Aug 14 2008

Things we don’t do ourselves

Yesterday, I talked about how you shouldn’t feel bad if you outsource your tasks to someone else. I didn’t tell you what we do, so I thought I’d take that opportunity now.

– Change motor oil

We don’t have the equipment or desire to change the oil in our car. Plus, we’re not supposed to do auto maintenance in our apartment’s parking lot. Don’t have to tell me twice! We think the savings of doing it ourselves would be minimal.

– Wash and wax the car

I take the car to the automatic wash (especially in winters…you think I’m going to do it myself when it’s freezing out? No way!). Gotta remove the road salt and dirt that can chip away at paint and reduce your gas mileage, of course. I don’t mind do-it-yourself car washes that have the hose and soap ready for you to use, but I can’t take a bucket and soap and do it myself at home. No place to get water, and I’m not lugging buckets up and down three flights of stairs. No ma’am.

– Maintain your lawn (mowing, weed wacking, raking leaves, etc.)

We don’t have a yard, but when we do, I think I’ll really dread yard work. Shane doesn’t seem too excited about it, either. Some people don’t mind it, some people love it–but I’d probably be grumbling with every step over every square foot of my yard. Maybe we can hire a neighbor teen to do it, or if we’re living in an area where condos are common, maybe we’d go that route.

– Pest extermination

When three wasp nests built their home in our parked wrecked car, I decided getting a few cans of Raid and hoping for the best would be a really bad idea. We called an exterminator and let him deal with it.

– House cleaning

At this point, I’ve never had anyone else clean my apartment. But ya know what? After we have our baby this winter and after the grandmas head back to Indiana, I just might be open to the idea for a little while. Shane and I might be up to scrubbing the bathroom, but in case we’re not, we’ll call in some professional help and not think twice about it.

– Ordering take-out instead of making a meal at home

Yah, I do this more than I would like. I’m trying to combat it by having some meals in the freezer ready to go. Tomorrow will be the second time I’ve cooked a large batch of meals at once, and I’m excited! This week went well.

– Salon tasks (manicures, pedicures, haircuts, eyebrow maintenance, etc.)

I’ve been cutting Shane’s hair at home since January. Most of the time, it’s gone really well, but for his next haircut, he might go to a salon to get it shaped up nicely.

I get my hair cut maybe once or twice a year (what can I say…I wear it up most of the time and I just don’t care about it). Last time, I went to a beauty school and they did a good job for $10.

I also like to get my eyebrows threaded once or twice per year, and then I try to maintain it with tweezers at home for as long as I can.

– Hiring a tax professional to file your taxes

Our taxes are still relatively simple, and we file our taxes with Turbo Tax.

– General household repairs

If it’s a tiny little nothing thing, Shane or myself will fix it. If it’s something like the air conditioner not working, dishwasher falling apart, or hot water tank exploding–we call our apartment maintenence people. One of the perks of apartment living, I suppose.

11 Responses to “Things we don’t do ourselves”

  1. I feel the same with housecleaning help after the baby gets here. I hope I won’t need it and I’ll be up to the task but when the house chores gets overwhelming, I’m open to paying someone else do it for me.

  2. Like you mentioned in your previous post, it’s really a matter of our time vs. income. On my college student income, it’s pretty much a necessity for me to handle almost all things like this myself!

  3. I have been telling my friend for years to get a house cleaner come in for a few hours a week. She makes a good amount of money and work long hours, but she feels like she should spend every weekend cleaning up after her house and two boys. So why her husband is out taking the kids to the zoo or watching their games, she is home cleaning. That does not make any sense to me.

    asithi’s last blog post..Display problem. Visit Small Steps to Health

  4. I am lucky my husband is handy. He changes the oil in my truck, lawn mower, tractors, and even his semi. It does save us a ton of money. The semi alone is approx $200 at a time and he changes it every three weeks(yes, he drives a lot of miles). I even bought him a pressure washer because he washes his semi every weekend even in the winter. It would cost approx $60 a time for this. Even though this is all tax deductible for us it is more cost effective to have him do it all. We have a small farm and that is usually our tax deduct for the year.
    I am also lucky that his G parents are handy, they just tore out a wall in my kitchen and put in new cupboards. Can you say kitchen remodel for $1500!!! They really saved us big time.

  5. People often forget that time is also money. I am totally with you on the car maintenance. If you don’t know how and don’t have a knack, it costs far more money to have someone correct your mistakes or to ruin your car and have to get a new one than the money you save by changing your own oil.

    TheSnackHound’s last blog post..Hospital Food: All in the Delivery

  6. Yes, I’m seriously looking at getting someone to clean the windows of our 5br double storey home.
    Just cannot seem to get around to this job. However, I’d rather cook than eat out & do not want to pay someone to do our yardwork – I will eventually get to that!

  7. Wow, actually that hit several of the points for me that the wife and I have discussed as well.
    1. Motor oil – I can barely open the hood on my car, I HAVE to pay for that one.
    2. Wash and wax the car – free car wash with 8 gallon purchase of gas near my house.
    3. Lawncare guy is actually coming out today.
    4. Haven’t had pests before in the house (knock on wood).
    5. House cleaning has been a tough one. We have 2 young daughters also and it’s tough to get around to it, but we had someone coming out for about 2 months and they were good at the start, but slacked off on the following times, and at the amount we were paying them, it wasn’t worth the hassle. May fire it up again in the future, but yea, it WAS nice for the first time or 2.
    6. Order out – only about 4 or 5 times a week. :)
    7. Salon – I REALLY save here. I’ve never paid for a haircut in my life. When it gets long enough, it gets the buzzing. (also haven’t had a pedicure or manicure before, but if I did, I suppose I’d have to have someone else do it. ;) )
    8. Have had a reliable accountant for 3 years now, very happy for the 150$ it costs. Very worth my time.
    9. Household repairs. My wife’s saying is “if it IS broke, don’t (you dare) fix it.” I’m not that handy, but I always want to try, and that seems to be a pretty bad idea. :)

    Good post!

    hank’s last blog post..Some Rights Reserved

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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