Is hired help costing you too much?

We are all for hiring service providers when the going gets tough and when it makes financial sense. But sometimes you can waste money by hiring the wrong person or provider. We look at what you should outsource and when it makes sense to get your own hands dirty.

Do you have the time to do it yourself?

According to Paul Roelofse, consumer advocate at the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa, outsourcing a service is a useful venture if it saves you time and money.

“Many people with busy schedules don’t consider hiring a service to clean their homes or gardens as a waste if it can buy them more time to do other important things,” says Roelofse.

But if you are hiring people to do chores while you laze around, you could be saving a lot more by cleaning your own home and garden.

Is the service you are paying for a luxury you can do without?

Shepherd Silayi, debt consultant at Credit Matters, says that in many cases, people pay for services they can easily do without.

“Many women will spend a lot of money going to the hairdresser on a regular basis. If you are on a budget you should cut this out and try to maintain your own hair instead of paying someone to do it for you. People also get their car washed every week when you can wash your own car over weekends,” says Silayi.

What are some alternatives to outsourcing a service?

Having a wedding planner is a nice luxury but often an expensive one. Jason Garner, management consultant at Acsis, says that often it is a good idea to outsource a wedding planner as they can get you the best deals. But because they are the middleman you should doublecheck how much they are charging you for something they are getting cheaper from someone else.

Alternatively, Silayi suggests you rope in family and friends to assist with the planning and catering of big events like funerals and weddings.

“A wedding planner will charge no less than R5000 which is expensive if you consider the other costs for the event – especially if you are working on a budget,” says Silayi.

What are the necessary services you should pay for?

Some services are a necessary expense.  “When it comes to the services of an electrician, plumber or mechanic, it is most often better to pay for a professional and ensure a long-term saving on the issue at hand,” says Silayi.

Both Roelofse and Silayi warn that opting for the DIY route could cost you more in the long run.

Avoid doubling up on services

Garner says that many people don’t look at how they double up on services they can get for a small extra fee from one service provider. Paying for a gardening and pool cleaning service is an unnecessary cost when many gardeners will clean your pool for a little bit extra.

“Another example would be hiring a person to clean your home and another to look after your kids. If the person who cleans your home is capable of looking after your kids, you should look into that as an option,” says Garner.

Moneybags’ Top Tips:

You should pay for a service if it can save you time and money, but if you have the time then try to do house and garden maintenance on your own.

For those on a budget, avoid extra services like wedding planners and caterers to assist with big events. Talented family and friends can chip in for this.

Try to look at where you are doubling up on services. Often one service provider can assist with two separate tasks at a small extra cost.