DIY and the Fear of Sucking

Control your caveman brain! Dare to suck!

My creative writing teacher in high school once lectured us all on the fear of sucking. “If you sit there, staring at a blank page, so afraid you’re going to screw up whatever you write that you can’t eek out a single word, you will never get anything done,” she told us. “You have to let go, and tell yourself that even if what you produce does indeed suck, it’s okay.”

Overcoming the fear of sucking is a difficult thing. It is normal and human thing to want to avoid mistakes. Something in our caveman brain stirs and says, “Nuh-uh, if I don’t do this right the first time, I get eaten.” But as instinctual as human beings can be, we are also rational creatures! So tell yourself to relax, that it’s okay if the first iteration of whatever you’re doing will suck. You’ll find that you’ll get a lot more out of life AND save money (bet you were wondering when this would become an actual personal finance post).

DIY is scary for a lot of people. You don’t want to screw it up and leave your house in shambles, or mess up your new gaming rig by installing one of the parts wrong. As a woman, I’ve found it exceptionally hard, because unlike my fiance my parents didn’t show me how to do a lot of “handyman” things. However, the rewards of DIY are too hard to ignore. For example, just last night I saved myself $100 by installing a ceiling fan myself instead of having someone else do it. Instead of calling a plumber, my fiance and I fixed our toilet with a few Google searches and a $4 rubber flapper from Lowes. And aside from saving money, being able to do things yourself allows you to customize things exactly to your liking. Here are my tips for getting over yourself and doing things on your own.

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Frugal Appliance Adventures

A lovely little dent saved us $200
A lovely little dent saved us $200

Now that my fiance and I have bought a house, we are on the market for all kinds of weird products we’ve never had to think about before. Chief among these new purchases are appliances. Costing several hundred dollars a piece, these are some of the biggest items we’ll buy this year aside from the house itself. In our case, we needed a fridge, an oven, and a microwave.

The more something costs, the more important every percentage point you can shave off the price is. 10% off an $800 fridge is $80. Not chump change! Through some clever purchasesĀ on eBay, shopping smart, and knowing what mattered to us and what didn’t, we saved hundreds of dollars.

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