Do You Pay People For Things You Could Do Yourself?

As I was painting the kitchen walls a few weekends ago I realized that my husband and I rarely pay people for jobs that we can otherwise do ourselves. I will admit, particularly since my medical problems occurred, that my husband tends to do the majority of the physical labor around our house. He mows the lawn, trims the hedges, rakes the leaves, chops wood for winter fires, changes the oil in our cars, and fixes most minor electrical problems. He even makes minor home repairs like installing recessed lighting under the cabinets in our kitchen.

Thankfully my husband is quite handy but he’s also interested in learning how all of the components of our house fit together. Whenever we have a problem with the house he investigates the issue. Now I know that some people aren’t handy and others would rather spend time doing other things, but I have to say that my husband’s tinkerings have saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars on home and car repairs over the years. We call plumbers and electricians to the house for big jobs, and of course from time to time you have to hire specialists, but otherwise my husband has convinced me it’s usually not too bad to try to do it yourself.

There are so many jobs you can pay other people to do, clean your house (maid), walk your dog (dog walker), force you to exercise (personal trainer), paint your walls (house painter), not to mention actually repair your house (plumbers, electricians, general contractors). Honestly, if my husband weren’t around I would certainly be more apt to hire plumbers, electricians, and landscapers, but I’d still clean my own house and paint my own walls. I’ve never tried to estimate how much money we save by doing things ourselves, but I bet in the five years since we’ve owned our own home, it’s easily been thousands of dollars.

5 thoughts on “Do You Pay People For Things You Could Do Yourself?”

  1. Your husband is very fortunate to be married to someone who recognizes the time and effort it takes to do such things, and how it saves so much money over the long run. For example, I do the same for our household, but it is not acknowledged nor understood. Many people are simply not aware of the opportunity costs involved… and if they are not aware of financial choices (like you are) then they may not understand or appreciate the value in what someone else may achieve in that regard. Sometimes it’s kind of disheartening to work very hard over the long-term to save, invest and be efficient without participation by one’s spouse. But then, that’s life.

  2. Your comment made me very sad. You definitely need to get on the same financial page as your spouse. If you haven’t already done so read The Family CFO. It’s a great book for getting spouses talking about money.

  3. Unfortunately my hubby is not as handy as I would like him to be and we have discovered over the years that we CANNOT work together. I have since become more handy myself, I have even had the nerve to rip out a ceramic tile floor and install wood laminate flooring, which I am sure saved us hundreds of dollars just on the install. I decided years ago to try it myself first then if I cannot do it I will hire it out. I have fixed toilets, installed electrical outlets and even added a wall to my bedroom to get my own closet! Sometimes it takes me a lot longer than it would if I called in a professional but there is something to be said for doing it yourself.

  4. That’s funny. Although my husband and I have gotten better at working together, it’s still not all roses and honey, like I’d like it to be.

    But we’ve tried to work around those issues. Like when we’re painting he paints one wall and I paint the other.

    Kudos for learning to do the work yourself. Adding a wall is no small matter.


Leave a Comment