A COUPLE of weeks ago my friends and I were chatting about how we could cut back on things we don’t really need, and things we could do ourselves to save money rather than pay someone else to do for us.

Although, apparently, for some people, this isn’t always a good idea!

“Easy peasy,” Tony said to my daughter Jenna when he returned from the local DIY store.

According to Jenna, Tony decided that rather than pay a handyman £80 for a shift at their house to catch up on the overdue DIY, he would do the much-needed tasks himself.

After all, how difficult could it be!

The first job was to silicone around the bath, and Tony reckoned that at £3.49 for a tube of silicone, he was saving a small fortune. Not so.

“He did a reasonable job mum,” she explained.

“But, as always, he didn’t bother changing into overalls and gloves and ended up with lumps of silicone stuck to his £90 Armani jeans and top.”

“Oh well,” I thought to myself. “That was an expensive job.”

Apparently, Tony moved on to filling in gaps around a couple of windows with No-Nonsense Expanding Foam, which was in a tube with a long nozzle.

Seemingly he got carried away with the stuff and didn’t give the foam time to expand.

“He kept squirting more and more into the gaps as quickly as he could,” Jenna said, spilling the beans on his DIY efforts.

“But the foam kept expanding, and expanding, and expanding.” She sounded exasperated.

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It turned out that there was so much expanding foam that the excess spilled on to their dining room carpet and stuck to it like glue.

“More money,” Jenna sighed.

But, still in DIY mode despite his previous misfortunes, Tony then decided to hang a mirror.

“Simple enough,” he stated.

“The second he hammered into the plastered wall ... it cracked.

“Which meant we had to buy an even bigger mirror to cover the huge cracks!”

Jenna seemed scunnered.

“All-in-all mum, it cost us a heck of a lot more than £80!”

However, it was then my turn to “save money”.

You see, the girls were chatting about a forthcoming night out and most of them had booked in for a spray tan.

“How does that work then?” Mae had never had a spray tan.

“Well,” explained Amanda, who had had many spray tans and knew the set up.

“Tracy, the beautician, has a tent in her spare room.”

Mae was listening intently.

“You strip, stand inside the tent and she has a spray gun which she uses to spray you with tanning lotion.”

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Mae was all ears. As Amanda added: “You wait till it dries and... you’ll have a gorgeous golden tan.”

I could see Mae was struggling to visualise this.

“A tent?” she queried.

“Yep, a tent.”

“Well, I’m just over 5ft. And even I would struggle to stand upright in a tent.”

I could see where this was going as my pal continued.

“And how on earth does she fit a tent into her spare room?”

Time for me to interject.

“No Mae, it’s not a camping tent from Go Outdoors.”

The rest of the girls were in fits.

“It’s an upright tent,” I added. “Shaped like a phone box.”

The tanning tent finally made sense to my pal, at which point I smugly added: “Count me out girls. I’m going to do my own tan and save myself a few quid.”

So, I bought the £4.99 tanning mousse, and having watched tanning tips on my mobile, I found a four-inch paint roller at the back of my cupboard, which I was assured would give an all-over even result.

Music blaring, I stood in my bedroom on top of an old towel and started the procedure.

Soon I was struggling to roller my back.

“Jeezo, this is not easy.”

Huffing and puffing I swapped the roller from hand to hand and bent forward and backwards in an attempt to reach all areas, but the flexibility required was just not possible.

”I’d need to be a bloody contortionist,” I mumbled to myself.

“Ohh... aghhh...” A sweat was building up quicker than my tanning lotion could dry, and after 10 minutes of rolling the four-inch sponge over my body, I gave up.

However, when I looked in the mirror, I was horrified at my patchy body. Like a striped skunk, I had white streaks down the backs of my arms and legs. My back was like an abstract painting, and my face was speckled beyond belief!

But, worse than that... my white cotton duvet cover (which matched my curtains) was covered in tan speckles, as was my cream sheepskin rug and my white dressing gown which was hanging nearby.

So, if you’re thinking of saving a bob or two, think again – because as often as not, there are very good reasons why we pay people to do what they do!