately. What you need to do as a parent is learn how to get a bargain, negotiate a discount, get the most favourable terms. This has been a tough one for me to learn, and I don't know I've mastered it. I still find it next to impossible to haggle. But I am a lot firmer in situations where I don't think the service or product is worth the price. All I can say is that reading self help or assertiveness training blogs, websites, and books helps.
Master eBay selling
This is on the list because it is still on my to-do list! There's money tied up in the unwanted objects around the house. If you can get organised, and learn how to operate on eBay. Start with the new seller instructions on eBay itself.
But before you dive in, make sure you read around on forums, websites, and blogs. There are pitfalls in eBay for the unwary - but there are in all parts of life as well. If you are cautious, do your homework, and keep a sceptical eye on things then you will be fine.