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Do It Yourself or Hire Help? Personal Finance Bloggers Sound Off

photo: AMagill

Life isn’t easy for a lot of folks these days: most of us weren’t born a la Paris Hilton, with access to anything money can buy and fame (or notoriety) on the side.

So it behooves us to be more resourceful and watchful of our finances.

One way to save more money is to be more self-reliant, perhaps taking on projects ourselves that we may normally pay other people to do.  For those who are handy enough to fix a leaky pipe at home, or who have amazing talents in the kitchen, engaging in DIY projects can certainly save you a bundle.  But the true essence of DIY is really this: you are making a tradeoff between time and money.  Is it worth it to learn a new skill so you can take on certain jobs yourself — things you didn’t even dream of trying but are now doing because of necessity?

For many of us, the answer is “yes.” It seems that many of us these days have a bit more time than money to burn.  On this note, let’s check out this week’s personal finance blogger roundup:

Being Frugal 100% of the Time Isn’t For Me

Rainy Day Saver discusses where she has fallen short on being frugal, but acknowledges her skills in the DIY realm.  She’s quite self-sufficient as someone who can fix a ceiling on her own, install sheet rock and swap out car parts. She may not be  100% frugal, but she’s sure to save a fortune in professional fees, thanks to her do-it-yourself skills and her ability to find serendipitous deals.

Should You Outsource Your Household Chores?

This writeup from Ginger Won’t Snap illustrates the pros and cons of doing chores yourself vs hiring someone else to do the work.  How is your time best used?  After all, the time you save by outsourcing your housekeeping tasks can be put to productive use.

Fix Your Bad Credit Yourself or Use a Credit Repair Service?

The Digerati Life discusses why it’s better to work on repairing your own credit in case you find errors in your credit report. You can fix a lot of credit issues by being more disciplined about your bill-paying efforts. Pay your bills on time and keep on top of your finances, and you should see improvements over time.  Word to the wise: hire a credit repair company with caution.

The New, and (Almost) Free, Way to Refinance

Once you’ve fixed your credit scores, here is where the real benefit lies: you might qualify for fast and cheaper mortgage refinancing because you’ve been consistent about paying your creditors promptly.  The Alpha Consumer blog points out that you can get better treatment from your bank by being a good customer. (Of course, you may have the opposite experience entirely — and face numerous obstacles despite your perfect credit. No two refinance attempts will be the same, even if you’re looking at the same person refinancing twice.)

Talking About Money Before Marriage (DO IT!!!)

Budgets Are Sexy recommends that spouses talk about money and discuss their finances before they get hitched. And it’s pretty sensible advice. Avoid conflicts through communication. Ideally, a marriage is built on a “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours” philosophy.  How open are you and your spouse about your net worth, income, assets and liabilities?

Should You Use A Professional Trustee For Your Trust?

When family members pass away, leaving you with property or assets of any form, there will always be some degree of work involved in settling an estate. Find out why The Wealth Pilgrim cautions against using the services of a professional trustee.

The Things Money Can’t Buy, and a Few Things It Can

When all is said and done, money isn’t everything. Like Frugal Dad says, money can’t buy love. Money may bring you peace of mind, but it won’t sooth your heart.  And while it can open the door to many options, it won’t buy you respect.

Whether you decide to leverage your time by hiring help or choose to take on DIY projects yourself, you’re actually doing more here than making a decision about how to use your time or money.  Ultimately, by being productive and using your limited resources wisely, you’re also investing in yourself.

Silicon Valley Blogger (SVB) runs The Digerati Life and The Smarter Wallet, where she writes about  general personal finance topics such as investing, budgeting, debt management and small business ideas.