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.