How online videos can save you money
Online videos on everything from DIY to maintaining your car can save you money on a range of potentially expensive jobs.
Have you ever paid for a service that you suspected you could do yourself but were too scared to try?
DIY is nothing new but what's changed is that it's now much easier to learn about how to do different tasks. That's thanks to the rise of online video content. There are now thousand of online videos out there that provide detailed step-by-step guides on how to do loads of DIY tasks. Here are just a few examples.
Wedding hair and beauty
For the untutored, applying make-up and styling hair can be intimidating. Day to day, the routine dab of concealer and a few whips of the hairbrush can get you through. But what about a wedding when you want to look your best for photographs and videos that will be yours to treasure for years to come?
Wedding beauty can be very expensive, especially if you want to give your bridesmaids and maid of honour the special treatment too. If you’re looking to cut costs for an already expensive occasion, there are lots of online videos that could tutor you or a close friend on how to do wedding makeup and even wedding hair styles without the need for a professional stylist. These online videos are easy to follow, and as long as you do some practice before the big day, nothing should go wrong.
Instrument repairs and maintenance
Every good musician knows that their instruments need maintenance to perform at their best. A guitar, for example, needs to be restrung regularly for the best sound, but for some amateur musicians this can seem like a daunting task.
Restringing a guitar can cost anywhere between £5 and £20 (not including the cost of the replacement strings), depending on where you live and the type of shop. While some specialist shops will do it for free and show you how, others may not be so forthcoming. Here’s an online tutorial on how to restring an electric guitar but there are plenty of other videos online that can help you give your instruments a bit of tlc for free.
Vehicle repairs and maintenance
Vehicle repairs and maintenance can cost a household hundreds each year, but with a little know-how, performing some simple repairs and maintenace tasks can keep those costs down.
Changing the oil or even replacing a broken wing mirror can become simple jobs you can do yourself if you watch online videos to get the right technique. Alternatively you could buy one of the Haynes service and repair manuals that are also available online to help.
Read Cut your car costs for more ideas on how to reduce your car-related spending.
There are plenty of odd jobs around the house that we have been happily doing for years thanks to the aftermath of 90s DIY shows like "Changing Rooms", which taught us the importance of a stencil and a fabric stapler.
But most of us still do rely on professionals for the more complex tasks. Trouble is, plumbers and electricians can be expensive.
Online videos should enable you to more stuff yourself. Just a simple search will reveal videos that can help you take on the task of fixing the water pump on a washing machine, changing a fuse, replacing a leaky tap, bleeding a radiator or reducing the pressure of your boiler without the need for a plumber or electrician.
Good ‘how to’ websites
Here are some websites that will help you find the best videos:
wikiHow - attempting to build and share the world’s largest high quality 'how to' manual.
eHow - offers a great range of videos and articles empowering you to try anything.
How Stuff Works - dedicated ‘how to’ guides that include videos, graphics and comprehensive articles.
DIY Happy - interesting site for unusual projects.
YouTube - You can search for anything but be prepared for some videos that may be a bit substandard.
Videojug - videos to help us ‘get good at life.’
Take a course
If videos or online tutorials still don’t fill you with enough confidence to set about difficult sounding tasks yourself, then perhaps taking a course would give you the boost you need.
There are numerous DIY, plumbing, and car maintenance courses out there that are cheap and quick to complete. B&Q now have You Can Do It classes, which provide lessons led by experts. Short courses include how to lay laminate flooring, how to hang a door, plastering, tiling, and how to remove a radiator so you can decorate behind it.
Know your limits
Doing it yourself is rewarding and can be very economical but always consider whether you would be better off using a professional rather than risk making the situation worse.
Pass on the knowledge
That said, if you keep practising, your work will get better. And who knows, once you become an expert, maybe you'll be able to make your own video with some DIY top tips.
Have you saved money by doing it yourself? How did you go about it? Let us know in the comment boxes below.
More stories on saving money: