When it Pays to Call in the Experts
I'm pretty good around the house. I can make most small, household repairs, and have even been known to take on a larger DIY project or two to save a buck. However, I know my limitations, and will gladly call in the experts when I am out of my league. Some guys just can't stand the idea of asking someone for help, because they think admitting they don't know how to do something is a sign of weakness. In fact, I think being able to admit you don't know something is a strength. There are times when we have to push frugality aside and call in a professional, or pay for a service, because it is not practical, or not safe, or because we just plain don't know how to do something.
Injuring the Hand that Feeds You
I read an article on Yahoo Sports recently about Miami Dolphins quarterback, Josh McCown. McCown and his brother were chopping wood and Josh injured his hand, requiring six stitches and jeopardizing his availability for the start of NFL training camp, set to open in a few weeks. I don't know why they were out chopping wood, but I have to imagine two NFL quarterbacks would know better than to do anything that could injure their hands. After all, a quarterback with an injured throwing hand is just about useless on an NFL roster. Surely they could afford to have someone chop wood for them, or buy pre-split firewood. Who knows--whatever their reason for engaging in wood-chopping activity, it has proven to be a career-threatening move, at least in the short term.
Spend More Time Earning, and Less Time Working
In some cases it makes more financial sense to pay someone to do something rather than take on a project yourself. For example, if you need your house painted, but work in a job where you are not able to take paid leave, painting it yourself could result in a week's worth of lost wages. But if you hired someone to do the work for you while you continued to work, chances are you will come out ahead, financially. This is a difficult concept for the most frugal of us to understand, because the idea of paying someone to do anything evokes fear in frugal households. It is still important to work with the person you hire to get a lower rate, perhaps by negotiating aspects of the project, or offering to do prep or clean up work.
Often times I hear stories of entrepreneurs hiring someone to read their emails, or run errands, or handle their shopping, and I think, "What a waste of money! Why don't they just do it themselves?" Well, it could be that "doing it themselves" takes them away from what they do best--earning money. I often emphasize the importance of living frugally, but don't be so afraid to spend money that it costs you more in the long run.