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Website Giveaway and DIY Story


I’m sure all of you subscribers are aware of the free iPad I’m giving away (as well as the many other prizes available), but wouldn’t you like to improve your odds of winning?!

Today is the last day of the contest so please take a last look at all of the ways you can earn more entry points! You can tweet the giveaway post (, “like” it, refer a subscriber (this gets you 5 entry points per subscriber you refer!), or you can link to the giveaway post from your site! Make sure to earn as many entries as possible so you can increase your odds of winning one of the amazing prizes!

I can’t wait to draw the names of the winners! 🙂

Save Money by Doing It Yourself!

Many of you know that my wife and I recently purchased a foreclosure. It needed quite a bit of work, but the price was right, and we loved the layout. So, for the last 2 months, we’ve been tearing out sinks, toilets, floors, and in certain areas – the walls and ceiling.

You may think my wife and I are super handy to do all of this work ourselves, but your assumption would be completely wrong! Let me explain to you how handy I am in a few bullet points:

  • During one of our Cadets sessions (something like boy scouts, yes this was when I was a boy) we were working with hatchets. When we were told to test how sharp they were, I immediately took my thumb and ran it down the blade….. when I saw the blood running from my finger, I looked up and said, “Umm, mine’s sharp…” Apparently you’re supposed to run your finger across the blade, not down the length of it….
  • My tool set is from Target… I received it on my wedding day. It cost about $40.
  • I once changed the rotors and brakes on my car. I wanted to make sure they were on really tight, but when I tightened the bolt I actually sheered off the head, which left the rotor secured by only 2 bolts instead of 3.  I figured it would be fine…. until the bolt stem of that 3rd bolt dislodged (when I was on the highway) and destroyed the rotors and brakes that I just replaced…
  • My occupation and side-job require a computer, not tools or handy-man knowledge.

Needless to say, my track record is not good, but we can all learn right? All you have to do is find someone that’s handy and have them teach you a few things! My father-in-law has helped us tear down some walls, re-route some electrical lines, put up drywall, and install some doors.

After having help with a few projects, it’s helped me realize that no DIY job is really that difficult. So, I’ve started tackling some projects on my own!

DIY: Fixing a Leaky Faucet in the Shower

Our shower faucet has probably been leaking for years (long before we bought it) and it had clearly never been fixed. The slight drip has now turned into a pretty constant stream.

I called my friend for advice on how to fix it, and he basically told me to take it away to a professional because it was too difficult to repair on my own. Well, I may not be handy, but I am cheap. I knew that if I had a repairman over or if I took the part away, I was probably going to be out at least $50, if not in the hundreds.

So, I went downstairs, turned the water off and dove into the project myself. After a few minutes, I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was: the seals (basically rubber washers) behind the hot and cold knobs were cracking and would obviously deter a water-tight seal from being formed.

The old seals before I replaced them

Off to Menards (our local hardware store) I went. I got some new seals, came home and installed them (it took about 5 minutes a piece). The water was turned back on and the leak was gone! I fixed it!

Rather than dishing out $50+, my new seals cost $4.39 after tax. Ahhh, what a good feeling!

This goes to show you that anyone can tackle their own repairs, and they can save quite a bit of money doing it! Don’t be afraid to dig in and get your hands dirty. If you break something, no big deal, because it was probably already broken! 🙂

Have you succeeded in some form of DIY? What was it?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I had a broken garbage disposal. After doing some research I discovered there was a reset button underneath it. Saved $300

    • Wow! That’s awesome. You must have felt like you were on top of the world!

    • I would have been stoked to have found out about that reset button! Of course they wouldn’t tell you that when it was installed. And Derek–looking forward to see the lucky person who gets to win that iPad!

      • Haha, I’m randomly selecting the winner right now! You’ll see the post up soon.

  2. Great job! I’m not very handy either, but I’m trying to learn more. I fixed a microwave by replacing the door switch and saved $300 on a new over the oven microwave.

    • Nice! $300 is a lot of money saved!

  3. Way to go! Usually its something cheap and simple like that, and the only way you learn is to try it once (typically by being young and cheap, or just plain old cheap).

    • Ha, I guess I am young and cheap. 🙂

  4. My husband and I are looking at getting a property but the ones that are in our price range seem to need too much work and we just dont want to make it worse by doing it ourselves. hmm I don’t know if you should be handling tools mister mines is sharp!! LOL

    • Lol! So far, I have kept all of my body part in tact. I’m learning though! I haven’t shed blod in a while. 🙂

  5. Looking forward to the announcement of the winners Derek!

    Like Brenda I too had a broken disposal, but mine was leaking due to the inner seal going. Cost me about $100 for the unit and the power supply (apparently none of them come pre-wired) and installation on my own. I did call around just to check and was quoted over $200 just for the install, for what took me only about 15 minutes to do.

    • Nice. Sounds like you’re decently handy. What to help out with a remodel? 😉

  6. I have my limitations when it comes to mechanical DIY. I can replace the toilet tank stuff, make some small repairs around the house, but that is about it.

    • Yeah, I’m probably in the same boat as you. But, with the internet and YouTube, I can learn just about anything! 🙂

  7. would have liked some magical do it myself way to get my microwave waving again =)

    • Haha. Yes, sometimes that can be difficult though. 😉

  8. Great job! I’ve watched youtube videos to figure out how to fix my car on several occasions. 🙂 There is a lot of great information out there if you look.

    • There are a ton of videos out there for help! I would definitely look online before paying money for a professional.

  9. I guess I’m pretty lucky that my husband is a fixer-upper! I just don’t know how he knows so much!

    Really looking forward to the winner, keeping fingers crossed!!!

    • Having a handyman for a husband would be pretty great!

      I’m working on selecting the winners right now! 🙂

  10. My muffler was coming off my scooter because a bracket broke. I welded it back on and saved $250 bucks

  11. Very important post. Good job. I like it. Thank you.

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