If there is one thing our older generations are right about, it is kids aren’t learning the same valuable skills growing up that their parents did. Everything nowadays is treated as expendable, and those costs can add up quickly. It is important to instill some old-fashioned values in younger generations, especially the ones that save cash. If you find yourself throwing things out often, maybe it is time that you consider a few of these tried-and-true essential money saving skills.
Fixing Your Car
While cars have gotten more complex, it is true some things can’t be fixed at home. Car brands are stingy, and they have precious multi-thousand-dollar scan tools their computer systems rely upon. With that said, not everyone has a new car, and even new cars have some easy fixes. The primary repairs any adult should learn to do are brake replacements, oil changes, and plug/coil replacements. It is as easy as one Google search of your make and model, and you can learn exactly what it takes to do these easy-yet-pricey repairs. Due to their ease, these replacements make great starting points, and they require very few tools. Not only that, but brake and plug/coil replacements can each save a few hundred dollars. Oil changes save a little less, but due to how often they need to happen, it adds up. Learning these skills will also help you better understand when you’re being swindled at the mechanic or dealership.
Sewing and Patching
Ever had to throw out a perfectly good sweater because it got that annoying armpit tear? Well, buy yourself a two-dollar sewing kit and hit up your best pal YouTube. I can’t count how many articles of clothing I have saved by learning how to sew. I actually upgraded my denim jacket by slapping that flannel patch on the back. Whether it is saving a torn favorite, or refreshing the look of an old piece, this is a vital skill to save you money on buying new clothes.
Shining Your Shoes
The most forsaken of all the old-fashioned life skills is the shoe shine. I consider this one a particularly egregious crime, as it is actually pretty therapeutic. With this skill, I was able to keep the same pair of brown leather dress shoes through half of high school and all of college– while wearing them almost every day. What a great feeling it is to take your beat up kicks and make them look brand new again, and with the price of genuine leather dress shoes, there was no way I’d have had the money to keep replacing them over the years. So easy, so simple, and so rewarding. I’ll add washing canvas shoes as an addendum to this one, and I’ll throw in the pro tip that nail polish remover works great on white foxing.
So, next time you try to rush out of a conversation with your parents or grandparents, see if they have a sewing machine, a shoe shine kit, or some tools you can borrow. If you are that parent or grandparents, you already know you’d be more than happy to. Never hesitate to teach these skills to anybody you care about, as there is no better feeling than saving money by doing some hard work yourself.