I Spend Money to Save Time: 8 People Dish on the Everyday Tasks They Outsource


Outsourcing … Personal Errands

The Job: Pet care
Who: Brian Phillips*, 50, owner of a health care business, Feasterville, Pa.
The Cost: $35 an hour
Why I Think It’s Worth It: I’m a single father of two and a business owner, so I use [personal errand service] Task Complete to help me with a few things that I find it hard to make time for, like veterinary and grooming appointments for my dog and other occasional errands.

The time I save can be turned into productive work hours that generate more value for my business, and it greatly improves my quality of life even when I’m not working.

Plus, I find that [the assistants] have become very efficient at completing the tasks in the shortest time possible, which keeps the costs down even more for me.

I’m not very good at budgeting on a monthly basis, so I calculate the cost of the service into my weekly expenses. So at the start of each week, I decide how many hours I can afford to use them.

But since my schedule fluctuates greatly with my business, I often find that it’s an easy decision to spend the money to have them help me, versus spending hours and hours doing those things myself.

I often even save money using grocery services because the sites let you organize your lists by price-per-unit—which makes it much easier to find the best value for your money.

The Job: Grocery delivery
Who: Perrin Jaymes*, 29, SEO manager, Chicago
The Cost: $10
Why I Think It’s Worth It: I like to maximize my happiness. [My girlfriend and I live] in Chicago, so if we want to get groceries, that means a two-hour trip and hauling 10 bags of groceries on public transportation.

So we choose to pay a $10 delivery fee using either Peapod or InstaCart—both end up being priced about the same—and spend that time watching Netflix instead. That, to me, is 100% worth it.

I find that I often even save money using these kinds of services because they will let you organize your lists by price per unit—which makes it much easier to find the best value for your money. You could do that in a store, too, but it would take a whole lot of shopping [time] and a lot of math. So it’s definitely changed the way I shop!

RELATED: 5 Productivity Apps That’ll Kick Your Workday Into High Gear

*Names have been changed.

  • pamb

    We pay a service to come and spray/aerate our yard several times a year. We pay a neighbor’s kid to mow. We pay a handyman to come to our house once we have enough things that need fixing. On the other hand, we bought a snow blower last year, and discontinued the plow service.

    We learned long ago to ask “what is your time worth”? As young newlyweds, my husband thought it would be a piece of cake to put together 2 armoires and a large dresser. Even with help from my dad, it was an entire weekend’s project. Never again. When we bought a swing set for our kids, we paid a professional to put it together correctly and securely. Well worth whatever we paid!

  • cc in nv

    Just be careful you’re being ethical. If someone else is doing something creative for you, they should get credit. And make sure you’re not hiring someone to market for you, when actually what they’re doing is spamming for you. I know people who are guilty on both of those counts.

  • Thats_Pretty_Powerful

    I recently saw an expert on time management cover this topic at a conference. He wrote a book on the subject. It motivated me to think about the day to day tasks that are keeping me from accomplishing what I really want in life and prompted me to write an article on it: http://thatsprettypowerful.com/why-youre-not-…ur-bucket-list/

  • http://thankably.com thankably

    We started Thankably.com just because a good friend was tired of writing thank you cards for his business clients!