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6 Common Chores You Actually Don’t Need To Pay Someone Else To Do

6 Common Chores You Actually Don’t Need To Pay Someone Else To Do

Too often it’s too easy to just let someone else do it…no matter what the “it” is. From lunch to changing the oil in our car to mowing the lawn, these tedious little chores seem to be worth the extra $20 or $30 spent to not have to do them.

But with the price of gas and food rising, it might be wise to start cutting back on expenditures. A great place to start is to start doing the little chores we pay others to do for us. You might find that you’re paying somewhere around $100 a week — or even more — to other people for chores you could be doing yourself. Think of the ways you could spend — or save $100. At the end of a year, that could be the cruise you’ve been dying to take!

In addition, there is something very satisfying about completing basic tasks, especially if our jobs aren’t very physical in nature. Doing chores like yard work and housecleaning get you working out a bit, without having to “work out.”

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Here are a few common chores you can do yourself:

1. Basic Auto Maintenance

From changing your own oil to changing the air filter, there are many small car chores you can do yourself. Have that neighbor you always see under his car teach you how to change your oil — or grab a Haynes manual from the local auto parts store and read how to do it yourself. You can also replace your own lights, air filter, windshield wipers, battery and brake pads. All of these things are fairly simple to do, you just need the manual specific to your car to see how it’s done. Don’t be afraid of doing these little things! You can save yourself a ton of money by performing these basic maintenance chores by not paying someone else to do them — and in the preventative maintenance that will keep your car running well.

2. Prepare Your Own Taxes

This is really simple, especially with the advent of online tax preparation software. It’s amazing, in fact, that anyone (aside from a large corporation) still pays other people to do their taxes. Programs like TurboTax, ask you simple to answer questions and you just plug in the right numbers from your W-2 or 1099. The cost is low or free depending on your income and you can even file different schedules for businesses, farms or other tax issues. Your state taxes can also be done at the same time. And with direct deposit, you receive your refund quickly — without having to pay a fee to a tax preparer.

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3. Yard Work

Doing your own yard work is one of the best ways to get in a great work out and still get your yard work done. Grab a push mower and weed whacker and have at it. Take your time. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Make a plan for tackling different jobs from mowing to weeding the flower beds. And if you’re going to be away for a couple of weeks, schedule someone to come and do the job. With some companies charging as much as $50 a lawn, it’s money in your pocket to mow it yourself.

4. Housecleaning

How much do you really need a housecleaner? I mean really. If you’re suffering from a large mess due to an illness or some other issue, it might be nice to hire someone to help you get started, but once you have things under control, it’s easy to keep up. When you’re in the bathroom in the morning, brushing your teeth, take a second to wipe down the sink. The shower can be easily scrubbed once every couple of days while you’re in it. Do all the floors at once, while you have the broom and mop bucket out. Make sure you always wipe down the sink after you do the dishes and the stove after each meal. But no one cleaned behind the piano? Well, if you can’t see it and your mother-in-law can’t see it — who cares? Get behind the piano during spring cleaning and forget about the baseboards most of the time. Most people don’t even notice — and you’re real friends know that you live in your house, you don’t just clean it.

Check out the Fly Lady, who has great tips for keeping a clean house without going crazy.

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5. Wash your own car

And don’t do it very often. Really, how dirty does your car really get? I mean really? Won’t it rain soon? If not, and you just can’t take the build up of dust on your car, then get out the hose and the sponges and let the kids go to town doing it. But really, car washing is one of those things that’s best done once in a while – save yourself the time, the water and the cash.

6. Dry cleaning

Does anyone go to the dry cleaners anymore? Well, they shouldn’t. Between handwashing and those funky packages they sell to do your own dry cleaning in your dryer, you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for someone else to do your laundry. Even better — don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned.

 

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What other chores are simple to do yourself and can save you money? Let us know! Comment below.

More by this author

Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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