Skills You Can Learn to Save Money on the Homestead
When it comes to homesteading, we’re all trying to get back to basics while still saving a few bucks. Our main goal is to lower our overhead so we don’t have to bring in too much money, therefore freeing up some time to do the things we’re truly passionate about. When I started homesteading, I didn’t think I’d learn some of the skills I have but I have but I’m happy I have. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars!
Since moving into our house almost 3 years ago, we’ve had to change our well switch twice. Although I was honestly pretty nervous doing it, it saved us at least $100 each time. We’ve all heard it before, but YouTube is so helpful and can teach you anything. My husband and I looked up what kind of well switch we needed, bought it from ACE Hardware, and watched the video on how to change it. I suggest purchasing a volt tester just to make things a little less risky…and scary. This is one of the best skills to know!
This one is gross, I’m just going to go ahead and say it, but it can save you money. While buying our house and getting all the inspections done, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about septic systems. Since living here, I’ve dug my system up twice and diagnosed a problem before even calling the pros, I should apply for a job! (Just kidding) A lot of the time your problems are minor and the first thing you can check before calling the pros is your clean-out pipe.
The clean-out pipe is a piece of PVC with a screw lid on it. It’s usually just before the drain pipe, the pipe that drains into your first tank. If your toilets are backed up and using the plunger isn’t doing the trick, unscrew the cap to your drain pipe and grab a piece of a hose to poke down the pipe. BEWARE: If your pipes are clogged and your clog is after the drain pipe, when you unscrew that lid you’ll be greeted with a volcano of bodily fluids…and solids. Told you, gross, but it’ll save you a “pretty penny” knowing how to maneuver around your manure. Oh, the skills to know!
Working with PVC
Just like calling the septic pros, calling plumbers can be expensive. Working with PVC is so easy and, again, with YouTube anything is possible. I’m not saying I’m prepared to plumb a whole house, but I think I could be with a little practice. What I am able to do is set-up irrigation with PVC or fix broken pipes in the yard. It’s such a small, simple thing and very easy to learn! I believe in you!
I just found out that I can rent a pressure washer from Home Depot for $38.00 a day! Hiring someone to come and do housework can cost hundreds of dollars. There’s actually a handy-man that offers “honey-do-this” services in my county…which is something I could add to my “10 Ways To Make Extra Income on the Homestead” post, but that’s not my point right now. Learning to do something like work a pressure washer could cost you as little as $38.00 a day for an electric pressure washer, and all it’ll cost you in bulk is time. Gas Pressure Washers cost a little more money to rent, but again, you’ll be paying a base price and time only. That’s a win in my book!
Okay, Confession Session: I don’t know anything about electric work and it seriously TERRIFIES me.
Okay, now that that’s done. *wipes forehead* My father-in-law is one of the handiest men I’ve known without him working in a “handy-man” type of job. He’s often my go-to when it comes to helping with hanging a door, changing fluorescent light bulbs, or putting up fences or doors, etc. I have a goal to have him help me learn basic stuff about electrical…well, stuff. He’s added outlets to the outside of our house and switched the dining room light from fluorescent to regular. My step-dad is a construction worker and knows all of this, but he’s much further away. Who needs YouTube when you have two fathers that know so much! I’m so blessed!
There are so many other things to learn to do to save money. I’m not saying you should do EVERYTHING yourself. Some things are totally justifiable for calling a professional for help. Right now, I always call someone for electrical work unless my step or father-in-law is in town. I’m not comfortable learning electrical work on my own, and that is a-ok! What’ve you learned in order to save money?