Ever wondered how you can save money in such economically challenging time? An area commonly overlooked is the expenses of hiring third-party contractors to repair broken items or systems. Crying wolf every time a floorboard screeches or a door handle breaks off can be a costly mistake. Fortunately, it takes minimal time and effort to learn these DIY repairs that could save you some vacation money.

Clogged Toilet

Before panic dialing your plumber, there are at least two things you should first try yourself that could unclog the toilet, and in the process save you anywhere between $45 and $150. Have a toilet plunger and a toilet auger ready. If the water level in the bowl is not high enough that the plunger’s head will submerge completely, pour more water into the bowl. Then, grab the plunger from the other end and thrust it down the bowl 10 times. If the plunger doesn’t do the job, try the auger.

Chipped Car Paint

Chipped off paint from the sides of your car can be a no-no for the utterly conscious drivers. On top of being unsightly, and even embarrassing for some, obvious visual blemishes can reduce the resale value of your care. But before rushing to your nearest auto shop, try to remedy the cosmetic problem yourself. You’ll need some space to do your painting, preferably a well-ventilated indoor space that will shield the wet paint from outside elements, but won’t expose you to toxic fumes. In addition, visit your local auto store, or online retailer like Reggie’s Garage, to buy some wet and dry sandpaper, sander, spray gun, buffer, and paint thinners. Of course, some safety goggles and face masks are equally important.

Holes in the Walls

Whether it’s the aftermath of your children doing their regular reenactment of a boxing match or from nail and screw holes that were used to hang paintings or wall-mounted TVs, a hole-riddled wall can be both ugly and dangerous. An easy and affordable fix is to press some putty into the holes with a putty knife. Let it dry, and apply a coat of paint if necessary. For larger drywall holes, some patchwork might be necessary, but with patience and preparation, the repair can be as seamless as if it was done by a professional—and much cheaper too.

Leaky Plumbing

A leaky kitchen or bathroom pipe can cause a surge in your monthly bill and water damage to the flooring and surrounding items. A dripping faucet can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year. Again, before calling your local plumber, tackle the problem first. Make sure the sink is switched off and that water is not flowing through the damaged pipe. Next, place a collecting receptacle beneath the pipe. Take out the compression nuts and replace the washer or the whole P-trap if the current one looks worn out.


Doing it yourself requires patience and the knack for researching and testing out new things. It will seem pointless and messy at first, but will later provide new handy skills that can save money and even be used to earn extra income by providing them to neighbors and coworkers.