When was the last time you saw a person drive to the market, buy buckets of paint and paint his home himself? Here in Nigeria, those things hardly happen. There is almost always plumper to fix our pipes, a carpenter to deal with the door or the salon down the street to stress about our hair. Enter YouTube and DIY culture.
Truth is, the idea of doing things yourself was strange to me as a child growing up in Nigeria. In fact, it was not until I left the country that I saw people painting their houses with their own hands or doing their hair themselves. I was amazed, to say the least because outsourcing was a way of life back home. Both have their pros and cons really. Outsourcing some tasks pretty much gives us more time to do other productive or fun things. DIY skills, on the other hand, can give you more control over your life. Also, it will save you a lot of money.
There is definitely some benefit to acquiring certain skills, and if you are wondering where to start from, here are a few to keep in mind.
Going to the salon and having someone do all the ‘hair work’ can be expensive. But with DIY culture, even if you can’t do twists yourself or braid your hair, learning to wash, condition and even blow dry your hair can save you some money if you’re on a budget. It also gives you a bit more control over your time as sometimes salons are fully booked, or you have to wait for some time for your turn.
It is such a chore to send your clothes to the tailor every time you have something wrong with them. You don’t necessarily have to know how to sew a dress from scratch but knowing how to sew on a button or hem or sew a tear together can save you the stress that comes with dealing with Nigerian tailors and money.
Knowing your way around a car and how to maintain it will save you some coins in the long run. Of course, there are some things only a mechanic can do but there is basic car maintenance that you don’t necessarily need a mechanic for. A great first step is knowing as much as possible what everything under your bonnet is. An then knowing the essentials, like where and how to change your oil and put your water/coolant. Knowing how to change a car tyre is also important, but first, make sure you have all the right tools.
You’ll be surprised how many don’t know how to organise their money properly. You should know how much you need to save, invest and spend on life essentials. It’s not really about how much you earn but how well you manage what you earn. So, if you don’t start budgeting, you’ll find that you’ll still struggle with being broke even when you earn more.
African mothers have a popular saying, “there is rice at home.” They use this when confronted by children to buy snacks or any luxury meal from restaurants. I confess that the saying has become a personal mantra as well, lol. I try to plan my meals and cook ahead. Especially if you are like me and have a number of lunch/dinner dates or parties to attend in a month. You can buy a drink or maybe just starters, knowing you have some nice enough food in your fridge and will not go hungry.
What’s the most valuable money-saving DIY skill you’ve picked up so far?