DIY vs. Outsourcing Work: What’s Better for Your Bottom Line?
Striking a delicate balance between outsourcing small tasks and DIY-ing other projects will yield the best dividends.
If you feel like you can’t do it all, there’s probably someone out there who you can pay to take on some of your responsibilities for you. Don’t like to cook? You can hire a personal chef. Don’t have time to deep clean your home? You can hire a housekeeper. If you have the means and need the help, you can outsource almost anything.
Determining Whether You Have More Time or More Money
My first experience with outsourcing work was in college. It was a busy semester and I wanted to try out a laundry service so that I wouldn’t have to wash and fold my own clothes for a change. I dropped a week’s worth of clothes off at the laundry service and returned a few hours later to have everything cleaned and folded neatly in a large bag.
The only problem? The $30 bill that came with the service. For a college student, spending $30 a week – or $120 a month – on laundry services can put a huge dent in the budget. I quickly decided I could work on being more productive and spare some time to do my own laundry.
Buying Back Your Time
Outsourcing work doesn’t always have to cut a noticeable chunk out of your finances, and it can actually be used to help you earn more money and buy back some of your time. That wasn’t the case in college, when my income didn’t justify outsourcing; but if you have things to do that have income potential, outsourcing work may be a solid solution.
Holly Johnson, a professional writer, has a housekeeper come to her home to deep clean once a month for $120. “My husband finally decided to hire a housekeeper after watching me stay up late cleaning,” Holly said.
“I was too cheap to do it at first, but I gave in because we decided we work too hard to take care of everything ourselves.”
After hiring a housekeeper, Holly realized that the value of the help she and her husband received heavily outweighed the costs. “Having a housekeeper gives me peace of mind; has helped me free up a lot of time; and it’s allowed me to stress less about our home,” she said. “All busy moms need help sometimes.”
Melissa, a financial coach, outsources grocery shopping and hires a tutor for her fifth- and sixth-grade kids. “I use HelloFresh to order meals, and my local grocery store has an online shopping service that allows me to pick the items I need on their website and have someone do the shopping for me,” Melissa says. “I also find the tutoring helpful because I’m not the best at helping, monitoring, and supervising homework time with my kids.”
Some may find hiring a tutor to be an unnecessary expense, but for Melissa, “My sanity is worth every penny, which is why outsourcing these things are worth it to me.”
Considering Your Skills and Opportunity Cost
When you think about it, many of us outsource regular tasks like pet grooming, plumbing, and home repairs. because we lack the skill sets to do them on our own.
While you could learn how to DIY more things to save money, you have to consider other factors like your time, resources, energy levels, and budget. Sometimes DIY makes more sense, and other times outsourcing does, if you can afford it.
If you’re considering outsourcing work, always consider opportunity cost.
Think about how much it will cost you and whether the value you gain from it will outweigh the cost. Will you be able to spend more time with your family or earn more money as a result of outsourcing? Or will you be able to save more money without sacrificing too much time if you go the DIY route?
There is no right or wrong method, and I’d personally even recommend a combination of both. That way, you’re able to do things independently and receive a little help without wasting a significant amount of time or spending too much money.