There are thousands of ways to save money with do-it-yourself tips and recipes. Making your own laundry for pennies a load? Using reclaimed barn wood to build the deck of your dreams? Assembling your own instant oatmeal packets for a fraction of the cost of pre-made? It all sounds amazing!

While it’s true that many do-it-yourself ideas can save you a lot of money, they can be much more time-costly. When you invest time in a do-it-yourself project, you are paying a different currency for the same product. It’s important to “convert” that cost so you understand exactly what you are saving.

For me, I can make a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap in about an hour and save around $40 by not having to buy laundry soap. Saving $40 with an hour of work is a great tradeoff for me. However, my skill set doesn’t lend itself to building a deck, and the many hours I would need to research how to do it, assemble the tools and supplies that I don’t have, and the time it takes to complete the project. Those steps would add up to a significant amount more than if I just paid someone to do it.

Think about how valuable your time is the next time you consider a do-it-yourself project.