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Sometimes I tell people that Youtube is my best friend. I mean it as a joke, but there’s a lot of truth to it.
After I come back from work, I’ll be eating dinner and catching up with my favorite Youtubers.
After I’m done eating, cleaning up, and catching up with Mr. FAF, I’ll continue with the vlogs or find new content to follow.
I look things up on Google and check Facebook as well, but there’s something so updated, visual, eye-opening, yet personal that makes Youtube so unique. I wonder if they’ll ever have a competitor.
I feel like I have grown and learned so much just from Youtube: from makeup, real estate, retirement, to money saving tips.
Almost everything I want to know is presented on this platform in some shape or form.
Below are the four different ways YouTube has helped me save money over the years:
1. Free entertainment
While Netflix and Hulu are $7.99/month ($95.88/year), the standard YouTube version is free.
Youtube is currently experimenting with Youtube Red where you have access to certain videos for $10/month. However, I tried it for a month and didn’t think it was all worth it.
Some TV shows are not available on Youtube, but I can definitely go on the original websites such as Fox or NBC to watch the latest episodes for free.
When I know I have to pay for fun while there’s a free option, the fun is not there anymore.
— Arden Cho: A beautiful and talented Korean American singer, song-writer, model, and actress. She seems to have it all.
— Bart & Geo: They’re full-time Youtubers who have a different lifestyle from I do. It’s interesting to see that lifestyle for a change.
— MommyTang: A stay-at-home wife and mother of four living in Philadelphia who has become popular on Youtube with her mukbang show where she cooks and eats vegan food.
2. Free education
I’ve been watching so many videos about real estate to inform myself about our future real estate investment.
Of course, I can read online or sign up for some classes. But seeing someone talking about their personal experiences seems more real to me than just reading a thick book full of words or taking a formal course.
Some of the best real estate teachers out there may not even be professors or professional real estate investors at all.
— BiggerPockets: Your go-to channel for real estate investment.
3. Handyman 101
This is a great benefit mentioned by a lot of homeowners and landlords.
There have been instances where something at our house broke. Mr. FAF admits he’s not a handyman (to my dismay!).
Instead of calling a handyman for $100, I just looked it up on Youtube and fixed it myself. And it worked.
I can think of three instances where Youtube saved me both time and money.
— Our bathroom sink was clogged one day. I was about to make a 30-minute round trip to the grocery store to buy the de-clogging solution (~$2) when I found a free fix on Youtube.
— In another instance, the soap dish in the bathroom fell off the wall. Thanks to Youtube, I just learned how to use the construction glue we already had at home to fix it without calling up a handyman for $100.
— On one peaceful Sunday afternoon, the washer refused to start working. I freaked out. “What am I going to wear to work tomorrow? Now I have to pay $100 to get it fixed?” I was about to call an electrician and pay $100 when Youtube popped up in my head. It turned out that the plug was loose, so there was no electricity going to the washer. Easy fix. Thanks, Youtube!
My favorites: I don’t have any favorite channels for this. Usually, it’s videos from random people. I always look for the short videos (2-5 minutes) that offer quick solutions.
Youtube helps me save money in the bathroom (our bathroom doesn’t look like this).
4. Virtual traveling/exploring
Although Mr. FAF and I love eating out, we try to limit our restaurant budget. But I always wonder what it’s like to travel the world and try delicious authentic local food or to live in a van/tiny house/RV.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars or making a drastic life change (i.e. quitting my job and living in a van), I can see that first-hands experience through vloggers or world travelers.
— Simply Dumpling: Originally with Off the Great Wall, Mike Chen went on to start his own food channel where he travels around the US and the world to try different kinds of food (mainly Asian cuisine). He seems genuine and has a good sense of humor.
— Fung Bros: Two Chinese American brothers exploring cuisine from various countries with a touch of coolness and humor.
— Life Inside A Box: A couple living in a tiny house in Arizona. They’re open about their lives and finances.
— Exploring Alternatives: A couple from Canada giving up full-time jobs and the comfort of a house to move into a van and travel the world despite their tight budget.
— Kirsten Dirkin: She travels the world to document life in a tiny house. But I’m interested mainly in the houses in the US and Canada.
Sometimes I wonder what I’d be doing if Youtube didn’t exist. My list of favorite channels does change, depending on what I’m interested in at the moment or whether I can find more interesting channels.
Maybe someone will come up with something even better in the future. But for now, Youtube will suffice for me.
9/4/2017 Update: After Mr. FAF and Baby FAF came back to DC, I haven’t been able to watch Youtube as much. But it is and will always be the first resource I turn to when something breaks at our house. Technology truly has changed my life for the better.