Today’s mantra: Paying for services cements your reliance on money and distances you from your most valuable teammate–your partner. Instead of using chores as an opportunity to grow closer, you’re using money to make the daily realities of your life less real.
Today’s action: Sit down with your partner and discuss what you could insource, both to save money and also deepen your relationship. If you don’t have a partner, make arrangements with a friend to start up a frugal barter and trade.
I’ve already talked about insourcing our lunches, instead of going to the salad bar; insourcing my gym, instead of paying almost $200/month for it; and how I started cutting my own hair. I think that’s a pretty good insourcing start. My focus lately has been on my home.
I’ve always been pretty good at DIYing things, it helps that I have a need to do everything from scratch. But once I bought a home, DIY projects became a little more intimidating. There was a lot more sanding, painting and electrical involved.
My cute house is a rambler from the late 70s, and the previous owners, who rented it out, halfway updated the house to the Tuscan/Mediterranean style that is very popular in town. Let me repeat that, they updated the rambler to a Tuscan style. Because those 2 styles go together. And they didn’t do a very good job of it either.
The walls are all a brownish yellow or just straight brown. Most of the fixtures are gold and the carpet, though I know it’s newer (there are leftover pieces in the garage), it looks like a cheap carpet from the 80’s- it’s tan with flecks of red, blue, and orange. Let me tell you, that carpet is good at hiding things. I’ve dropped something, seen exactly where it landed, and it still took me 5 minutes to find it.
When I moved in 7 years ago I swore I’d update, paint and replace things left and right. But apparently, it wasn’t actually that high on my priority list, because 7 years later, most of those things are untouched. I did change out most of the gold fixtures in the hall bathroom and I managed to paint a quarter of the house back to a nice bright white. That really updated and brightened the rooms I painted.
But I also learned that I don’t love painting, so I haven’t made it any further. I’ve debated hiring someone, but just can’t justify paying someone for a job I know I can do. My boss is updating her house, and I’m hoping it’ll inspire me to continue painting.
I think the invention of YouTube has made home renovations so much easier! We had a problem with our toilet in the master bathroom and since it needed to be reseated anyways, I figured we might as well replace it since it was that lovely yellow-off white color. Maybe not the most frugal option, but I really hated that toilet.
We got the least expensive toilet at Lowes, which was also the bestseller, and watched lots of YouTube videos on how to replace your toilet. We know a couple plumbers, so we could have easily asked one of them to change the toilets out, but we thought it would be a fun challenge and a good skill to learn.
And you know what? It wasn’t that hard. Plus we got to work on our communication and teamwork skills, as you can imagine. Now every time we look at our toilet, we know that we did that. I know it’s just a toilet, but it gives me a sense of pride and a boost in confidence to tackle the next home renovation.
What have you thought of that you can start insourcing? Or is there something you’ve already started insourcing? How does it make you feel? Maybe a little more independent and confident?