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.
- Carpentry/Household Repairs/DIY
- Making Gifts/Cards
- 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.