I was recently giving a class on ways to save money. One was to change your own oil. Granted it is cheaper to do it yourself, but what is your labor worth? What could you be doing instead? I am frugal and hate to spend money on things I can do myself but, some things are worth it.
When I look at a billable rate for consulting $50 an hour, and changing my oil would take several hours. By the time I get supplies, elevate the cars, change the oil, clean up I am looking at $150 in my time. I can take it to the guys at Car-X down the road from me and for $18 it is done in about 30 min. Jason and the guys down there are awesome. Super professional, and excellent customer service. Did I really save any money by doing it myself? I could have been consulting, or working on my own farm, finishing the projects around the house.
I think it is wise to look at many other services and features that must be evaluated. Mowing the grass for example. I detest mowing and of having a lawn in the first place. But it literally takes 7 min to mow my entire grass. Granted the chickens take care of the back yard, and now with landscaping and productive areas in the front we don’t have much of a lawn. In this case I can mow rather than pay someone.
Childcare is another place. We realized this summer it was more expensive to send our 4 kids to child care while I worked than it was for me to stay at home. We would have been dipping into savings each week they went somewhere. This gave me the opportunity to finish classes, work on our homestead, work on The Farm, and spend more time with them. When the wife comes home we can spend quality family time together. Before, it was pick everyone up, get home, get dinner started, dishes, baths, laundry and usually bed. Now dishes, laundry, and dinner are all ready when she comes home. We can eat, relax together, and enjoy our time rather than trying to rush around and get all the chores done.
We like to make and build much of our own items. For example I am making beds for our older girls. They seem to have outgrown bunk beds. Could I buy them, probably, would it be cheaper, probably, but it will be built to last and they can customize it however they like. Most items purchased today are disposable. From houses, to cars, to even beds. Nothing is built to last anymore. And if you buy well built items it cost an arm and a leg, why, because it is usually worth it. If you think how many items you have to replace because it is cheaper to buy new than repair, then how many times you have replaced it. Would it have been worth it to buy the better made item in the first place?
Someone, and I want to say it was Jack Spirko from The Survival Podcast, but not for sure, that money is essentially a way to represent time. The time you worked, the time you used something, the time it took to make something, the time it took to mine the resources for the manufactured item. When you put money in terms of time then, how valuable is your time. College educated people or highly skilled trades get paid higher because of the time dedicated in schooling, or education and mastery of their trade. After being a stay at home dad this summer, I have a new appreciation for what my time is worth.
Recent blog posts
- Auctions, Logo, Ducks, Rabits lots to update April 1, 2014
- Survey for next classes March 24, 2014
- New portfolio projects March 24, 2014
- Free Class Saturday March 22nd 10-noon, Introduction to gardening and food production March 20, 2014
- Great info-posters Afristar Foundation March 17, 2014
- New source for tilapia March 14, 2014
- Permaculture basics at 1pm today March 13, 2014
- Upcoming events March 11, 2014
- A few updates March 11, 2014
- I’m Presenting at the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show Mar 8-16 March 9, 2014
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