Don't Feel Bad About Paying for These 5 Time Savers

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  • Saving money is great, but not when it comes at a cost to your health and safety (or that of your family).
  • Carrying a couch up a flight of stairs is no fun at all.
  • Some tasks, including tree trimming and extermination services, are best left to the professionals.

Your time is valuable -- you should treat it that way.

Being an adult is expensive and a lot of work, especially if you also own a home (or are at least partly responsible for maintaining one, as some renters are). There's always something to be done around the house, and chances are, you can save some money if you undertake the task yourself, rather than hiring it out. And hey, if you've got some free time, a ladder, and a chainsaw, surely it's a good idea to trim the trees on your property yourself, right? Perhaps not. Read on to learn how building these five household time (and labor) savers into your budget can be a smart idea.

1. Furniture/appliance delivery

It's been about a decade since I last lived in a house I owned, but even as a renter, I have bought multiple pieces of new furniture and occasionally large appliances. It can be disheartening to be charged $100 (or more) to have your new purchase delivered, on top of the money you're already spending for the item itself, but this is one time saver I don't hesitate to pay for because of the convenience. You don't have to rent or borrow a vehicle large enough to fit your new couch, or attempt to strap it down securely in the bed of a pickup truck or the roof of your minivan (a terrible idea).

Someone else will do the heavy lifting, and if you happen to live in a second-floor apartment like I do, I mean that literally -- I truly don't want to carry a sofa or a clothes dryer up the stairs to my home. The store where you bought your furniture or appliance will also have liability insurance, so if your purchase is damaged in transit or during the delivery, it will pay for repairs or for a replacement if the damage is severe. The store may also haul away your old appliance for you. Win win!

2. Gutter cleaning

Coming in at the top of many suburban dads' to-do lists is gutter cleaning. While this is a fine task to do yourself, it will likely require you to work on a ladder, which can be challenging or even dangerous. If you live in a larger multi-story home, the potential danger to you just increases. If your gutters aren't in good condition, or haven't been cleaned in a while, the task will be more time-consuming.

Hiring a professional takes the danger factor out for you, and also gives you access to a service person who likely knows a lot more about maintaining gutters than you do. They could tell you if your gutters need to be repaired, and may even give you tips for how to keep your gutters in better shape.

3. Large tree trimming/removal

While sure, you could get your trusty ladder and chainsaw and attempt this task yourself, it's a far smarter idea to hire out trimming and removal of large trees. Why? Professional arborists can "read" a tree and will be able to tell where to make effective cuts. They also have access to much more robust safety equipment (such as harnesses and possibly even a crane with a bucket). They'll know how to steer clear of power lines and other obstacles, and will likely work with a trained team to undertake your tree-trimming project in an efficient way. Professionals are 100% worth paying for in this case.

4. Extermination services

If you've ever had a little ant problem, you've likely perused the pest control aisle at your local hardware store. I'm always kind of amazed at the number of dangerous poisons that anyone can buy and deploy against their bug or rodent problems. If it's a few ants in your kitchen during a warm spring, you can likely handle that yourself. But if you've got a large-scale cockroach or mouse infestation, please call an exterminator. This becomes even more crucial if you've got pets or children, as improperly applied poisons and traps can be a real health risk to them (and spraying poison or setting off a bug bomb yourself is also a risk to you).

5. Snow removal

I live in a part of the country that has notoriously cold and snowy winters. I have done a lot of snow shoveling in the six years I've lived in this area, but when I buy a house in a few years, if it comes with a long driveway, I will pay for professional snow plowing. My time is valuable, and on a cold morning, it's wonderful to let someone else do the snow removal. As a bonus, it might take me several hours to shovel out my driveway -- while it takes a snow plow driver just 10 or 15 minutes.

As life gets more expensive, it can be tempting to save money on household tasks by attempting to do them yourself. Try to squash the impulse to save money at all costs, and consider how expensive "free" tree trimming or extermination will be if you end up with a medical bill because of it.

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