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June 30, 2021

Are there chores that you gladly outsource, whatever the cost?

If you run a business or have any serious money to work with, it clearly makes perfect sense to have an accountant, lawyer, and tax pro on your side rather than trying to master complex issues that can really cost you if things go wrong.

Lawn But what about all those tasks – cleaning, mowing, shovelling, painting etc. – that, while important, don’t take necessarily take a lot of skill or a decade in university?

At some point you have to recognize that your time is valuable, too, maintains the Frugal Dad.

Would you rather be enjoying more time with your kids, pursuing more entrepreneurial endeavours, or working in the yard in 30-plus heat on a Saturday?

Well, when you put it that way, it seems like a pretty easy decision. But it really isn’t – which is why so many people struggle with trading the chore that they hate for the work that they love, or simply a few minutes to themselves.  

Where I live, you can count on having to cut the lawn an average of 32 weeks per year. Most basic services include mowing, trimming, edging, providing equipment, as well as fuel, for about $35 each time.

$35 per week times 32 weeks equals $1,020. You figure out how long it takes to make that kind of money, after tax.

Hiring a lawn service seems like a luxury to some people, particularly if you cut, trim, and clean your lawn in 30 minutes or so (that would be like making $60-70 per hour, depending on your tax rate) but I’d say every third house around here has a truck outside each week – that many more if you include those who get someone to move the snow in the winter. 

Worth it? Absolutely, to some people. But not to others.

Just because you’re frugal, it still makes sense choose the more expensive, higher-quality option, or in this case, trade some amount of money for your time, which should also treated with value, suggests our frugal guide.  

After all, time is the most important non-renewable commodity we have.

Where do you stand? Are there chores that you gladly outsource? What's your criteria? Have you done the math or is the break provided priceless?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...