Delegating Tasks on a Personal Level
Smart business people make a habit of delegating many of their responsibilities to other people who can do those things less expensively, so that said business people can focus on their most profitable tasks. This is part of what good time management is all about.
But if you think the concept applies only to the business world, think again. Delegation can benefit the average consumer, too.
The R&R Argument
Many Americans love the whole Do-It-Yourself idea -- hence the hardware stores on every other corner, perfectly placed to take advantage of this tendency. And that's all well and good if you actually enjoy cleaning your clothes dryer vent, or laying parquet tile in your hallway.
But let's face it: all of that requires a lot of time on your part, time when you could be catching rays or watching CSI, or blowing off steam by blowing things up on your favorite video game.
Practical Time Off
This isn't about laziness. This is about spending your decompression time actually decompressing. Many modern workers work too long and hard to have to deal with frustrations like fixing this, that, or the other when they get home. So weigh in the balance the value of your free time.
And I'm not just talking about big stuff. I've heard of people hiring assistants to do a week's worth of cooking or their laundry (or both) for a handful of bucks per week, plus the cost of materials. So: how much is your free time worth to you?
Many of the things we exercise the DIY option on can be hired out more cheaply, unless of course you have teenagers to do the work. Even home and lawn maintenance can be a better deal when farmed out, if you don't have to maintain your own machinery, fuel it, or expend your sweat.
Other things you should probably leave to the pros. While you might be able to educate yourself on how to handle even the most complex plumbing or electrical tasks, in the end, it'll be safer if you have a plumber do it; and to be honest, they'll probably do a better job.
I speak from experience, having occasionally spent more money trying to do something and botching it than it was worth. And then I had to pay someone to come fix my repairs. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
If you like to do it yourself, then go for it. But don't be so frugal that you end up spending more money than you need to, or get so busy you never have any time for yourself. Sometimes delegating a personal task is the smartest thing to do.