6 services I’d rather pay for than do myself

6 services I'd rather pay for than do myself

The idea of doing things ourselves is appealing, especially when we’re trying to save money. Paying someone to do something I could do feels like a luxury, and it is, but there is a cost to doing things myself.

I may have to teach myself a new skill even if I have no interest in it other than getting the job done. I use time that I could otherwise spend earning money or enjoying my life. The job will take me much longer than it would a professional, and I sacrifice quality by doing it myself.

Here are a few jobs I’d rather pay for because the cost of doing them myself isn’t worth it:

Oil changes: They aren’t that expensive, and I don’t want to learn. Mike knows how, but the money saved isn’t significant enough for it to be worthwhile.

Hemming my pants: I know, I know. My mom will be ashamed. I don’t have a sewing machine, and buying one for utility alone doesn’t seem like a good investment. I only buy pants too long if I’m getting a great deal. In that case, I add the cost of hemming to the price of the pants when I’m deciding to buy them. If they are still a good value, I buy them and don’t feel guilty getting them professionally hemmed.

Tax preparation: We’ve been able to pay the CPA’s fee out of the money they’ve saved us every year. Taxes are definitely a case where I couldn’t do the job as well myself, and it would be a long, frustrating process.

Pedicures: I don’t get frequent pedicures, but it always feels worth it when I do. The quality is better, and it’s an enjoyable experience. I still often paint my own, because I can’t justify it as a regular expense in our current budget, but I hope it becomes regular later in life.

Hair removal of any kind: Nair horror stories, anyone?

Haircuts (especially bangs!): I’m sure there are tutorials on YouTube, but I’ve messed up my own bangs more than once.

Investing: I have a basic understanding of how investing works, but the market changes daily. I’m not that interested in it, and my amateur attempts certainly won’t compare to a professional who keeps up with this stuff full time.

Which services do you pay for? Which ones do you do yourself?

This post is part of a 31 days series on doing less to build more. To read the other posts in this series, click here.

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3 thoughts on “6 services I’d rather pay for than do myself

    1. YES. This is for sure in my future plans. While we’re getting out of debt and live in a pretty small space with only two people, I can’t justify it. But someday! I can totally see how it’s worth it. Thanks for sharing, too. I know it can be weirdly uncomfortable for women to admit they get cleaning help sometimes, but I am all for it!!

  1. I like paying for services, too. Especially ones that create jobs for your average joe smoe instead of fat cats on wall street. You mention a bunch, including the guy/gal who hems the pants, cuts your hair, changes your oil, prepares your taxes, I agree with house cleaner too, thats another good one. For those of us who don’t have laundry machines in our apartment, having someone do your laundry for you is another good one.

    I’ve made a vow that if I ever get more income I am not going to spend it on things but rather services. I believe services improve the economy, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. More free time to spend with family and friends is so much nicer than “nice things”.

    Honestly though, I prefer not to pay for financial advice. Ask the investment professionals what they do with their own hard earned money, and most of them say they just put their money in a low fee mutual fund that tries to exactly track the Dow Jones or the S&P 500 (called index funds). These funds outperform the average professional investor (even before you subtract fees!). You are right to be afraid to get into and try and predict the market. It’s just scary, but what most professional investors don’t tell you is that it is scary to them too. Thats why they don’t try to predict the market with their own money. It’s probably a good idea to mix in an international index fund and some CDs/bonds to diversify your portfolio. I don’t trust financial advisors, there are just too many incentives for them to put you in bad stocks and funds (they get bigger commissions for putting you in particular funds that aren’t good for you). This is just my opinion though. I agree finance feels very complicated. If you do pay someone to do your investment for you, make sure to ask them if they are a “fiduciary”. Fiduciaries are obligated by their license to do what they think is in your best interest. If they aren’t a fiduciary they can do a whole bunch of really unethical things (that aren’t illegal) that hurt you, and help them, with no consequences.

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