Yesterday morning I had to run errands and my first stop was at my friends R & M’s house to drop off eggs as M is one of my “egg pimps”. They were in the middle of a kitchen improvement project and talk turned to questioning when one was old enough to hire someone else to do work for them? What age should you be, or other factors should be in place, before you could make the decision to pay someone else to complete a project or a task?
R quipped that he was 40 now, and after considering his very frugal nature and that if he waited until 50 before he started to hire out for projects and tasks he was essentially ten years away from retirement and that just wouldn’t do. He was going to start hiring out for projects which it made more sense for someone with the skills and equipment to complete. I confessed that Mr. Muse and I have a large Spring cleanup for the yard that involves removing a lot of gravel, tiny pea gravel, from the grass adjacent to the road and driveway and the work would take us the better part of two weeks after work, weather and light permitting. I decided that my time was much more valuable – therefore I called landscapers for estimates to do it for me. I think this means that we’ve reached the age where we can start hiring out.
While I might be hiring out for yard cleanup, the rest of the year’s yardwork will fall on Mr. Muse and I; mowing, fertilizing and raking up the leaves in the fall to compost will land squarely on our shoulders – for now. Mr. Muse is a do-it-yourselfer to a deep level and I have to make my case to hire someone else to do things he feels are well-within his skills to complete. I have to catalog equipment we already own, account for the time it will take to buy or rent equipment that is needed, amortize it over usage if we actually buy it and compare the costs of all of that to what it would be to pay someone else. Slowly my methods are working. I pick my battles carefully; today, for instance, Mr. Muse and I will be working on our East Pasture fencing in anticipation of getting a couple of freezer lambs this Spring. We want that responsibility for ourselves. Should our lambs get out – then it would be our fault, not someone we hired.
Mr. Muse wants to install solar panels and has been researching them thoroughly. He’s discovered that most of the work he can do himself (he’s an Electrical Engineer) but will hire out for the major electrical connections. These are all good things and it is a project which is not worthy of a battle on my part. The whole process interests him and makes him happy – that in and of itself is worth a great deal.
So, how do you know when you’re “old enough” to hire out?
How do you decide to pay someone else to do a job or task for you?