Most of us would love to have some solid savings to fall back on. However, with everyday expenses, kids’ school fees, monthly bills, debt repayments and everything in between eating up most or all of your income, HOW do you end up saving?

If you’re like the countless expats on the verge of burning out for the sake of adding more zeroes to their account balance, we’ve got a great idea for you – Switch to DIY and make it a lifestyle change while you’re at it.

By definition, DIY, short for ‘Do It Yourself’, is the activity of building, fixing, making, or decorating on your own instead of relying on a professional. It can only keep you busy during the weekends, but also help you unlock some serious savings in the long run.

Here we share some quirky and fun ways to save money by taking the DIY route…

Get haircare for free

No need to spend hundreds of dirhams on getting a hair spa or a haircut. Look for beauty schools in your area and fix an appointment with a student who is in training. Community groups on FaceBook or WhatsApp are also a great place to find trainee hairstylists. Believe it or not, they will be more than happy to do it for you for free as long as they can practice on a real person and maybe get pictures at the end of it. In fact, if you ask nicely, they may even teach you a thing or two about hair trimming so that you can do it yourself. Alternatively, you can also use online tutorials to learn how to cut your own hair. 

Do your own basic car maintenance

As a car owner, chances are that you easily spend thousands of dirhams every year on maintaining your car? While necessary repairs and upkeep will require a technician, there are some checks and fixes you can manage to do yourself. Check out web tutorials to change the oil in the car, clean air filters, check tyre air pressure and clean your car inside out. Even knowing how to change a flat tyre yourself can save you hundreds of dirhams.

[Related: 8 simple DIY car repairs to help you save]

Mend stuff instead of discarding it

Sometimes the hassle of fixing something that’s broken is too much to bother with, and we end up discarding and replacing it altogether. Why not salvage your possessions with a bit of DIY magic!

For instance, a small tear in your shirt is motivation enough to rush to the mall to shop for a new outfit. But as you get there, you buy so much more than a shirt that you later regret. So rather than buying more clothes, consider mending the old ones. More often than not, a simple hand-sewn job is all you need to make your clothes look as good as new! 

Avoid eating out, cook at home

Cooking is not just a chore, it can be fun too. Whatever you crave to eat outside, try to make at home. You will not only save money but also enjoy the freedom to play around with the ingredients or add your own unique taste to the recipe. The Internet is brimming with recipe blogs and YouTube cooking tutorials, so why not bookmark recipes to try out later? In fact, make your weekends about eating in with your friends rather than wasting your precious dirhams outside! 

Pamper yourself at your homemade spa

Relaxing massages and spa treatments don’t come cheap in the UAE. So, instead of spending hundreds of your hard-earned money on spas, fix yourself some therapeutic ‘me-time’ right in your own home.

Stock up on some luxurious ingredients in your home (some fragrant lavender, cocoa butter, bath salts etc.) and prepare a spa that will leave you refreshed and a few hundred dirhams richer. Use natural ingredients and enjoy their heady aroma as you use your own healthy version of scrubs, face masks or hair masks.

Why drive when you can bike or skate?

Save money on gas, instead use the universal fuel – your own calories! Not only will you lose those pesky kilos, but think about all the money you’ll save by not driving to short distances. It’s a solid proposition that can help you save money and burn that extra slice of cake you indulged in! And with the weather getting better from here on, you have all the more reason to bike or skate whenever possible.

Brew your own coffee

Ditch that coffee shop round the corner for your morning cuppa Joe! Instead, learn to brew your own blend from the comforts of your home and relish the taste that is 100% personalized to your liking. 

While pretty basic, you’ll realize that when you implement these tips, you’ll end up saving a significant sum of money on your monthly expenses. Give them a try and let us know if they worked for you in the comments below.

[Related: DIY tips for renovating your home on a budget]