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IT is that time of year when malls are full of people doing their Hari Raya shopping. From clothing to furniture, many families spend a lot of money buying new items in their quest to make the festivities memorable.

But is it necessary? Do we really need new things just for Hari Raya? Is there a better, more economical way of celebrating this joyous occasion?

This is when do-it-yourself (DIY) projects come in handy. There are plenty of opportunities for a family to do DIY projects together. Besides saving money, it also brings families closer together.

DIY SPRING CLEANING

As Aidilfitri approaches, most families usually give their attention to sprucing up their homes. This is another opportunity to get the kids involved — assign them tasks around the house which may include cleaning the interior, rearranging furniture or fixing broken items.

Ensure that the tasks are distributed fairly and allow them to do it their way. This freedom to choose how they want to do their task teaches them to become more responsible.

Fair distribution of work among family members also creates a sense of unity and teamwork. Boring household tasks will be less taxing if everyone played his or her part. More importantly, the practice can be reapplied in other aspects of family life, such as planning an event or preparing a meal together.

DIY ARTS AND CRAFTS

In our house, there are three very good artists (I am not one of them). My wife and daughters are very talented when it comes to art and craft. We have saved a lot of money through these DIY projects to decorate our house during the festive season. We frame the work and place these around the house.

Aidilfitri is the perfect time to further showcase family talents.

Get them to unleash their creativity through crafts. You don’t need to be Da Vinci or Van Gogh to create artistic stuff; all it takes is a bit of creativity and determination. Find inspiration in household items or the landscape outside your house. The results are highly satisfying not only because it saves money, but it will definitely boost your child’s confidence when they realise their work may be admired by others.

MUM’S DIY PROJECTS

There are many impactful projects mothers can take on to help curb expenses during the festive season. For example, you can start by sewing simple children’s clothing or pillow cases. If you’re feeling more confident, you can also try to sew a new curtain. You can also bake your own cookies instead of buying them.

DAD’S DIY PROJECTS

Fathers also have plenty of DIY activities around the house during the festive season. Need a new coat of paint for the living room? Just DIY it — it’s not as difficult as it may seem at first. I have done it before and saved a couple of thousand ringgit. I spoke to the paint retailers and asked for their advice on the right tools and types of paint. The results were wonderful!

These are just some DIY projects my family and I have done. Not only did we save money, we also experienced deep satisfaction knowing that many items around the house were crafted by us. They may not be masterpieces but to us, they are perfect, as we made them together as a family.

**The article above was brought to you by AmMetLife Insurance Bhd

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