Last year we did some remodeling to our house. Remodeling… that’s when money hemorrhages at the speed of a nail gun.

In a moment of monetary anxiety, I considered saving money by doing the complicated interior painting myself. Clearly the hemorrhaging clouded my sanity. Kudos to our contractor for repressing his laughter.

Luckily, sanity surfaced quickly and now we have a beautifully painted addition. It took three painters over a week to get it that way. This is a perfect example of DIY as a disaster in the wings, both financially and emotionally. I cringe at the outcome if I had attempted this myself!


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I’m not discounting personal satisfaction. That’s no small matter. If you love to do a task, get great joy in learning new things, and have plenty of extra time, go for it. You are the perfect DIYer.

But often, doing it yourself or hiring help for work or home is a question worth pondering. As much as I encourage you to save money, DIY isn’t always the way to go.

If you are doing it just because of the money, think about this:

  • How much is your time worth? 
    A simple cost benefit analysis can give you a rough idea. If you can work extra and make $40 an hour, and you are paying someone $20 an hour for a task, it’s a no brainer. But it’s not just about numbers. If you feel overwhelmed with “to do’s” and can’t find a moment to relax, paying for help is a way to minimize your stress and get a needed break. There’s not a dollar value for that.
  • Risky? 
    If there’s risk of substantial damage attempting something you are unsure of, like an incorrect tax return, or a botched car repair, loss of money or doing greater damage is a risk perhaps not worth taking.
  • Self-employed?
    You are self employed and you want to minimize expenses. I get it. It’s easy to think you can do everything, and you probably can. But is it the best use of your time? Is your expertise the most effective for the task? You could take 5 times longer than a professional (and possibly do it badly!) By hiring the right person for the task, your time can be focused on developing your business doing what you do best which ultimately increases your profits.
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Time and energy are valuable commodities. So weighing those in along with saving money insures your DIY decisions make economic sense and you stay sane.