I’ve noticed that DIY, or Do It Yourself, seems to be an integral part of the FIRE Movement. I do enjoy reading tips and tricks and just general “Just cause I love it” posts about DIY, especially when it comes to their own house or side projects.
I can honestly say that I have never been very good with my hands, even though I love the idea of it. It comes back down to, if you work hard at something and finish it, you will appreciate the final product far more than if you just pay someone to do it. I know that I really enjoy learning practical skills so I decided that DIY skills are something I wish to develop over my journey to FIRE. It is likely 10-15 years away so I have plenty of time to become more proficient in that time.
Resources to learn how to Do It Yourself
An endless source of information. Amazing sites like DoItYourself.com are fantastic. I like to read through these from time to time, particularly if I have a task to do around the house. Other times, simply typing it into google can by enough.
Professional craftsmen do this for a living. Ask to join one, shadow a friend who works in a trade, offer to help out or volunteer to join them in free time if you really want to learn. If you are happier with the trial and error route, offer to help out friends who are renovating their house or garden or simple taking on a side project.
I suppose books are still a viable option. There are tried and tested home improvement or DIY books but most of my reading would be online as it is at your finger tips. Try your local library or even Amazon.com for second hand books on the subject matter.
I love trying to perfect something, but unless I am a professional craftsman or have been doing it for more than 10,000 hours, I wouldn’t expect that I would be an expert at doing something. I have to accept that I will get things wrong. Strive to be perfect, but accept it when you just do a good job.
Reading and studying is all well and good but you need to dive in at the deep end. Start with a small project. If you fail, no matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better!
As I was writing and researching a bit around this topic, I realise that DIY doesn’t just pertain to carpentry or craft skills. DIY or Do It Yourself, can be anything! Off the top of my head, this includes fix up your house, gardening, car repairs and pretty much any project you want to undertake. You will learn new skills, and spend your time doing something you are interested in.
I like to think that I will save money by doing things myself. Yes, you can argue that you are using up your precious time by doing these things. Of course you will, but that means you pick and choose something that you will enjoy. If you don’t have an interest in fixing up a car, then don’t do that. But if you do, then you can save huge money of mechanic bills for something you can learn to do yourself.
I am going to try learn new skills over the next few years. The big three are writing skills, carpentry skills and car mechanic skills. Those are my interests so I will pursue them.
What should you do?
I challenge you to make a list of these and start learning something that will benefit you down the line. You will be surprised what you find out. I never thought I would enjoy writing as I hated writing and studying English literature in school. I always had a mathematical mind and numbers are awesome, I can sink my teeth into that. Then I started this blog and I am loving writing these posts. It forces me break down different parts of my life and try to optimize thing to achieve FIRE. I also get quite giddy when I set aside a few hours for writing so its a new hobby that takes up free time and it is completely free to do. So I challenge you to make a list of what you want to learn and do it yourself!