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.
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.
Posted by: Chip | Jul 1, 2021 4:24:20 PM
Some of these chores are a source of fresh air and exercise... even an opportunity to chat and mingle with neighbours. You can't do that sitting on your duff watching TV or peeking out the window with a beer in hand, "supervising" the hired help. Even better... assuming they're old enough to tackle the responsibility... tear your kids away from their twittering, texting and facebooking and get them to do these household chores as compensation for their allowance or for the same price you'd pay a stranger. It may show the kids the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. Maybe your kids would also appreciate receiving the $1,000., unless they're already silver spoon fed.
Posted by: RalphsWife | Jul 2, 2021 5:16:56 PM
Our lawn is a full acre's worth of grass, which takes 2 1/2 - 3 hours on a lawn tractor. That's just the mowing part! The edging is another 2 hours, plus at least an hour of working with a push mower to get under the trees where the ride-on won't go. So yes.... we pay a yard maintenance service $15 / hour to do what we don't have the time to do! We're self-employed, and I have MS on top of that. Our free time, when we have any, is spent doing other household chores, such as housecleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.
The one thing I really like about knowing our yard always looks well-maintained is the security that goes with that. A yard that looks untended also looks deserted! Even if we're away for an extended time on business (or even for a holiday - we do take those every now & again!), our home looks lived in. The lawn is always perfect!
And Chip? While I agree with some of your points about yardwork, not all kids spend their time texting & facebooking in their free time! Nor does it make a child "silver spoon fed" if they don't do yard work! While I'm sure you didn't mean it, it almost sounds as though you feel children are simply on this planet to take on the responsibilities of a homeowner! ;-)
Posted by: John's wife | Jul 4, 2021 11:00:44 PM
Oh, please Ralph's wife, children now days get plenty of time texting, watching movies etc. a little responsiblity around the house will not do them a bit of harm and will show them that their parents are not their slaves put on gods green earth to serve them. Alot of parents now are too afraid to teach their children responsiblity for themselves, I have neighbours with 35 year old sons still in their homes that never graduated highschool and daughters with children still living in their basement because they ended up pregnant and unweb, I guess lifes not one big party after all. Maybe a little yard work and a part-time job and some parent standing over them ensuring that they were doing their homework and having some expectation of success in school and these kids might have made a life for themselves one they are responsible for paying for. We are not here to be our childs best friend we are here to mentor and guide them and ensure that they are a success. but as I say not everyone deserves to have children they are a gift not a right.
Posted by: RalphsWife | Jul 5, 2021 3:12:14 PM
Thanks, John's wife! Perhaps you should actually READ what I said! I agree with you, and if you didn't have difficulty grasping the concept of what I SAID, you'd have saved yourself some typing. ;-)