10 new skills to learn this year to save some money!

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family decorating

family decoratingPaying for people to do jobs like repairs or improvements in your home can be expensive. How many times have you wished you knew enough to do the job yourself, or had other skills which could help you cut costs? Now you can.

DIY and decorating

Save on labour costs by learning how to paint, decorate and tackle simple DIY tasks. Homebase has a great range of “How to” guides on various DIY tasks, or sign up for a course at your local adult education college.

Dressmaking

Revamp your wardrobe on the cheap by making your own clothes. Get yourself a sewing machine, or even just a needle and thread, and give it a go. Ask an elderly relative to pass on their knowledge or find a tutorial online.

Growing vegetables

Cut food bills by growing your own vegetables. Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start – seed packets give guidance such as when to plant and how to care for them. Local allotment societies run by enthusiasts may offer advice but there’s generally a long waiting list for plots.

Hair cutting

Hairdressers can be expensive, especially if you have children who need regular cuts, so trim the cost by learning how to do it yourself. Check out websites with demonstrations of techniques for basic hair cutting, or head to the library for books with step-by-step instructions. Don’t attempt this on yourself! But giving the kids a trim should be achievable.

Car maintenance

Swot up on how to make basic, regular checks on your car to avoid unnecessary repairs. Car maintenance guides are produced by companies such as Haynes, and adult education courses are run at centres nationwide.

Successful eBay selling

Selling items on auction site eBay is a popular way of making money, but it’s easy to miss out on the best prices for your stuff. There are easy-to-follow instructions for perfecting your selling technique on eBay itself, and other sites and blogs provide tips to help you maximize your rewards.

Clever cooking

Cooking your own food is far cheaper than buying ready made meals and takeaways. Find an easy-to-follow book, perhaps by your favourite celebrity chef, and start with basic recipes. If you need more help, swallow your pride and see if a friend or relative will teach you to cook.

Negotiation skills

We’re all faced with times when we’d like to bargain for a better price, or have a need to be firm to get our money back on a faulty item. The key is to be confident and assertive. Boost your negotiation skills by using self-help guides. Listen to audio self-help books with tried and tested techniques (you can download these easily enough) then practise in the mirror. When the real time comes you’ll be prepared!

Home-made gifts

Making your own birthday presents is a great way to ensure your gifts budget stretches further. Craft shops have simple kits for beginners or if you want to improve your existing skills, check out local courses – many are listed in craft magazines.

Be internet wise

The internet has up to date information on everything from holidays to cars that will help you save money, if you know where to look. If you’re still finding your way around the web, enroll on a basic internet course at your local adult education college – or better yet, ask the kids!