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Why Doing Things Yourself is More than Frugal

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Most people I know have someone else to clean their homes and wash their cars. They bring in food a lot and go out to eat often. They tell me that since I work full-time, I am wasting my precious free time. They also think I'm cheap.

Aside from the obvious financial savings, there are a lot of benefits to doing these tasks yourself.

  1. You don't need special skills to do these tasks. They also take less time than you think. In the case of cooking, you can often cook a tastier, healthier meal in less time than it would take you to drive to a place, order and eat it.

  2. Many times you will do a better job. For the brief time I had a cleaning person, I had to deal with less-than-stellar cleaning, missed appointments, and broken items. The last straw was when a downstairs window was left wide open. It was closed and locked when we left for work in the morning.

  3. You will get exercise. These same people who tell me I'm wasting time, go to a gym to work off excess weight. I find my cleaning sessions to be part of my exercise regimen. I am slimmer than most of my contemporaries. It is important as one ages to keep moving and maintain functional fitness.

  4. You get to know your house and car. You can spot if something is broken, leaking, or loose. One person I work with had a flooded basement due to a leaking pipe. She said she never went down there and the leak had been going on for some time. I vacuum my basement weekly, and go down often to do laundry. When I go down, I always check for leaks, smells, and noises that are unusual.

  5. The satisfaction of a job well done. I have a garden, too. I love growing my own organic produce and sharing it with family and friends.

As long as I am physically able to perform these tasks, I will continue to do so. I will save my money for jobs that are beyond my expertise.

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June 1, 20173 found this helpful

I agree.

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June 3, 20171 found this helpful

All very good reasons. Hang in there, Girl!

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June 3, 20171 found this helpful

Sounds like a good way to live.

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June 3, 20171 found this helpful

I agree with you. When you clean your home you see things that need attention. Would a paid house cleaner say something? I would hope so but? Much more fun and relaxing to make dinner at home, especially if you had it in a crock pot waiting. Cheap? No they are RUDE and jealous that you have money to spend your way and enjoy doing things yourself. Growing things with your children's help is teaching them skills. Keep it going.

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June 4, 20172 found this helpful

I agree with you 110%. I am retired but even when I worked I put the "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" principle into play. By letting things go, you just make it a larger job than it has to be. I can't afford anyone to do what I can do so there is no one else anyway. But I think even if I had the money, I would donate it to the local food bank or animal shelter.

The things people spend their money on these days floors me. They might buy a 4.00 latte on the way to work each day and think 'it's only 4.00'. What they don't realize is during a normal working month of an average of 22 days, that is a whopping 1,056 a year!!

You be proud that you are cheap. While they might lose their jobs tomorrow, you have not squandered your paycheck on things you can do for yourself.

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June 4, 20172 found this helpful

I'm with you, Judy.

Marg from England.

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June 4, 20174 found this helpful

Let me add this, though. While all of what has been mentioned is valid, over my course of 81 years, I have learned that we are not all alike in how our minds work. While I like a well-maintained house, keeping one up is not an automatic response for me. For my husband, it is automatic; for me, it's hard work. He is predictable and systematic and organized. I am spontaneous and creative and adventurous (and distractible). For me, tidiness, while valuable, uses up a lot of my limited precious energy. (I wish I had more of his automatic without having to give up my spontaneity. And, at the same time, I am thankful that I don't have to pick up after him, although he doesnt think he has to pick up after me either; he just maintains his own space. Ever meet anybody who just makes one side of the bed?)

Having said that, I have learned to weigh how I want to use my limited energy. One thing I value highly is free time to exchange thoughts and ideas with someone I enjoy, and to read, and to exercise my brain by working puzzles. Thus, I derive value from the free time I get from hiring someone else to do some of the things I can do, but choose not to. Not sure where that fits with the virtue of frugality. Does that mean we have different value systems? Doesn't hiring someone else pour value into our economic system? For some people, that is how they earn their income.

Must say, my life is far more interesting, thought provoking, and less stressful than when I strived to have a perfect house, believing I had to do it myself. All this to say: hiring what I can to give me free time is well worth it to me. Who wants to clean up the kitchen anyway after you've already done the cooking? I'm just glad I can afford to hire someone else to do a few of the things that I find tedious and unfulfilling.

Just another way to look at it.

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June 4, 20172 found this helpful

BTW, I don't do $4 lattes either, or eat out extravagantly, but I do have someone come in periodically and vacuum and scrub bathroom and kitchen.

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June 4, 20172 found this helpful

I believe that I agree with both "versions" and choose to see each ones point of view. Maybe, even health-wise, if you can easily afford to pay someone to do some of the things you would rather not do, it might seem prudent to share your good fortune with someone that may need the job/income.

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June 4, 20172 found this helpful

I enjoy the capacity to do things myself as well and cherish the opportunity. Not that it isn't fun to take a break every now and again, but there is more than financial gain in a good DIY

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June 7, 20170 found this helpful

Totally agree with you!

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June 8, 20170 found this helpful

great post

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