One of my plans to keep my budget down was to do all my own lawn care.
Yep, that’s not going to happen.
Last year, I started out with my reel mower. Yes, that’s right, one of those old fashioned lawn mowers that’s just a bunch of spinning blades. Why did I go this route and not get a normal mower? I don’t have a garage on my house and I have yet to purchase a freestanding tool shed. That means that all my lawn tools have to live in my house. I am not about to store a gas powered mower inside my house. It’s just not going to happen. I thought about going electric, but the reviews weren’t much better than the reviews for the reel mower, and I figured the odds were good that I would eventually mow over the cord and ruin the whole thing.
The reel mower wasn’t bad… until I let the grass get too long. Anything over 3 inches and that thing wasn’t going to mow. And that means that it missed all the crazy fast-growing weeds. Not awesome. At one point, I was actually going out with the hedge trimmers and cutting them off. Yeah, that’s embarrassing.
Then I hired the neighbor kid to mow for $30 a pop. Problem? He wasn’t entirely reliable, and didn’t actually do the best job. He was only paid after he did the work, so it’s not like he took my money, but I just wasn’t entirely pleased.
So I went back to my landscaping company to get pricing. For a reasonable fee, they would not only mow, but fertilize, overseed, and treat the yard for various bugs and weeds. Not a bad plan. So for this season, that’s the route I’m going. I’ll decide next spring what I want to do next.
Yes, it’s a splurge, and I know all you frugal folks out there are yelling at me through the computer. But I figure that I can cut back elsewhere and leave this to the pros. Best of all, it leaves me time to do all the other things being neglected around the house.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.