As a friend recently reminded me, this is the information age. There is no excuse for lack of knowledge. If you have any mechanical skills whatsoever, patience, and the will to learn, there is literally nothing we can not accomplish. What once may have required professional assistance (and a hefty bill!) you can now save money on with a few words and clicks of a mouse.
Of course I’m talking about the all mighty Google! Over the last decade, this search engine powerhouse has transformed our daily lives whether we choose to accept it or not. With this comes the opportunity to save money which I will share some personal examples of below.
I had a BMW until a few months ago. When I first got it, I noticed this awful grinding sound coming from the rear differential every time I made a sharp turn. Instead of heading directly to the dealership and paying the crazy shop rate, I decided to do a search on Google to see if I could diagnose the problem myself first. What I found was a couple of dedicated BMW forums where hundreds of people were having the same issue. It turned out that all that was required was to flush the fluid from the differential and use a better diff fluid. I had my friend who owns a local garage take care of this for me and grinding went away. I saved hundreds by going to my local shop as opposed to the expensive dealership shop, and potentially thousands depending on what BMW suggested to do.
I recently set up a home theatre in my living room. I have all my AV components connected with HDMI cables to my stereo receiver then a single HDMI out to my TV. Unfortunately, I had several instances where the TV picture would cut out but the sound kept playing. I tried every HDMI input on my TV, but got the same results. Sometimes I could go days without it happening, and sometimes it would happen every hour. Everything worked fine directly connected to the TV, so I was convinced the problem was my receiver. I was about to pull the trigger on a new receiver, but decided to Google my AV symptoms first. What I found was thousands of people having similar issues. My issue was called the HDMI Handshake. When connected through HDMI, each component talks to each other and passes a sort of digital copyright in order to send the signal through the HDMI cord. Depending on the age of components, the HDMI Handshake can cause problems. What seemed to work for a lot of people was to get a $50 HDMI Switch. You run all your HDMI lines to the switch, then one output HDMI cable to the TV. It also has an Optical Audio output that I connected to my receiver. It all works beautifully now and the solution cost a fraction of the cost of a new receiver……which probably wouldn’t have solved my problem!
Save Money Around the House
I consider myself a pretty handy person. My brother is a carpenter, so I’ve learned quite a bit from him. Enough to be dangerous anyway! With that in mind, the internet has a wide array of woodworking plans for just about anything you could think about building. I needed a sofa table to go behind my sectional, so instead of spending hundreds on one from a store, I saved money by simply searching on Google for sofa table plans and found a simple design that was easy to follow. I also scaled it down to make an entry table by my front door.
Another thing I always found difficult was doing crown molding. A simple Google search for crown molding tips and I found several references for making 4 different templates so you don’t forget the correct board orientation on your miter saw for inside and outside angles.
It Works for Business Too
When I ran my website marketing and design company, clients would email me if they were having problems with their website. Some of the problems I knew right away what the issue was and how to solve it. Sometimes I would have no clue why they were having the issues they were having. Did I panic and worry about coming off as unprofessional in the eyes of the client? No! I simply handled it like I knew what their problem was and headed over to Google to do some research. Every time I would find other people having similar problems and solutions on how to fix it. Not only did Google save me from having to hire an IT contractor to solve my client’s problem, it some situations it actually helped me make money by doing work for my clients
It All Boils Down To….
What I want you to take away from this is common sense. If you believe your problem is something that you are capable of taking on, then take the time to do some quick research on Google. You may be surprised at how easy it could be to remedy and save money in the process. Again, it’s all about common sense! I do not recommend Googling health issues for yourself, family or pets, or Googling legal advice. These professionals have spent a long time learning their skills and the internet is not (yet) able to give you their level of service. I will say it one more time….please use common sense!
Let Me Google That For You!
To end on a lighter note, you can help out your helpless friends and family by using Let Me Google That For You to show them how easy it is to search for things! It is pretty hilarious!