Here we are, the long awaited conclusion to our Frugal Adventuring Savings series! You’ve likely been on the edge of your seat in anticipation? Well, maybe not, but I have!
I personally believe that nothing is more satisfying than having the ability to accomplish things using your own hands and knowledge. Not only does this make us self-sufficient, it has the great side-effect of saving money, which is always wonderful. So it makes perfect sense that our last idea for saving is...
RULE #3: DIY
For the unenlightened, DIY stands for Do It Yourself. Outside of it being a great mantra for frugal adventures, it can enrich your life in many ways. By embracing DIY, we develop new skills, have exciting experience, and overall become well rounded individuals. Here’s a few ways to give your life a kick start of DIY power!
Insert a DIY attitude into everything you do. DIY isn’t just include stuff like plumbing repair or building a desk, even though these are the things that usually first come to mind. Take control of all aspects of your life, consider:
Planning your own trips. Find a great deal on a flight, book your accommodations, write out your own itinerary. Yes, it can be nice to have all this planned for you and just glide along on the rails. However, isn’t part of the travel experience the freedom and discovery that comes with forging your own path into new lands? Don’t short-change yourself by avoiding this, and your next adventure will be filled with memorable experiences!
Learn to do your own repairs. Plumbing and carpentry are pretty high level, but start out with small stuff like a rip in your gear, a burnt out headlight in your car, or a flat tire on your bike. In this great era of internet video it's easier than ever to learn to fix your own stuff. It may take you more time at first, but you’ll gain a skill, save money, and feel less dependent on others to do this stuff for you.
Similar to above, don’t always pay for the convenience of a person or object completing a task for you. What do restaurants, gyms, and cars have in common? They all save us time (supposedly) at great monetary cost. Cook your own meals, workout at home, and use your two feet to travel whenever you can. Services like these have their place, but forgoing them could spark a new adventure or skill.
Never stop learning. If you follow the tidbits above, this will likely follow with minimal effort. Take a roadblock as a challenge, and use the opportunity to learn how to overcome it.
DIY itself is an adventure. Since we recently celebrated Thanksgiving, here are two holiday scenarios for you:
The Lopez family has all gathered for Thanksgiving. At 6:00pm the doorbell rings and and delivery service walks in with a full turkey feast, complete with stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and every other Thanksgiving food tradition imaginable. The Lopezes gorge themselves and fall asleep on the couch by 7:00pm.
The Lopez family has all gathered for Thanksgiving. The night before Jesse and Lissa go grocery shopping for ingredients, having an intense debate on what type of bread would make the best stuffing. The next morning Jesse gets up early and starts prepping the Turkey. When the rest of the family is up they all laugh and joke around with each other while cooking. Having a bit too much fun (and beer) Lissa leaves the turkey in a bit too long and it comes out extra crispy. The family sits down at 6:00pm, excited to eat they meal that they all worked together to make. Sure, the turkey was a bit dry, but still delicious.
Is Thanksgiving really just about the humongous meal we eat? The food itself we may forget quickly (unless someone really botched it this year), but what makes holidays special is the act of doing something together. The full experience is about making that meal from scratch and spending time with everyone doing it, even if it involves some heated arguments in the process! Doing it yourself isn’t always easy, but it is an adventure.
Embrace mistakes and missteps, and enjoy the DIY process. Accept it right now, you’re going to mess something up at some point and be very upset about it. It is important to take a step back and not be frustrated. Ask yourself:
How much time did I waste? Usually the answer is very small, several hours or less. Consider how much time we all blow watching TV, do we produce anything with that time? Even if you need to start over on whatever you were trying to attempt, progress was still made. The bigger the mistake, the less likely it will be done again!
How much money did I waste? Again, probably not very much; a component, ingredient, or other piece that you need to buy to reattempt the project. The premium price of a travel agent, repair, or even restaurant meal is much greater than the cost of most mistakes.
Was the mistake itself an adventure? A forgotten tent, no booked lodging, a missed transfer… all disasters right? How about sleeping under the stars, searching on foot for the best hostel, hitchhiking to the airport? Suddenly, these disasters sound suspiciously like adventures! Yes, high stress scenarios can be anything but fun. Yet, sometimes these situations are where life is most thrilling and memorable. And ultimately, that is what frugal adventures excel at bringing us.
In what areas of your life do you inject some DIY? Feel free to share in comments, and stop by again!