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I don't understand how ppl my age or any other age get away without knowing basic skills like sewing, basic handyman stuff or simple automotive things. I don't have extra money to dish out by not knowing these things. For example just last week two of my pairs of work pants ripped at the seem, one day after the other. I know how to hand sew and machine sew, so I simply sewed the seem back together but if I hadn't known how to sew I'd have to buy two more pairs of work pants and be out $50-$80 that I wouldn't have been able to afford. I've learned how to change my oil in my car, change a tire, replace spark plugs and just recharged my air-conditioning in my car the other day. Those things would have cost me a lot of money over time. But others seem to think it's odd that I would rather pick up a skill then just pay to have it done. I don't tend to think of myself as an overly penny pinching kind of person. What do all of you think? Do it yourself or would you rather dish out the money?

Gypsy31771 6 June 29

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I miss basic skills like spelling out words. πŸ˜‰

Me, too. I speak English, not Acronym.

@LiterateHiker Ah, and it is much appreciated!

Lol. Oh wait. I just did it too. I don’t mind the shorthand but just obvious misspelled words bug me.


Every time I see the ad for the insurance company...where the stupid teenager can't change a tire....I'd like to slap the shit out of him.


In the winter, I get quite a number of people asking where I got my hat. They find it hard to believe that a guy can use yarn, and make something awesome.

I think I love you....

Be careful.... I might make a hat at you... 😐

@Holysocks I am an avid knitter who hot! ha ha

Hey, I needed a hat and wanted a warm one, if a bit ridiculous.


I'm great at sewing, she said modestly. Here are some clothes I made in the past year.

The summer before we went into seventh grade, my best friend Jami's mother taught us to sew, to keep us out of trouble. We loved it! Jami and I sewed all our clothes through high school, including prom dresses. Jami became a textile artist.

I had fun sewing my daughter's clothes. I didn't want Claire to look like a Disney advertisement, or a mini-prostitute. This was the 1990's when girl's clothing was modeled after the singer Madonna.

The last photo shows the Mother-of-Bride dress I made for my daughter's wedding on Sept. 15. Will wear it with pearls.

I admire anyone who can sew.

Thank you, dear.


I'm definitely a do-it-yourself-er to a fault. Not only do you have to shell out a lot of money to have things done, but I don't trust most contractors. They'll try to overcharge, get away with doing shoddy worksmanship, steal your money, or not show up for a long time.

It's just easier to paint or do the plumbing project myself. And yes, I do the simple auto maintenance, sew, simple electrical or plumbing.


For the things for which I have the skills, the time, and the tools. I agree with your assessments.

HOWEVER!!! Sometimes I have the skills and the tools, but my time is worth more spent doing something else. For that, I will hire someone to do the job (digging up and repairing a sewer line).

Sometimes I have the skills and the time, but not the tools. Then I have to consider whether it is worth buying a set of tools I will rarely use to do the job (dry wall repair, chimney sweeping).

Sometimes I have the time and the tools, but I have no idea what I am doing. Then I have to consider whether paying for it is worth the risk of having to do it over. (installing a heat pump).

AND THEN there are times the repair would cost more than replacement (resoling shoes, tv repair, refrigerator repair, etc).

Other than those circumstances, I agree people often hire help before they consider doing it themselves.


I have talked to several that are younger than me or just a tad older and have no clue about computers. I can rip a car to the engine block and rebuilt it hands-on experience only not my favorite thing. I disassembled my first IBM compatible computer rebuilt it with no computer repair skills have built 14 computers from the CPU on up since. I can fix the plumbing electric and carpenter what I need. Taught my self how to gourmet cook. Learned how to sew knit and craft at a very young age. I might be unusually inquisitive though. People without basic skills are always a mystery to me.

azzow2 Level 9 June 30, 2018

WOW! You sure impressed me!


The zipper broke on a dress I love, and it would cost at least $30 to fix. The dress wasn’t expensive so I considered tossing it. Then I remembered that when I was a teen, I sewed all the time β€” took classes, even! So I brought a zipper to fix it myself. It is a very handy skill. Now if only I could get a handle on installing molly bolts....

UUNJ Level 8 June 30, 2018

I always use long molly bolts and put a washer between the spring loaded flange and the head of the bolt. You push the flange through the predrilled hole in the wall until it expands in the wall. Then you can use two fingers under the washer to pull the flange up against the inside of the wall while you tighten the bolt with a screw driver or power driver. The washer allows the bolt to turn while you apply force

@Jagnostic Thank you!


I'm all for outsourcing anything that I'm likely to f*up...


I agree. It used to be that basic home ec and sewing skills were taught in some schools.

And my dad wouldn't let me drive till I learned car basics: oil change, fill up radiator and windshield reservoirs, adjust brakes, change a tire, check battery. I even learned to synch my 2, single SU carbs!

Granted, cars were much simpler back in the olden days. πŸ˜‰ but the basics should be mandatory. Too much is throwaway these days. And why wouldn't someone want to save money? I just don't get it sometimes.

I drove classic cars, and it helped me to not get ripped off by unscrupulous mechanics, as well as save a ton of money!


I was raised on a dairy farm in the '50's and '60's. In that life you learn to do EVERYTHING! Maintaining all sorts of equipment, plumbing, woodworking, masonry, animal care and handling. About the only experts we paid for was the doctor, veterinarian and tv repairman. They all made housecalls back then. For you younger people "housecall" means when you needed their specialty, you called and they would actually come to your home and do their thing. Lol.


I know how to do most of that stuff (I can change spark plugs, serpentine belts, tires, blower resistors, charge my ac, sew, etc) but I don't have working arms anymore so I pay others.

I also know how to hang sheet rock, build a chicken coop, and paint a house interior. I made my own dress, learned how to lay carpet, and how to set up a rocking sound system. Still, without my hands and arms, I can't physically do it anymore

@LadyAlyxandrea Nerve damage,Polio? How sad,to not be able to use arms or hands,a progressive disease? My sympathies....

@Louise1920 nerve damage from cervical spine deterioration. Progressive

@LadyAlyxandrea My deepest sympathies.If it was me ,I'd be wondering why,life is so cruel sometimes, I understand somewhat.

@Louise1920 if I focus on why it sucks eventually I'd be tired of life. Shit happens and good people suffer. I try not to dwell on what I've lost so far, but on keeping what I still have


I don't blame people.

Some people are less literate than others. I don't blame them either.


They used to teach a lot of that stuff in high school.

I wanted to take metal shop in 9th grade but girls weren’t allowed. I suffered thru home economics baking cookies. I had already learned to cook and bake at home. Turns out all the boys made were ninja stars and shitty plant holders, but still, the gender-based rule was asinine. My dad taught me woodworking instead.

@UUNJ We had chores when we were kids. By the time l got out of high school l could iron, sew on a button, do dishes, do laundry, change the oil in a car, basic stuff.

@Sticks48 good for your parents and you! Great life skills everyone should have.


I've been so broke for so long that I can fix loads of things. I can sew by hand and by machine, and do basic car and home maintenance. What I don't know ow how to do I look up. However, I'll admit there are things that are beyond my shitty eyesight and bad finger joints. I couldn't fix my sewing machine, so I had to scrape together the money for a new one. ?

I learned how to fix my vacuum and clear my dishwasher drain by watching YouTube videos. Saved lots of $$


You are amazing. I am 45 and can't find the buckle on fan belt.

Mokvon Level 8 June 30, 2018

While I know how to sew, I suck at it and it takes me a long time to accomplish anything and it looks awful.
I live in an apartment where I am not allowed to perform basic handyman, or simple automotive tasks.

I know how to do all three of the tasks you have described, but at this point in my life I am better off paying someone with the proper tools, space and advanced knowledge to perform tasks like this than I am attempting to do them myself. I can also use the time saved to advance the skills I use to get paid.

I see no value in me wasting my time attempting to do something I have minimal skill in when I can just pay others that are more qualified.

icolan Level 7 June 30, 2018

My sister (who is 60) has no idea how to thread a needle much less sew. Any time she needs something mended she either buys new or has me do it. I have offered to teach her, however she claims she is unable to see the hole in the needle to thread it. When I told her that they make self threading needles she blew me off.

Flash back to the early 70's....... Before I was even allowed to drive a car my father made sure I could change a tire, check the oil and transmission fluid and fill the radiator. I tried to change the oil, but I'm claustrophobic and could not stay under the car long enough to do it.

All of my children know how to take care of a car, sew, cook, and do basic maintenance around the house. Personally, I feel that's just proper parenting.

You’ve got the right idea. Later on, your kids will love you even more for teaching them the basic skills, and instilling in them a wonderful basic attitude.


I can do a lot of things that I choose to pay for. An oil change, for example, is cheap enough that I cannot justify buying oil and a filter, spending my time, and then disposing of the waste oil. I will sew buttons back on, but most mending beyond that looks unprofessional (my sewing is functional, not pretty). I can change a tire, but I pay somewhere around $4 extra per year to have roadside assistance on my insurance.
It's a matter of whether convenience is worth something, your time is worth something, and whether you enjoy doing the thing.


I think it's insane not to know how to perform simple repairs and general maintenance.
I also think it just damned lazy to refuse to learn to do those things when given
the opportunity.

I also think that no one should ever be issued a driver's license without knowing how to check all the fluid levels, change a tire, pump your own gas, and understand HOW a motor vehicle operates.

It doesn't matter how much money someone makes. It's about basic knowledge.

Although, those lacking the basic knowledge required to survive, would not survive anything catastrophic. I guess it just amounts to another way to thin the


I've been able to do some things for myself in the past but no longer. I just don't have the strength needed in most cases and don't feel steady on a ladder. So it either doesn't get done or I call the landlord.


its parents that don't teach them i tried to teach mine the youngest never would learn she said her husband would provide lol and she makes him


At 67, I've spent much of my life learning as many skills as possible. Sewing, cooking, canning, baking of course are just regular skills, IMO. I also do plumbing, as needed, electrical work, carpentry work, appliance repair. Not long ago, I replaced the idler pulley and serpentine belt on the truck (while standing on a snow drift in hard winds, on a roadside) Not my first choice of things to do but the alternative was have it towed from 70 miles away, then repaired. A friend offered to instruct me as I worked and I drove the truck home. Generally, I'm willing to try anything but with age there are things I choose not to do any longer, like change oil in the truck.

There was a time when money was a significant factor in doing it myself but not so much these days. On the other hand, because I can do so many things myself, I tend to be a rather demanding customer. I feel that if I pay someone to do a job, I expect it to be done at least as well as I would do it. This is not always the case.

I do take pride in being able/willing to do a large number of things. I find "helplessness" offensive and refuse to be willfully helpless, especially as a woman. I have seen women use the "helpless" ploy, clearly considering it cute in some way to present themselves "poor little me, I just don't know anything about that". Does every woman need to change their own oil? No, but when they stand in front of the car, looking confused when a man comes by and announce, "I'm supposed to check the oil but I don't know what to do" it is embarrassing to me as a female. There is no reason for this in an age where you can learn pretty much anything just by going to the computer.

So, my answer is yes, learn as much as you can about as many things as you can. You can always choose what knowledge/skills you want to use but don’t give away your power by not educating yourself at every opportunity. This pertains to all aspects of life, not just DIY skills. Always seek to expand your knowledge. NEVER accept willful ignorance!
Rant over!
Pictures of a few projects I've done.


I think people are born and raised into different circumstances. Some may have a lot of money or assets at your age and so they never needed to learn those skills. They also may never need them. I would just be greatful you have those skills incase you end up in a bad situation you will know how to stretch your money further.

it's not just about the money. There is enormous amount of self-satisfaction or pride in being able to fix things yourself. I can't think being rich and having everyone pander to your every desire can be good for your mental health.

And don't forget, paying others to do the work helps the economy !

@MsDemeanour. Well chances are that you pay people to do things for you all the time that you just don't think about. I mean you could fix every pothole you see driving down the road, but chances are you are not going to do that. You will pay taxes which in turn pays the DOT workers who enjoy the work they do. Yes, you definitely can do many things yourself and being handy is very useful but then again so is paying an electrician to wire your house or a dentist to fix your teeth.

@VAL3941 This is true Val. And I pay in cash!

@McWalsoft Well I might be persuaded to use a dentist. But we live in such a throw away society, that we often don't bother with repairs. So many clothes and appliances going to landfill. I'm not going to employ an electrician to fix my toaster, because a new one is cheaper than the cost of hiring. HOwever I may take a look at it myself and see if it is repairable instead of it contributing to pollution to our planet.

Goodness gracious me ! You have cash ? Can I marry you ? LOL


It was the late 60s when i started making clothes for me and my friends. And shortly after stopped chewing animals and learned to cook lots of good stuff.

I stopped fixing cars after rebuilding a carburetor was a waste of time.

I am preparing to install all new plumbing in this nearly 100 yr old house.

Jacar Level 8 July 3, 2018
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