Sometimes it pays to have someone else provide a service for you. Some services you might consider outsourcing are haircuts, landscaping, basic car maintenance, house cleaning, and babysitting.
One service I absolutely can not provide for the family is haircuts. In the pictures is an example of why. I completely butchered the little guy’s hair a few months ago. He would not sit at all despite bribery and the TV being on. So I packed the kids up and headed to the cheap haircut place down the street. He was SO excited to get his first real haircut (up until that point the hubby or I did a not so good job, just enough to keep it out of his eyes/ears). He sat perfectly still and when the hairdresser cut the front he scrunched up his eyes and closed them tight. The reward was a lollipop.
Most other services I do myself. Some the hubby does. Things we do are landscaping, cleaning, organizing, painting, household repair, and some remodeling projects.
The main things we outsource are haircuts, electrical work, and car repair.
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The trick is to know what you can do, and what you can’t. I’m definitely an advocate of trying new things. I figure the worst screw-ups usually aren’t costly and I may actually learn something new!
This afternoon I fixed the garbage disposal with a child sized broom and my hands. I really, really wanted to outsource that one to the hubby, but apparently he and I both have the same odd fear of getting our hand caught in the disposal. (I think it comes from watching the “Incredible Shrinking Woman” where a tiny Lily Tomlin almost gets shredded in the disposal.)
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Another factor to consider is what your time is worth. The book, Your Money or Your Life offers a comprehensive way to calculate your actual hourly wage. You can use it to figure out how many hours you have to work to make up for your house cleaner, gardener, or the painter.
What services do you pay for? What makes it worth it to you?