Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The More Skills You Have - The Less You Spend

One day this week I was watching an episode of Downton Abby and Ethel, one of the house maids, made a comment that she was now learning to cook and a girl needed a skill in order to make a living these days. 

Learning skills to make the frugal life work takes time, but small changes do pay off. It's a learning process during which time one becomes more and more skilled at solving problems without spending money. 

Having skills to do things for yourself is really at the heart of frugality. The more things you can do for yourself means the less you have to pay someone else to do things for you. The savings potential here can be terrific. 

The more you know, the less you need to spend. 

Amy Dacyczyn wrote in her newsletter that we have become society of people who possess one basic skill...and we trade that skill to get everything else we want in life. She said this can make us economically vulnerable. 

Amy said we need to spend our spare time pursuing money saving hobbies. This is one thing that will help us as individuals to build our skill set. 

Amy's example included a man who probably had hobbies that cost him $2,000 per year. If he had chosen hobbies that saved him $2,000 per year he would have been ahead $80,000 after twenty years. 

$80,000 is enough money to pay off a home or significant part of a home and/or put money in the bank. Again, the money savings potential here can be terrific. 

Here are just a sample of hobbies that can help you build up your skills set. Some of these can even be turned into a business and make money for you family. 

- Gardening
- Reading 
- Sewing/Knitting/Crochet
- Carpentry/Household Repairs/DIY
- Cooking/Baking
- Canning
- Writing/Freelancing
- Making Gifts/Cards
- Bartering/Haggling
- Painting
- Lawn Care Maintenance/Landscaping
- Budgeting/Personal Finance
- Car Maintenance/Change Oil/Change Tire

This is just the tip of the iceberg here. And many more things fall into these categories like bread making, making yogurt, etc.

One blog I enjoy reading is the Frugal Measures blog because she regularly writes about building up our skills. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

26 comments :

  1. I totally agree. Skills do save us money.
    Bartering those skills can save even more. We all need to learn each and every day. With the invent of Internet and You Tube it is so easy to do.
    Good post.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I agree with you about the Internet and YouTube as here are so many things we can learn to do there.

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  2. I totally agree, having life skills is so important especially if you want to save money.

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  3. Youtube is my new mentor. I have found a multitude of fix it tutorials there that have saved me quite a bit of money.

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    1. Yes, Anne. It's such a great place to figure out how to fix things and we've even used it to see how to place some board games. It's a great tool.

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  4. This is so true.
    I spent this morning preparing another set of plantation shutters found at the thrift store. Actually friend did it and I helped. And I learned how to use power tools. 😊

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    1. Oh, that is great, Nil. The ones you've done look so great. I would like to increase my skills on the power tools.

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  5. I am just going to throw in a couple of other skills that have come in handy for me -- computer skills - for survey sites - -- and refinishing and repairing furniture -- for you own home and to resell. Both of these have made profits for me.

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    1. Oh those are great examples, Meme. I agree with you on both counts.

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  6. I have all those skills but one. I have other skills that have saved me money or made money. I have other skills, too. However, 100% disability has wiped out all the possibility of saving or making money.

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    1. Oh, I am so sorry, Linda. That is a so hard. I'm sure it is very discouraging to you too. If there is anything I can help with, I would be glad to help.

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  7. I agree the more skills the better. I have people tell me all the time if you just had one career you would be so rich. No, I wouldn't, I would be tired, I would be bored, I would be poor in so many ways that are not related to money. All that would make you spend money.

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    1. Definitely on the spend money part. That is the last thing we need. I've been so good this summer about not buying anything I don't need.

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  8. Adding another comment. Sorry, I hit reply too quick. Thank you for the Frugal Measures blog link. I can tell I will already love it. OMG! HER CRAFT ROOM!!!!! Girl after my own heart. I love stuffed craft rooms. Those are the best. It is like having a full pantry. I hear a lot of times on my art forums about hoarding art supplies. I am like that is not hoarding, that is smart shopping. You always have something on hand to make something when you need it or make the world beautiful.

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    1. I know!! Her craft room is awesome! And I agree having all of those supplies on hand means she always has something to work on. I'm glad you liked her blog. :)

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  9. Learning new things that you can do for yourself is what I call life skills. We do most of the above as hubby and I are very much DIY get your hands dirty and do it right. We are expanding our garden, added fruit trees, berry bushes, raised beds and added a good 1/2 acre of direct in the ground space for strawberries, cucumbers, squash, and several other vegetables. Plan to do some serious canning this year. Saves serious anounts on our food budget fresh from the garden tastes best as well. Hubby is the family barber/stylist and he is very good with the shears and clippers. I get my locks trimmed every other month and children get their haircuts monthly. Hubby even gets requests and he give haircuts to two of my best friends. They like his work and skipping the hassle and costs of the salon. Saves me hundreds a year and I don’t mind having hubby give haircuts to my friends as I like seeing them come visit. We were invited to a picnic earlier this month and my friend asks me to make sure hubby brings his haircutting shears.

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    1. Your garden sounds wonderful, Keri. I love to can and see the results of my labor. I love the sound of the ping as the jars are sealing. How wonderful that your do trims hair for a living. That is a great skill to barter with.

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  10. This is so true, and even learning a few basic home repair skills can save a ton! Not to mention the confidence that comes from mastering a new skill and knowing that you've got this!

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    1. Definitely, Frugal Hausfrau. It is a great feeling to sit back and look at the fruits of your labor.

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  11. I had forgotten about that quote from A.D. - so true. This post has been a very good reminder for me. We have recently moved into our own home after years of renting and have been living conveniently during the move etc. It is now time to hunker down and get back to basics again.

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    1. SOunds like a good plan, Mr. Home Maker. :)

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  12. I think that they ought to teach some of these skills in schools too , Its life skills that you need not exams in some of the topics that they teach in schools nowadays especially RE In the uk xxx

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    1. I completely agree with this. Some of the stuff they teach at school nowadays is never used in real life. Let's teach them how to live within their means and skills that will serve the all of their lives.

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  13. I completely agree. DH & I have saved thousands of dollars by doing & fixing things ourselves vs getting someone else to do it.

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    1. That's terrific, Ms Goose. I love stories like yours.

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