There are several reasons why many people set out to build their own home.   Some folks desire complete control over home building the  process.   For others it is purely motivated by finances.   For most owner builders it is a mixture of the two. 
Would we still have acted as the contractor if we had  not  saved a dime?  Probably not.   It is a nice feeling to finish your home and know that you have saved thousands of dollars.  If we had not acted as owner builders we would of probably been upside down on our home or we would had to forget about many upgrades.  I came across article, that I found interesting.  MIT architecture students set out to see if they could build a quality shelter for $1000.   This is a great challenge to push students to rethink conventional house designs and material.   When building your own home, you have the option to explore different building methods such as using straw, building with steel or concrete (all uncommon methods in our area). You might also consider purchasing a house package.  In our area, there is a lumber yard that you can submit your blue prints  to and they will build the walls in a controlled environment and put them together on your property.  

I’m not to sure that it’s possible to build a shelter for a $1000 but I do know that if you choose to be a owner builder that you can save thousands of dollars.  The key is do your homework and surround yourself with people who are familiar with the process.