DIY or Hire Help? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

It’s good to be able to hire help when we need it. The alternative is to do things we may not be able to do – or that we simply would rather not do – on our own. Remember, however, even though it’s more convenient to hire someone to, say, mow the lawn or give you a manicure, there’s cost involved; cost that you wouldn’t incur if you did the task yourself.

While it’s convenient to hire work done, when you consider the expense of all those little delegated tasks, it can really add up. Could you cut down on your expenses by taking on some of the tasks you’re now paying someone else to perform? Consider these things we often pay others to do:

  • Car washing
  • Oil change
  • Lawn mowing / yard maintenance
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Housecleaning
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Manicure
  • Facial
  • Haircolor
  • Tax preparation
  • Dining out
  • Computer upgrades

Don’t take on any task that’s beyond your physical abilities or knowledge. To do so could cause injury and undue frustration. If there’s a practical reason you hire the work done, then doing it yourself isn’t an option and it’s not a place you can cut back on expenses.

But – if it’s simply for convenience sake that you pay for these services rather than do them yourself, you may have an opportunity to save. Assess how necessary it is for you to hire help rather than do these jobs yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is it something I’m capable of doing but choose not to? Perhaps you dislike yardwork but are perfectly capable of doing it. Consider cutting down on how often you hire out the job and do it yourself some of the time.
  2. Is there a reason I can’t do the task myself? If you live in an apartment, you probably don’t have the ability to wash your car because you don’t have a driveway or water connection. In that case, the car wash is your best option. If you’re a homeowner, however, washing your car once in awhile is a frugal idea.
  3. Does the job take a specialized skill or physical ability I do not possess? You probably could trim your tree branches, but do you know how to do so without damaging your trees? Are you strong enough to dispose of the branches yourself?
  4. Do they do a better job than I could? If your carpets are very dirty, it might be a good idea to have them cleaned professionally. Once they’re clean however, you may save by investing in a carpet cleaning machine and keeping up with spots and traffic patterns as they occur, rather than paying for the professionals to come back every few months.
  5. How do I spend the time instead of performing the work for which I’m paying? If it comes down strictly to time – and you just can’t spare any to do these chores, then spending the money is your only option. Free time is a good thing but if you can devote some of yours to these tasks, you’ll save.
  6. Could I trade services with someone? Maybe you don’t feel comfortable changing your oil but you have a buddy who is. Maybe that buddy isn’t adept with computers but you don’t mind handling his upgrades. Win – win with no cost to either of you.

There’s nothing wrong with paying others to perform tasks you don’t want to or can’t do. You can cut back on expenses, however, by cutting down on the number of times you hire work done for you.

What jobs could you do yourself that you pay others to do?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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