Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article
Why Doing Everything Yourself May Not Be The Best Idea
by The Simple Sum Team | 30 Nov 2022 | 6 mins read
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Our daily lives seem peppered with inconveniences. We juggle household tasks, long commutes, our day jobs, and our side hustles all on our own. Unlike the rich who have an army of staff at their beck and call to take care of menial tasks, we’re so used to doing everything ourselves because we can’t afford to hire someone else to do our tasks.
Or so we think.
While doing everything yourself saves money in the short term, sometimes it can end up costing us more in the long run. And more crucially, DIY often comes at the cost of something that most of us don’t realise is just as important as money – time.
Your time is valuable
Most of us are conscious of the price of products and services that we buy. Yet we don’t realise there is also a price to our time. And when weighing the decision to pay for convenience, we usually don’t factor in the value of the time we’re losing by doing the task ourselves.
Finding out the dollar value of your time is easy. If you work 44 hours a week and earn SGD$1,150 per week, the value of your time is SGD$1,150 divided by 44 hours which equates to SGD$26.14 per hour.
If you run a business or a side hustle, the cost of your time should be more carefully considered because how you spend your time is directly related to the success of your business.
You should also consider the added opportunity cost to your time. This means that every “time” you decide to do something on your own could be better spent doing something else that generates more money for your business. Thus, it may make more business sense to delegate certain DIY tasks to your employee or hire another person to get the job done.
Frees up time to spend with loved ones
Armed with the knowledge of the cost of your time, outsourcing menial tasks to other people becomes more financially palatable, especially when it frees up more time for you to spend with your family. Getting your groceries and bulky Christmas decor delivered to your home during the busy festive season so you can spend time catching up with your friends and family is one example.
As a business owner, personal and family time is even more precious and difficult to schedule due to the demands of work and customers. Hence, paying for relevant conveniences in the office and home opens your schedule. While money can’t buy you all the happiness in the world, it can buy you more time to create happy moments with your loved ones.
Gives you more time to make more money
Paying for convenience also frees up time that you can apply productively to further your personal net worth and business wealth.
It may mean extra few hours in the week to read up on the stock market to make better informed investment decisions. Or you can spend those extra hours taking courses to upskill or working on your side hustles to help you earn more money.
And if your side hustle takes off, paying for convenience can help you scale it into a full-time business. Hiring employees, paying for automation tools, or outsourcing tasks allows you to focus on the big ideas that create more opportunities for your business.
Think about it, you don’t want to be running around town delivering your products to customers when you have thousands of orders coming in during the festive season. Instead, your time is better spent ensuring that customers have a great buying experience with your business, which could include hiring an expert delivery service to deliver your items safely and on time to your customers with minimal cost to your business.
You don’t have the expertise and equipment
You may be tempted to tackle tasks you’re not familiar with on your own to save money. But have you stopped to ask yourself, “Do I really have the expertise and specialized equipment to see the task through? Or will I mess up and have to pay more to get it done properly or again?”
Case in point, repainting the walls in your living room. You might think that it’s as easy picking up a brush and some paint, but the result could be a patchy wall, especially if you’ve never painted a wall before. So, it’s not just about paying for convenience but that such convenience comes with the appropriate expertise and equipment to achieve the best result without added stress.
The same goes for being an entrepreneur. While you may be an expert in your product, you may need help for parts of your business where you aren’t the expert. Not only does this help your business run smoothly, but it can also help you reduce operating costs when you don’t have to be financially responsible for the expertise and equipment inventory.
A home furniture e-commerce business, for instance, will need to deliver items of various sizes to its customers but may not have the right vehicle for the job. Using a service that allows you to choose the vehicle type that you need makes things a lot more convenient.
Convenience doesn’t have to be expensive
Of course, just because you’re paying for convenience doesn’t mean you’re going to pay exorbitant prices. You should continue to do your homework, shop around, ask for referrals and weigh the quality of work versus the cost before you make your final decision, whether it be for you or your business.
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