6 things you pay professionals for that you can easily do yourself

If you want something done cheaply, you have to do it yourself.

6 things you pay professionals for that you can easily do yourself

If you want something done cheaply, you have to do it yourself.
  • There's an old saying, "If you want something done well, you have to do it yourself." The same rule applies if you want to save money. If you're like most Americans, chances are you're spending a lot of dough for services you can easily do yourself. While some of these tasks might seem daunting, gaining a little know-how goes a long way in saving you some change.

  • Basic auto maintenance

  • If your automobile expertise begins and ends with a jack and a spare tire, you're probably spending more than you need to on car maintenance. According to Angie's List, the average cost of an oil change using conventional oil is $46 nationally, with synthetic oil changes running up to $70. If you're spending money on oil changes every three months - for each vehicle in your household - your car may as well start eating your savings. Believe it or not, changing your transmission oil isn't that complicated, and it's the first thing you'll learn at any basic mechanics class (or by watching a few instructional YouTube videos). But don't stop with your oil; replacing lights, air filters, windshield wipers, batteries and even brake pads is easy, and doing so could save you a bundle.

  • Tax preparation

  • Splurging hundreds of dollars on an accountant just to find out how much you have to pay to Uncle Sam can definitely sting. Unless you happen to be a major corporation, chances are you could be preparing your own taxes - for little (if any) money. With online tax preparation software readily available, there's no need to pay an accountant. If you want to file taxes online, you will only need an Internet connection, a few hours, and your tax paperwork.

  • Landscaping and yard work

  • You might not have hours to spare on the weekend pulling weeds and cutting grass, but chances are someone in your household does, particularly your little ones who often complain about being bored. Turn yard work and gardening into a family affair by assigning your children tasks like watering plants and shrubs, pruning trees, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. You willl save some cash on landscaping fees and teach your kids the value of hard work in one fell swoop.

  • Hair coloring

  • With the average cost of a permanent color treatment running up to $83, according to Market Watch, you will be paying an arm and a leg just to keep up with those gray hairs. But unless you are attempting something complicated - like highlights or a weave - you can save a chunk of change opting for an at-home dye kit. Intimidated by taking your hair into your own hands? Check out Good Housekeeping's tips for professional results.

  • Advertisement
  • Car washes

  • Jim Croce sang about the "working-at-the-carwash blues," but that may be nothing compared with the "paying-for-a-carwash blues," especially when the average full-service wash can cost anywhere from $15 to $30 according to That's pretty steep, considering all you need for a great wash is likely already in your home. Consumer Reports recommends investing in a cleaning solution specifically formulated for automotive paint if you plan on cleaning your car yourself.

  • Medical services and testing

  • Everyone groans when they need to have blood work or other medical testing done, because getting the results is most likely going to take a lot of time and money. But, we are living in a time where there is an in-home option for almost anything. Did you know you can order a blood test kit and complete your lab orders from home? You can mail your sample back to a medical lab with prepaid postage and your results are emailed to you within a few days. MyHealth Pass allows you to complete two free MyHealth Labs a year from the privacy and comfort of your home. Sign up today to enjoy all the member benefits of MyHealth Pass.

Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.


Tell us your opinion

Have More Meaningful Conversations With Your Kids.

We’ll send the low-down on the hot topics your kids are talking about to your inbox every morning so you’re ready to talk with them.


Enter a valid email address (e.g. [email protected])

Thanks for subscribing to our email list. Please enjoy our latest articles.