This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
This week is just one of those weeks for me that is going to cost a bit of money to get through. I am in need of three service people in order to look after the stuff I own. In the first case, I need to get my brakes checked as well as my winter tires switched to summer (since I think winter is done here in Ontario now). Secondly, for one reason or another my main computer decided it didn’t want to start. This sounds like a “rich person problem”, that I have to do things like my homework and write this post on my second computer, but that’s the case. Finally, there is a small leak somewhere above my kitchen that I need to call a plumber about before my bathtub upstairs ends up on top of my stove downstairs.
All three of these repair and maintenance tasks I could probably figure out for myself, either by reading books or watching you tube videos (which I have found to be an excellent resource in most home improvement or mechanical problems in the past). My issue right now is that I don’t really have the time to figure out the problem and fix it. I need to get my tires changed anyways, so I might as well get the brakes checked while they already have the tires off. I found a University kid on Kijiji who said he could diagnose any computer problem for $20. Finally, I think it would just be easier to get a plumber in to check the pipe, as I have minimal experience in plumbing and I would prefer that the job was done correctly.
One solution to these issues is to have less stuff – get rid of the car, and the computer, and get a house that I can maintain on my own (which I think is an excellent argument for a Tiny House). This reduction would automatically reduce maintenance costs and would probably allow us to live someplace smaller.
A second option would be to make the time to fix these (seemingly) simple things. Right now I have school (finishing up my CGA courses) and a full time job, leaving just enough time to hang out with my wife and see the odd friend once in a while. I am hoping that in retirement the gain in time will allow me to do some of this stuff myself.
For now though, the tradeoff seems reasonable – I try to fix the really simple stuff that won’t take too long and outsource the rest. I try to find dependable people for the things that need it like the plumbing and my car (I’m not too worried about my computer problem, hence the Kijiji search for “cheap computer repairs”) or make do without or attempt repairs on my own.
What do you outsource? Do you think if you had more time, you’d do more of your own repairs or home improvement?