The Cost of Saving Money

I can do that myself. Why would I pay someone else?  These may be amongst the most expensive words ever spoken. Just because you think you can do something yourself doesn’t mean you should, particularly if you don’t have the expertise.

I am talking about everything from cutting down a tree to accounting to renovating your home. I have seen so many clients who have injured themselves or gotten caught in a financial disaster by trying to do things themselves.

One client injured his back badly trying to move very large, heavy, awkward patio stones. Another scratched her cornea trying to cut big branches off a tree. Others have gotten themselves and their businesses into financial trouble by doing their own accounting without knowing all the rules around things like taxes and HST.

When you injure yourself, often you have to miss work. While some of you may still get paid while off injured, for the self-employed this is not the case. Even if you do get paid, there is the stress of work piling up while you are not there, and pressure to catch up when you return. If you are the chief bottle washer, household engineer, and caregiver to small children, what impact would a significant injury have on your family?

For things like book keeping and accounting, the cost of messing up can be huge. While professionals who offer these services cost money (and yes, sometimes lots), I believe that in the end it is more cost effective to pay to make sure things are done right than to find yourself in a self-created financial hole.

Personally, being self-employed and having a physically demanding job, I am very aware of the consequences of injury. If I am injured and can’t treat people, I have no source of income but still have expenses to pay on my home and business location.

I have had injuries in the past that have prevented me from working for short periods. Since then I am very careful about what I do and do not do. It’s kind of like when I got my first SUV and debated spending the money on winter tires. In the end I realized that if I had an accident on the way to work, even if I wasn’t injured, and had to cancel clients while sorting the whole thing out, it wouldn’t take long for the lost income to pay for the tires. Needless to say I bought them.

Things that I used to do without hesitation I now pay someone else to do. Grunt jobs like spreading top soil and mulch around the yard at home, stripping and painting garage doors, and cleaning the house are all things I pay dearly for. Don’t get me wrong. I refer to them as grunt jobs just for the sheer boredom factor for me, but that by no means reflects how I feel about the people who do them. On the contrary, I highly value the people I pay to do these things, for without them I wouldn’t have my free time, nor likely my body in working order. I pay them to do what they do so I can keep doing what I do. There is a reason I pay people to do anything tech related as well, but we won’t go into that.

The bottom line is, in trying to save money we often end up costing ourselves even more. Whether that be in time off work, physical pain, stress, or in dollars, we pay. So you may want to consider forking out the money for that job you’ve been putting off. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to clear out. The amazing ladies from the cleaning service are coming and I don’t want to be in their way.

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