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3 Home Maintenance Tasks You Don’t Need to Outsource

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Home maintenance tasks can add up in cost, but they don't have to. Here are 3 ways you can DIY around the house and save money.

Let’s be real. Owning a home is expensive. On top of the cost to buy a house, your mortgage and property taxes, there are many different home maintenance tasks you have to stay on top of to ensure your home retains its value. There are somethings you really should outsource (unless you are a handyman by trade or are confident you aren’t going to end up doing more damage than good in the long run); but there are plenty of things you can take care of yourself and by doing so, can save yourself some money.

The cost of home maintenance tasks can add up quickly, so knowing where to save is important. If you want to keep your home maintenance costs as low as reasonably possible, start with some of the tasks mentioned below.

Cutting the Grass

 

I’m honestly the least likely person to cut grass. Not once did I cut the grass growing up. I don’t really like dirt or bugs, but guess what? I cut the grass every week at my house.

I know I could outsource this for as little as $20, but there are other things I’d rather use my money for. I actually use a push reel mower which requires no gas or power, and it’s quite a workout.

It takes me longer to cut the grass than someone who has a power lawn mower, and after 45 minutes of pushing my reel mower while my kids play in the backyard, I am completely exhausted. I also feel really accomplished, though.

There’s something to be said for using your household chores as a workout. As a busy parent, it’s hard to find the time to get exercise in. To me, cutting the grass kills three birds with one stone: I save money; the grass gets cut; and I burn calories.

Housekeeping

 

I’ve written before about how I hired a housekeeper in the past, and I still stand by the fact that it’s some of the best money I spent when my kids where little.

Since moving to Michigan, though, I haven’t outsourced housekeeping. That’s because I live in a much smaller house now. Indeed, one of the benefits of living in a small house is that it takes less time to clean.

Although this is saving me about $150 per month, if I’m being honest, I will tell you that it’s been a struggle for me to adjust. My twin toddlers are constantly destroying things and making messes, and it would be nice to have someone come in and help with the big tasks.

At the same time, I find that it doesn’t take as long to clean as I make it out to be in my head. If I put my mind to it, my small, 1,000 sq. ft. house can be clean and tidy in just an hour or two.

Just to give another example, I’ve had several loads of clean laundry sitting on my dining room table for at least 2-3 weeks. In my head, the task seemed insurmountable, but last night, I folded all of them in about one hour while watching TV.

So, something I’m working on is just completing the tasks that need to be done quickly, especially when they are staring me in the face (I’m looking at you, laundry.) As long as I clean up a little bit every day, I don’t need a housekeeper.

So, at the end of the day, I can say that if you’re trying to find ways to save money, you definitely don’t have to outsource this task. Like cutting the grass, you just need to take the time to do it. However, if you have a new baby or need a helping hand and want to adjust your budget to include this, it’s not something I’m wholeheartedly against because it has helped me in the past.

Home maintenance tasks can add up in cost, but they don't have to. Here are 3 ways you can DIY around the house and save money.

Small Cosmetic Upgrades

 

While the vast majority of my income is going towards debt repayment (we’ve paid off over $15,000 of debt already this year!) I do set aside money for some small home updates.

We recently spent around $40 on paint and repainted our kitchen. It was a dark maroon that sucked the light out of the kitchen like a dementor sucked the happiness out of human souls in Harry Potter. Now, it’s a much prettier blue. This was a very small upgrade that made a huge difference, and I’m glad we did the work ourselves.

When it comes to simple cosmetic upgrades like creating a kitchen backsplash, painting rooms or refinishing furniture, it’s more cost efficient to do it yourself.

What is worth hiring out is electrical work, plumbing work or anything else that requires a significant amount of knowledge and experience. While you can use caution and watch a lot of YouTube videos to learn how to change out a light fixture, you probably shouldn’t take on the task of rewiring your whole house unless that’s your primary expertise.

Ultimately, when it comes to your home, you’d be surprised at what you can do yourself and how accomplished you’ll feel when you complete tasks like the one above!

 

What types of home maintenance tasks do you like to outsource? What are some things you don’t outsource to save money? What is one thing around the house you refuse to do yourself, regardless of the cost to hire someone do take care of it for you?

 

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families. Check out her award winning blog, CatherineAlford.com.

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