When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro

Tips from personal finance bloggers on whether you should try to save money by tackling projects on your own.

My husband recently decided to fix a leak in our daughters' bathroom on his own to save us money. He is not a plumber, a contractor or even a handyman by profession -- he is an economist. To his credit, though, he grew up in one of the former Soviet republics where everything was in short supply and learned from his dad had to fix almost anything with almost anything. He's tackled many projects around our home, but I wasn't sure his MacGyver-like skills (remember that '80s TV character?) would help him solve this problem or turn it into a major disaster.

I shouldn't have doubted him. Within a couple of hours, he replaced the leaking pipe and saved us -- by his estimate -- at least $200.

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Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.