Trade skills with your friends(Read article summary)
Chances are your friends have a wide variety of skills that you may or may not have, Hamm writes. Why not save money by exchanging skills like computer repair and plumbing with your friends?
Jack Dempsey/AP for Rebuilding Together
I have friends who are either professionally trained or have significant experience in many,Â manyÂ different fields. Carpentry. Electrical wiring. Plumbing. Home building. Computer repair. Home decor. The list goes on and on.
There are a lot of things Iâ€™m good at, too. I can handle (or at least help with) many home repair tasks. I can cook just about anything. I can rebuild a computer with my eyes closed.
There are other things Iâ€™m not so good at, though. Plumbing scares me. Iâ€™ve almost ruined things because of my inadequacy with plumbing. Iâ€™m intimidated by very large scale carpentry projects. Iâ€™m terrible at video editing (though Iâ€™m learning). My landscaping abilities are comical.
My friends, though, have different sets of skills and weaknesses.
If I have a friend thatâ€™s good at something that Iâ€™m bad at, why not ask that friend for help? At the same time, why not invite them to enlist your help for the things youâ€™re good at?
If youâ€™re a good friend with this person,Â donâ€™t be afraid to ask.Â Whenever a friend asks me for help, Iâ€™m usually ready to jump.
Make it clear that youâ€™ll repay them with a skill of your own when they need helpÂ and live up to that pledge. Even better,Â if a friend is out there looking for help right now, offer your help.
This doesnâ€™t need to be a quid pro quo. It just needs to be friends helping friends.
Whenever I have friends over to help with things,Â I usually turn it into a social event.Â Iâ€™ve had friends over for small construction projects that turned into dinner and a very nice evening. Iâ€™ve been over to help friends with projects where the project turned into an all-day affair with two meals and a nice evening out on the deck with friends.
Compared to the cost of hiring someone to help, itâ€™s far less expensive. Itâ€™s also a lot more enjoyable.
See a friend that needs help with something you can easily do? Offer your help. If you need help with something where your friends are skilled, donâ€™t be afraid to ask. Youâ€™ll both end up ahead.
This post is part of a yearlong series called â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),â€ť in which Iâ€™m revisiting the entries from my book â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap,â€ť which is availableÂ at AmazonÂ and at bookstores everywhere.