Mow Your Own Lawn

Mow Your Own Lawn

I love when people write about outsourcing simple tasks because their time is more valuable than the cost. Really!?!

I understand there may be a business case for outsourcing if you’re an entrepreneur or something similar but most people seem to use this as an excuse to avoid tasks they simply just don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do something that’s perfectly fine. Just own up to it. I also truly wonder if folks that outsource these activities are actually working in place of performing the activity.

This concept often comes up when people talk about home maintenance and/or home repairs. It sounds so simple to just hire someone do these tasks that take up time and energy. Don’t get me wrong, I waffle back and forth quite often on whether I want to do these tasks but at the end of the day I can’t justify paying someone else to do something I’m completely capable of doing.

Below are the tasks we perform at home in lieu of outsourcing.

 

Mowing

I have a love hate relationship with mowing. I enjoy getting outside and appreciate the activity part of mowing. I work up a good sweat and get a good dose of vitamin D. It’s something that I’ve always done myself and don’t think I’ll ever be able to stomach paying someone else to do. But North Texas summers don’t always make mowing easy or pleasant. The grass tends to grow far too fast and mowing days sneak up on you quickly at the most inconvenient time. Nevertheless, I will continue to mow our yard and save our family the money from outsourcing.

Landscaping

Our landscaping is not complicated which is probably the reason I’ve continued to do it myself. We don’t have elaborate gardens or multiple landscaped areas around our home. We keep things fairly simple. My take on landscaping is trimming the bushes around our house and putting out fresh mulch. Short and sweet. We do have a few planters that we like to keep fresh flowers in. Also, I’ve dug up plants and move them to different parts of the yard but that’s about as complicated as it gets. I think our house looks the best when there are fresh flowers out and a new layer of mulch is arranged around the bushes and trees.

Painting

We’ve done our fair share of painting over the years. We’ve painted numerous bedrooms, bathrooms, random walls and even outdoor siding. Painting isn’t my favorite task in the world but the DIY approach is definitely the way to go if you’re trying to save a little money. Painting can take some time and is tedious but is well worth the effort. Put on your favorite podcast or Pandora station and get to work.

Housecleaning

In full disclosure, we’ve hired housekeepers in the past. They’ve done a wonderful job of cleaning our house but we’ve never kept a housekeeper for more than a few months at a time because we just can’t tolerate the cost. This task is the easiest for me to consider outsourcing because it can seem like a never ending battle. My wife does an amazing job of cleaning our house right now and has a system in place that seems to be working.

General Repairs/Maintenance

Every homeowner knows that there are random home repairs and general home maintenance that creeps up all the time. YouTube is a great resource for any home maintenance task and I’ve utilized these videos on numerous occasions. We’ve done many things around the house ourselves that we could have outscored including changing the garbage disposal, replacing sink/shower valves and replacing toilet parts. Outdoor home maintenance issues we’ve tackled ourselves include replacing sprinkler heads and values, staining the fence, installing new fence posts, cleaning windows and planting trees.

 

All of these tasks could easily be outsourced. We’ve chosen to do them ourselves because we’re perfectly capable and don’t want to pay someone to do something we’re able to do. There’s also a level of pride and sense of accomplishment that you get from doing things yourself.

We talk about setting a good example for our kids. We think that by doing some of these tasks, we’re showing our kids the importance of hard work and taking care of the things you have.

Maybe one day we’ll have so much money that we won’t even have to think twice about outsource all of this!

What home tasks do you outsource? What tasks do you do yourself?


8 thoughts on “Mow Your Own Lawn

  1. Since I don’t own a home YET (closing in just over a month, woot!) it’s moot for me for right now, but I’m planning on doing as much of it myself as I can. Yes my time is limited, and it’s worth something, but I’d much rather stomach the lost hour for mowing the lawn than fork over $30 every week ($120 a month isn’t cheap!) considering I wouldn’t really be doing anything that’d be making me money anyway.

    My brother recently outsourced the mowing of his lawn; he certainly can afford it, and he’d much rather spend that extra time with his kids. That’s a great reason to do something like that, and to him it’s worth it.

    I think it all varies by person and what you’d do otherwise with that time. If you’re just being lazy, and if you’re not in a good financial position to pay someone else to do it, I’d question why. Otherwise, to each their own.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Congrats on your upcoming home purchase! That’s exciting.

      You have to way the opportunity cost of the task. For now, we try to do as much as we can ourselves while we’re able to. Hopefully saving that money now will allow us to outsource more in the future!

      I envy your brother. It’s a battle I fight every time I start the lawnmower and my kids and wife are at the park or inside playing. I would much rather be with them. Hopefully, we’ll get there one day!

      The laziness component is my biggest beef with the outsourcing movement. If you’re not putting that time to good use then you should probably think twice about your priorities.

  2. I outsource my lawn care because I don’t want to devote the time or energy needed for it. I do work very long hours (including nights and weekends), and outsourcing the yard work frees up time and energy to enjoy myself a little bit 🙂

  3. We never outsourced anything until the kids came and our jobs got very demanding some weeks over 80 hours. It left no time for fun. It was one compromise we made for the family. Money well spent for time back in lives. Now that I am taking a break (early retirement with side consulting) I started taking back some of the chores.

    1. That’s awesome and I struggle with that often now that we have 2 little ones. Having that margin in your budget and finances was crucial in providing that opportunity. Glad to see you’re back out there getting a little dirty!

  4. We try to avoid outsourcing as much as possible, and do many of the same things you do ourselves. The more complicated or potentially dangerous the job is, the more likely I am to seek professional help.

    I don’t think I’ll ever stop mowing my lawn or snowblowing my own driveway. The difference between what I can do, and what the world’s best lawn mower or snow remover can do, is relatively small. I’m fairly unlikely to get up on my steep two story roof at this point in my life, however. There’s a much greater chance of me having an accident up there than someone who is younger, up on roofs on a daily basis, and less afraid of heights than I am!

    1. Gotta take care of yourself first and not put yourself in harms way. You won’t see me getting up on a roof if I don’t have to. I do believe that the more we’re able to continue doing ourselves the more active and healthy it will keep us!

      Thanks for the comment.

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