Hiring a lawn care company saves time and energy for relatively low monthly costs.
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During our working years, saving for the future is crucial to one day gaining financial independence.
At the same time, we are working on other financial goals, such as paying for our children’s college education or paying off the mortgage. However, for people with solid careers who hit their savings goals every year, it often makes sense to spend extra money on services that make a positive difference to their lives.
My parents were both teachers, so I understand when it pays to be frugal. However, if you can afford to hire someone for these services, it is worth paying for some rather than doing them yourself.
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Yes it will cost some money. But there are other rewards out there, ranging from better health to a return on your investment and more time to enjoy life. Here are five services worth considering:
1. Hire a lawn maintenance company. I have customers in their 50s who work full time and still mow their own lawn – with a push mower. It’s a great exercise, but the heat and humidity in summer can drain your energy and possibly even worse results like heat stroke.
I’ve encouraged these clients to hire a regular landscape maintenance service, which can often cost $ 200 or more a month. The service staff mow the garden, cut the hedges, remove leaves and debris, and do other jobs in a fraction of the time it takes my customers to do these jobs. These expenses are so small that they are unlikely to see any impact on your monthly budget. However, you will notice the time savings.
2. Work with a travel agent for vacation planning. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet, a good travel agent is experienced in finding the best deals and value for almost any destination. Her expertise includes researching and suggesting places to reach your destinations for these experiences, as well as arranging flights, accommodation, airport transfers and excursions while on vacation. A private chef or personal concierge can also be part of your recommended vacation plan.
I realize that some people are reluctant to work with a travel agent. You may ask, why the additional cost? But because of their knowledge and expertise, a good broker can help keep total costs down and possibly even save you money. And unlike the Internet, a travel agency is often available to help you with problems during your trip, especially when you are traveling abroad.
3. Grocery collection, delivery and ready meals. Since the pandemic, many retailers have been much more focused on helping customers who don’t like shopping in person. While grocery chains charge a fee for roadside pickup or delivery, it’s a small amount for convenience.
There are also several online companies that deliver ready-made meals to your home. These meals contain fresh ingredients that are ready to cook. For people who don’t like to cook every night, this alternative offers healthy eating at a reasonable price. Grocery deliveries are also beneficial when on vacation.
4. Hire a business coach. This may not be a necessary investment for a seasoned executive who has built a stable career. Still, some of my successful executive clients have hired a coach, and so have I. I refer to him as my “business therapist”.
A good coach can create clarity about career opportunities, overcome hurdles, achieve personal and professional goals and reduce stress. For example, my coach helped me set up a 10-year plan for public speaking and writing and publishing books. So far I’ve published two books and a third will come out later this year.
Coaches can charge a few hundred dollars an hour or a flat fee for a series of coaching sessions. Hiring a coach is usually more effective when it becomes a long-term, regular relationship.
5. Tax preparation and planning. As a financial planner, I understand how taxes work and advise my clients on tax strategies. But for more than 10 years I have been using an auditor to prepare my taxes.
I just don’t want to spend many hours over several days collecting tax records, researching expenses, making sure I’ve researched every nuanced tax law that may benefit me and other tedious tasks. It’s worth the money to pay an accountant, especially one that I know can do the job.
And while an accountant’s payment can range from $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 per year depending on the complexity of your situation, part of the accountant’s job is to save money by advising you on tax cut strategies or asking for the right tax-related information.
A recently retired customer made the mistake of paying her own taxes. She made more than $ 1.5 million in her last year at work and decided to take care of her own taxes over time. After several frustrating days of trying to learn what to do – fearing she might make a mistake that could cost several thousand dollars – she crawled back to her CPA.
If there is a task that you do not want to do yourself, most likely there is a service that will take care of it. For example, I am so reluctant to buy a new car that I put it off for five years. Finally, early last year, when my sport utility vehicle covered 250,000 miles, I decided it was time to buy it.
I could have used a car purchase service for this job. Fortunately, my husband jumped in and did anything a service would do. For several weeks he visited different car dealerships to test cars.
Then he came home one Friday and said, “I found your car. They’ll keep it for you at the dealership.” I stopped what I was doing, went there to test the car, and bought it.
This is how you buy a new car now.
Of course, before you can consider spending money on additional services now, you need to meet your long-term savings goals first. The discussion of what additional services to add should be part of your financial plan and budget each year, as should your savings goals.
– By Lisa Brown, partner and investment advisor at Brightworth