When faced with the question of whether to do something yourself or to pay someone else to do it, there are plenty of factors to consider. How much time do you have available? How much stress would doing it yourself entail? How much money do you have in your checking account?
Some people—specifically those whose income is directly connected to the total number of hours they work—may immediately compare the cost of having someone else do it with how much they could earn in the time it would take them to do it themselves. And this makes a lot of sense. If I could pay someone to mow my yard, for instance, and then use the time I’ve saved to make more than enough money to cover that cost, then I’ve come out ahead financially. But before heading in this direction, there’s something else I should consider.
Although economic implications have their place, life is far more than dollars and cents. What if doing yard work, for instance, or working on my car, was something I enjoyed doing? What if these kinds of activities were actually energizing and fulfilling? Would it make sense to immediately outsource it then if I could make even more money on the side? Maybe not. Because if I’m investing time into an activity that’s ultimately enriching my life, maybe the wise thing wouldn’t be to oursource it, but to choose to continue to do it for sake of finding joy and fulfillment in the work.
All of us recognize there are other things in life that are even more important than money. And yet, money is still an important part of our lives. At what point does the (financial) bottom line become less relevant? At what point do we decide to disregard lost economic opportunities, and choose to invest our time in relationships and activities that may not create monetary gain? This line will vary from person to person. But it’s valuable for each of us to know where it is for us—to know how much is enough—and to know what things truly enrich our lives—including all those things that’ll never show up on a balance sheet.