I’ve recently started applying the economic principle of “Opportunity Cost” to my life. I used to try and do everything on my own, but as I’ve gotten older (and hopefully a little wiser), I’ve started to realize that there are things it just makes sense to pay someone else to do. This has also come with the realization that I have no talents or abilities or truthfully, any interest in DIY projects, landscaping and cleaning.
Although I’ve fully accepted that I have no time or talent, sometimes that conversation with a spouse or partner can be a little more difficult to navigate. I like to start with “Honey, you are so busy lately and you’re working so hard, I know the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is (fill in the blank.)” We then get to have a nice conversation where we both tell each other how hard working we are (this conversation can honestly be good for a relationship, I promise!) I like to transition into “l’ll just call and get an estimate to see how much it would cost to have someone else deal with this.”
What have I discovered? Your time and your sanity do have a price, and often it’s a lot less than you might think.
Contractors can often get such a good price on materials that the cost of their labor plus materials can sometimes be almost the same as you would pay for materials alone.
I found that paying a lawn service to do mulch only costs $30 more than it was costing us to spend all day getting and spreading three truck loads of mulch.
Paying someone else to power wash is literally the best money you can spend. Don’t believe me? Get an estimate as you watch your neighbor struggle with their power washer that breaks down all the time.
If you are not happy with the paint job, flooring, wiring etc… you can take out your frustrations on the contractor, not your beloved, hardworking partner.
What are the next few things on my list to “contract out” to someone else?
Housecleaning. I admit, I feel guilty, but I hate cleaning – I’m thinking someone to come in and just do the bathrooms, kitchen and basics would make my life so much easier. I know it’s not cheap, but neither is my mental health!
Tutoring. My oldest daughter is in 9th grade and I’m embarrassed to admit, I just can’t help her with Algebra 2! I’m lucky to still be able to help my 10 year old with her math. There are definitely limits to my abilities.
Anyone else discovered things that are just better for your sanity, your back and the happiness of those you love, if you pay someone else to do?