One of the things that I think about as I seek to distance myself from the 9-5 grind is how things have changed since I was a kid. We all look back at our childhood and hold that as some type of standard by which we judge our current world, regardless of when we were born. Did children of the 60s have it better than those of the 70s? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that when I was younger, men and women seemed to possess more practical skills than they do today. They had skills that could be used around the home to save some money and even to provide an income to support the family.
One of the things that has helped us reach our goal of becoming a one income family is the fact that I am a DIY kind of guy. Of course, there are times when I find it necessary to utilize the assistance of a professional but for the most part I take care of many things myself. Sometimes the savings is money and others the savings is time.
Let me explain further. I recently decided to take on an extensive repair job on my old pickup truck, after I discovered an extensive amount rust on the frame and the body. This project took about 2 ½ months for me to complete by working on it after work and on my days off. I had to completely take the bed off the truck, in order to replace the rear cross member, apply new sheet metal, new shocks, and due to my carelessness, a new back window. After the metal work was done, it needed body filler and paint. Since our truck is over 17 years old, and the odometer has long since passed 200,000 miles, it didn’t make good financial sense for us to pay an auto body professional the cost of parts and labor for this job. Instead, I sacrificed my time,( another precious resource), and as a result, we now have a sound and useful truck for many years to come.
You may think that the reason I was able to do this job because of past auto body and mechanical experience, but my background is actually in healthcare and this job was something I had never done before. Of course a professional could have done it much faster, but in the end, the job was done at a fraction of the cost and I also have the satisfaction of learning some new skills and doing the job myself. My experience accomplishing this job will give me confidence to tackle something even larger next time.
Now, let’s look at the other type of savings, which is precious time, and let’s once again use the automobile as an example. I can purchase an oil filter and 5 quarts of oil for about the same price as an oil change at the quick lube establishments. The problem for me is that I have to drive there, sit and wait, and then drive home. That is a lot of wasted time. For the same money I can do the job myself and while I am at it I get the opportunity to inspect my vehicle for other potential problems. Not many places will take an interest in your car as much as you will. They are interested in separating you from your money!
Of course you need to factor in the cost of tools that a person needs to do a job, and some would use that as an excuse to not do a job themselves. I will agree that tools can be expensive, but often you can still buy the needed tools and complete the job cheaper than if you were to hire it out. In the end, you will have the job done with less expense and have the tools to complete it again if the need should arise. This is how you build up your collection of tools and how you build your skills.
When I was a kid, my dad would take time and show me how to do things. I was always under the car with him when he was changing oil or doing brakes. Unfortunately, you don’t see many parents taking the time to teach their children valuable life skills or letting them tag along while they’re doing a job, anymore. Maybe men no longer possess the skills to do these things themselves, or they just don’t want to take the extra time to show their children. This has created a society that is dependent on others for just routine daily things. Possessing skills that you can pass along to your children is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable gifts you could give them. Working together and teaching your child is a great way to spend quality time together, which is also increasingly difficult to find these days. Take the time to increase your skill set and then share that knowledge with someone you care about so you can both be blessed by it.