Wallet Works

This is Walter Wiser. He's our money know-it-all and he's here to help you make your wallet work for you.

Is That DIY Worth It?

Today, it’s easier than ever to find instructions to “DIY” (Do it Yourself) for just about anything you need or want. A quick Internet search will most likely provide you with an endless supply of sample projects that others have successfully (and sometimes, not so successfully) completed without paying for a professional’s help. But, is it always worth it?

While DIY projects can be fun and save you money, you need to consider a few things before getting started to make sure that your DIY is actually worth it in the end.

Is it safe?

Think carefully through the task you’re undertaking. For example, some home improvement projects (i.e. items dealing with electricity) may be better left to the professionals. While everyone loves to save money, you should never do so at the cost of putting yourself or others at risk of physical harm.

Do you know the full scope?

DIY projects can sometimes snowball into more than you were bargaining for. Whether it’s making a seemingly simple home repair or an upgrade to your car, surprises can lurk around every corner. Before you get started, take some time to do your research and investigate any domino-effects that making one repair or change can have on the rest of the home, car or project.

Is it cost-effective?

Oftentimes, people take on a DIY project because they think it’ll save them money. In many cases, this is true, but in others, not so much. Some projects require special tools, parts or equipment that you may only use one time. You may have access to these through a friend or family member, but if you don’t, you’ll have to purchase them for a single use. This could make the project cost more than it’s worth in the long run.

Do you have enough time?

DIY-ers may find themselves surprised at how long a project may end up taking. Whether it’s making favors for a wedding shower or decorations for a nursery, there are reasons many items are mass produced. Large companies often have tools to make tedious tasks (i.e. folding 150 pieces of paper for place cards or cutting out 500 circles for a mobile) go quicker. Before forging ahead with a time-sensitive DIY project, make sure that you’ve given yourself enough time to get the project done without having to pull multiple all-nighters or stressing yourself out.

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The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal or other professional if you have questions.