Whether it’s your car, your home, your yard or yourself, everything eventually needs some fixing up. Some things require the services of a professional, but you can do many other things yourself — including home upgrades that only look expensive — and save a bundle.
Click through to see services you can easily do yourself to save big.
1. Do Your Own Mani-Pedi
Manicures and pedicures can cost as much as $20 to $50 apiece and sometimes even more, depending on where you go for this luxury service and what extras you purchase. Save money by pampering your nails yourself. You’ll need to purchase some items upfront to DIY, but handling these tasks at home will add up to big savings over time. When doing your own mani-pedi, just stick to the five S’s: soak, scrub, soften, soothe and seal.
2. Give Yourself a Facial
A facial from a high-end spa can run you around $50 or more — but not if you do it yourself at home. The key to a truly great facial is not to cut corners by skipping steps or skimping on products.
Like a mani-pedi, you’ll have to invest in some products before you start. But again, the initial investment will pay for itself over time. You’ll need something for exfoliation like coffee grounds, clay for pore cleansing and skin-calming and rehydrating products.
3. DIY Chemical Peel
A light chemical peel generally costs from $150 to $400. But you can save yourself money and a trip to the salon with this inexpensive beauty hack.
It’s worth doing it yourself at home, according to TotalBeauty, with products like Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel. It costs under $50 and promises to give you a brighter complexion, as well as diminish wrinkles and fine lines.
4. Color Boost Between Salon Visits
A color glaze or gloss will run you about $50 at the salon, reports TotalBeauty, but you can boost your color by yourself at home. You’ll add a few weeks between coloring appointments and end up with shiny, glistening hair. Not to mention, you’ll save money in the end. You can find a box of John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze at Walgreens for about $12.
5. Relax Your Hair
The average hair-relaxing treatment costs a brutal $160 at the salon, according to TotalBeauty, but you can get comparable results at home. Try Optimum Salon Haircare — you can buy these relaxers online for about $8 through retailers like Walgreens.
6. Groom Your Dog
While buying a dog costs less than having a kid, owning one can still be expensive, especially when you factor in grooming costs. But you don’t need to take Fluffy to a professional and pay $20, $30, $40 or even $90.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, you can easily brush, bathe and trim your dog’s nails at home by yourself with just doggy shampoo, a brush and clippers.
7. Prepare Your Own Taxes
Professional tax preparation costs can put a dent in your budget, but millions of Americans can get help filing their federal tax returns for free. The Free File Alliance, for example, is a nonprofit company that provides free electronic tax services through different tax software options.
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8. Handle Your Own Investments
Even the cheapest discount brokers can charge between $5 and $10 a trade. But with a little research, you can invest for free with services like Robinhood.
“This single practice can save the average person tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of their investing time frame,” said Trey Henninger, investing blogger at DIY Investing. “Instead of hiring a financial advisor to select what index and mutual funds you should invest in, you can do it yourself with only a little bit of learning on the topics. This simple act can cut your investing expenses by a large margin.”
9. Clean Your Own Gutters
Cleaning the gutters might just be the dirtiest job any homeowner faces. Neglecting them, however, can lead to water damage in both the home’s roof and foundation. The average reported cost to have gutters cleaned by a professional is $100 to $200, according to HomeAdvisor.
10. Make Your Own Cleaners
“Making your own cleaners at home is simple, more cost-effective and also great for the environment,” says Shanika McCloud, founder of Greenplicity.
Here is one of McCloud’s favorite recipes to replace expensive, chemical-based, all-purpose cleaners: In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, along with 2 teaspoons of Castile soap. Add 10 to 20 drops of essential oils of your choice. Replace the cap and shake vigorously.
Use as you would any other all-purpose cleaner for wood, glass, stainless steel and porcelain. Wipe with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. If you are unsure of how a particular surface will react to the cleaner, test on a small area first.
Save Even More: Easy DIY Home Cleaner Recipes
11. Paint Your Home’s Interior
Painting is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to give your home a dramatic makeover. It’s even less expensive if you do it yourself. The average reported cost of having professionals paint your home interior is $1,744, according to HomeAdvisor. But that price can drop to just a few hundred dollars if you do it yourself.
You’ll have to decide on your color scheme and buy supplies such as rollers, brushes, paint tape, paint and primer. You’ll need to remove the furniture, clean the walls and remove outlet covers and switch plates. Next, outline trim, baseboards and edging with paint tape. Finally, apply two coats of paint, and then touch up baseboards, trim and any spots.
12. Paint Your Home’s Exterior
Painting your home’s exterior can beautify your home as well as add curb appeal and value — but it will cost you. The average professional exterior paint job costs around $2,770, depending on square footage, the number of floors and the composition of the material, such as stucco or vinyl siding. You can dramatically reduce that cost by preparing your home for painting and painting some exterior features yourself.
Painting doors can knock off between $70 and $150. Painting the fascia will save you between $500 and $1,000. If you do your own gutters and downspouts, that will save you between $200 and $800.
13. Change Your Oil
The average professional oil change costs $46 if you use conventional oil, according to Angie’s List. To do it yourself, you’ll need some plastic sheeting, rags, a rubber mallet, wrench set, oil pan, safety glasses, funnel, oil filter, oil filter gasket and, of course, the correct motor oil.
Did You Know: 6 Car Repairs You Can (Really) Do Yourself
14. Replace Your Air Filter
Your car depends on oxygen just like you. Replacing the filter regularly — typically every 15,000 to 30,000 miles — will improve your vehicle’s performance. But getting it done by a professional can run you between $40 and $100 depending on the make and model, according to Angie’s List. It’s fairly easy, however, to clean or replace the filter yourself.
To clean your car’s air filter, just locate the filter, remove it, wipe it clean, clean the housing and then put it back. If it needs to be replaced, just take out the old one, clean the housing and put in the new one.
15. Fix Your Leaky Radiator
“Most people think they’re either going to need a mechanic or a great set of tools to fix a leaky radiator in their car,” said Clayton Parks, vice president of strategic development at Bar’s Products.
“A quicker, more affordable way is to do it yourself with a product that is designed to stop leaks and repair them from within, cooling the system and cleaning out unwanted residue,” he said. Bar’s Leaks 1196 Grey Radiator Stop Leak runs about $5 on Amazon, which is significantly less than you would likely pay for a mechanic’s labor costs.
16. Repair Your Leaky Head Gasket
A blown head gasket can be one of your most expensive auto repairs. But you can get in front of that expense by plugging the leaks before the gasket is destroyed beyond repair.
“Go to a mechanic, and this could cost you thousands of dollars,” Parks reports. “However, there are products out there that can solve this problem without the hassle of a mechanic — and without the cost, as well.”
Try BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer, which costs about $29 on Amazon. All you have to do is pour it in according to the instructions — the solution does the rest.
17. Wash Your Own Car
The average full-service car wash costs $15, according to JBS Industries. It can cost extra for high-end services. And don’t forget the tip. You can avoid all that, however, by washing your own car.
Don’t wait so long that a layer of grime builds up — wash off dead bugs and bird droppings whenever you notice them. Use a dedicated car wash product — not dish soap or detergent, which could be too harsh for your car’s paint — and a soft, nonabrasive cloth or sponge, according to Consumer Reports.
Don’t wash the car when the body is hot, and rinse thoroughly with water to remove surface dirt before you begin. When you’re finished, rinse with a hose that doesn’t have a nozzle, which encourages sheeting. Don’t let the car air-dry. Instead, use a chamois.
18. Tune Up Your Car While You Drive
“You can optimize your car’s gas mileage without taking your car in for a tune-up,” Parks says. “A complete fuel system gas treatment can be used on a regular basis to boost octane, clean and condition lines and improve overall fuel economy, making the money you save go even farther. Most people aren’t aware that these easy, affordable and safe DIY products are out there, but they’re delighted when they find out.”
Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment, for example, runs about $26 per gallon on Amazon.
19. Make Your Body Your Gym
The average gym membership costs roughly $58 a month. You can eliminate that cost completely by using nothing but the body you were born with and gravity.
Whether you want to slim down or bulk up, there are countless workouts, exercises and routines at your disposal. From the common pushup to brutal squat thrusts, there are plenty of exercises you can do that will enable you to reclaim your health without leaving the house. Your options are limited only by your imagination.
Related: Cheap Workout Trends to Try
20. Brew Your Own Beer
The craft beer market is a $26 billion industry, according to the Brewers Association. No matter how big a piece of that pie belongs to you, you can save money — and have a little fun — by taking up home brewing.
Most beginners start with the malt extract method before they try more advanced methods. You’ll need to make an upfront investment in some supplies, and sanitized equipment is a must.
Basically, you boil water and malt extract, add hops and yeast and seal in a fermenter, which you then monitor for three or four weeks. You then prime the mixture with sugar to encourage carbonation and transfer the mixture to a dispensing container. Finally, you fill, cap and store bottles for two to three weeks to allow for carbonation, at which time the beer will be ready to drink.
21. Make Your Own Wine
The average bottle of wine costs roughly $14 to $15 per bottle, according to Vivino. If you’re a wine drinker, cut down on your expenses by learning the craft of making wine at home. It’s difficult to say how much money you’ll save by making your own wine because the equipment varies dramatically in quality. And, of course, it depends on how much you drink.
The process involves choosing, inspecting and cleaning your grapes, followed by the critical stage of adding juice or “must.” From there, you’ll “rack” the batch and bottle the wine.
22. Roast Your Own Coffee
A common personal finance tip is to make coffee at home instead of buying it on your way to work every day — and that is good advice. You can slash the cost of your daily coffee fix even further by purchasing raw coffee beans and roasting them yourself. The cost of coffee has many variables, from quality to export tariffs in the country of origin, but the cost of roasted beans can be several times the cost of green coffee beans.
You don’t need an expensive roaster. Just roast the beans in a pot on the stove or even in a popcorn maker, according to frugal living expert Lauren Greutman. Either way, the key is to keep the beans moving and flipping the whole time. Remember to open your windows because the stove process lets off some smoke.
You can roast to your own level of darkness, but it generally takes about 8 to 15 minutes. You shouldn’t grind or seal the beans for a day or two while they outgas.
23. Grow Your Own Vegetables
Growing your own vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your health and boost your budget. A $70 investment in a 600-square-foot garden can produce 300 pounds of fresh produce with a value of $600 in one season, reported US News & World Report. That’s a net savings of $530.
You can set up a basic backyard garden in one day. Decide what to plant, clear the ground and improve and loosen the soil to get started. Next, plant and water, then mulch and maintain.
24. Employ Smart Landscaping
When you do your own landscaping, you avoid paying a landscaper and you can lower your annual bills and the overall cost of owning a home. Trees can lower the temperature by 20 to 40 degrees in the summer, which can slash your energy costs by between 20 percent and 50 percent, reported U.S. News & World Report.
It takes only three strategically placed trees to save the average homeowner between $100 and $250 a year. With a $135 expenditure, you can beautify your yard, boost curb appeal and save around $115 a year.
25. Dry Clean at Home
With the cost of dry cleaning a two-piece suit running from around $8 to $15, maintaining your professional wardrobe or specific pieces of clothing that can’t be washed can get expensive. But you can alleviate these costs by picking up an inexpensive dry cleaning kit and doing it yourself at home in the dryer.
You can get a Dryel dry-cleaning kit for around $16 on Amazon. The package contains a booster spray, cleaning cloths and reusable bag. Each carton can clean up to eight garments without stretching, shrinking or fading them.
26. Mow Your Lawn
You can hire lawn care professionals for flat fees, hourly rates or monthly retainers. The average reported cost of regular lawn care is $742, according to HomeAdvisor. Eliminate this expense by mowing the lawn yourself. You can even make a business out of it to earn some serious income.
Popular Mechanics recommends cutting around the perimeter first and cutting a wide enough collar so you can turn without clipping flowers or hitting obstructions. Leave the blade high — buzz cuts can’t grow deep roots, so they need more water, plus short lawns grow more weeds. Go slow and focus your gaze about 10 feet in front of the mower. The following week, mow the opposite way to even out the direction the grass leans.
27. Prune Your Trees and Shrubs
Pruning trees and shrubs is critical to keeping your plants healthy and radiant. The average reported cost for tree pruning is $412, according to HomeAdvisor. When you do it yourself, you can save money and make your yard more attractive.
28. Install Your Insulation Yourself
The average reported cost of having insulation professionally installed is $1,586 for the reflective or rolled variety, which is the pink fiberglass insulation you see in many attics, according to HomeAdvisor. Whether it’s for a drafty attic or a refurbished garage, if you do it yourself, you’ll pay nothing more than the cost of materials.
Make sure you buy insulation that has the right R-value, which indicates its ability to withstand temperature transfer. Keep in mind that different insulation types require different installation methods.
29. Remove a Tree Stump
Americans pay, on average, $297 to have a professional remove a tree stump, reports HomeAdvisor. But if you do this sneaky home expense yourself, you can save money, improve your yard’s appearance, get rid of a potential hazard and make the lawn easier to mow.
Cut off as much of the stump as possible with a chainsaw, then drill holes in the flat surface about 12 inches deep, three or four inches away from the edge. Next, drill horizontal holes through the side, parallel to the ground, to connect with the vertical holes. Pour potassium nitrate stump removal granules, which you can get for less than $10, into the holes, then fill the holes with water. After four to six weeks, the stump will become spongy and soft, according to The Family Handyman, which will enable you to chop it up with an ax and remove it.
30. Seal Your Driveway
Sealing an asphalt driveway can extend its life and help the surface survive difficult winters. But the average reported cost to seal asphalt paving is $412, according to HomeAdvisor. This is a job you can handle by yourself, but only if your driveway is at least six months old. Don’t seal new asphalt.
You’ll need a squeegee tool and a professional sealant, which can cost less than $50. First, clean the debris, dirt and oil off of your driveway and tape the area around it that you don’t want to seal.
Pour a 6-inch-wide bead of sealant out from one side of the driveway to the other, starting at the garage and working toward the street. Use your squeegee tool to spread a very thin film evenly across the entire surface, making sure not to miss any spots. Let everything dry for at least 24 to 48 hours.
31. Be Your Own Mover
Moving is inherently stressful and difficult. If you’re going to save money by doing it on your own, planning is critical. Start preparing about two months before your moving day.
For the few weeks before the big day, you should focus on organization and sort and gather supplies. Around six weeks out, begin numbering boxes and packing nonessential items.
As you get closer, deal with administrative tasks, such as notifying utilities and forwarding medical records. Reach out to friends and family who you might be able to recruit on moving day. Then, strategize how to use up remaining food stores and figure out how to handle your pets and plants.
Stay organized as you go, make and follow a checklist and make defrosting your freezer and fridge the last order of business.
32. Clear Your Clogged Drain
The average cost of clearing a clogged drain is $209, according to HomeAdvisor. But you can tackle most clogs on your own. First, try the plunger. If that doesn’t work, clean the trap under the sink and insert a sewer snake down the pipe. If those efforts don’t work, your last option should be a chemical drain cleaner.
Read More: Expenses Your Landlord Should Be Covering
33. Install a New Faucet
The average reported cost to install a faucet is $243, according to HomeAdvisor. By doing it yourself, you can get the job done for as little as $100.
First, you should remove the drain lines from the faucet, according to The Family Handyman. Check for working shutoff valves. If you don’t have them, install them. Measure supply tubes and purchase a basin wrench.
Disconnect the garbage disposal, then disconnect the water supply. Use the basin wrench to loosen and remove the old faucet. Next, place the flange over the faucet opening according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and tighten the faucet-mounting nut.
Then, tighten the flange nut and attach the spray hose to the faucet supply tube. Mark the supply lines for cutting and connect the supply tube to the supply lines.
34. Make Your Own Hair Mask
Hair masks can easily cost more than $50. Gina Layland, spa manager at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, however, knows a hair moisturizing treatment that you can do at home.
These are the steps:
1. Using coconut oil, apply generously to hair and leave on for at least one hour — or even overnight — and cover your hair with a cap.
2. Using apple cider vinegar diluted with water, apply to hair from roots to ends. This will strip your hair of any buildup and leave it smooth and shiny.
3. If you’re trying to strip chlorine from hair, sprinkle on some baking soda and massage it into your hair before you wash with shampoo as normal. Make sure to towel dry instead of blow-drying on high heat. If you must blow dry, do so at the lowest setting.
Pro tip: Run a dryer sheet over your hair to tame frizz and flyaways.
35. Fix Your Toilet
“Running toilets waste an enormous amount of water in a home — up to 200 gallons each day, adding an extra $50-$70 to the monthly water bill,” said Danny Lipford, host of Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.”
According to Lipford, worn-out flappers or incorrect water levels are usually the culprits in a running toilet scenario.
“Both of these are easy and inexpensive fixes for homeowners,” he said. “Skip the plumber’s hourly rate of $45 to $150 an hour and manage the water level yourself by adjusting the screw on the top or bottom of the intake valve. Head to the local hardware store for a $5 replacement flapper and follow the instructions to install.”
36. Install Your Own Light Fixtures
“Changing outdated or broken light fixtures in your home not only brightens your decor, but new pendants, chandeliers and wall lights will provide energy savings as well,” said Purav Kapadia, president of lighting retailer Linea di Liara.
The problem, however, is that many homeowners are intimidated by the job and assume they have to hire an electrician, which costs from $50 to $100 an hour, according to HomeAdvisor.
“A more affordable way is to do it yourself,” said Kapadia. “Please make sure that before installation, you disconnect power to the fixture at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Remove the old fixture and follow the instructions supplied with individual lighting products.”
Click through to read more about home renovations that will pay you back.