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Old 07-31-2017, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,095 posts, read 3,455,118 times
Reputation: 10153

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This study found that buying time gave people more pleasure than buying goods, but that many people have trouble rationalizing that before buying services/labor, as it's not a tangible item.

As we've aged we have found that buying labor/services a much more rewarding experience than buying most goods (like most everyone else, we have enough stuff!).

But it was hard for us to first make those decisions. After buying/selling 9 homes in our married life, we were used to moving our own stuff, re-painting rooms, mowing lawns, even big remodels (when we were much younger).

Nowadays we hire a mowing service in Florida, we have a daily gardener in Mexico, we pay people to do all sorts of heavy lifting. I haven't succumbed to a maid (very common here in Mexico and economical) but most likely by the time I hit 70, I will. We figure by the time we hit mid to late 70's, we will hire a driver and perhaps have a full-time helper (we have a separate casita on our Mexican property). As we buy less and less stuff, and as we expect our travel expenses will decline with age (currently we go to Europe 2x a year and go to other parts of North America every 2-3 months), those monies will go to 'services' rather than goods.

Anyone else happier to pay for services versus goods?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.fdd8e16bae08

Quote:
Yes, you can buy happiness ó especially if the money saves you time.

People who dole out cash to save time on things like housekeeping, delivery services and taxis are a little bit happier than those who donít, new research finds.

Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people in four countries and also ran an experiment, giving people $40 for two weeks. One week, they had to buy something material, like a shirt. The next week, they paid to save themselves time. People said they felt happier after saving time than buying stuff.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:46 AM
 
6,212 posts, read 4,715,040 times
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I would agree. I am still doing some expensive things myself such as blowing the leaves in the Fall. Otherwise, we are getting help with house cleaning, household repairs and minor plumbing.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:55 AM
 
2,589 posts, read 1,928,685 times
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Most people have more than what they actually need. If you really think about it, we just need food, water, clothes, and shelter. It is the desire within us that make us to pursue for so called quality. Of course, I agree that quality matter, such as clean food, water, clothes, and living condition. However, the society shape to the point where they over do it, and people go with the standard, so it becomes normal to go after luxury things. People are getting lazier and lazier. Instead of walking, just few blocks, they say they need a car to drive there. Maybe 15 minutes to home was consider extremely lucky back in the old day, but now 15 minutes sounds like they are suffering through hell. People are expecting way too much more and not willing to put in their work, and they want everything good happen with their health. Is just not going to happen.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,232 posts, read 3,005,081 times
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Living in a condo eliminates the need for outside chores. I still do simple things inside. I will hire someone for heavy jobs. I still like to receive something that I can put my hand on when I spend money, probably because I can still do so years later.

I have done things like install ceiling fans, replace the wall switches with the rocker style, replace tired electrical outlets ( the condo is 43 years old). When we bought a new fridge we let 2 strong young men bring it in, hook it up and cart away the old one.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,217 posts, read 44,870,326 times
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I do like to hire out simple cleaning and yard work, feel like I am not "making wage" when I do these myself, and I have good people available to do the work.

Although, more serious home or car maintenance or repairs, what really brings me happiness is to buy tools, better tools, more tools, that make the job easier. Unlike hiring a "pro" to do the job for me, the tools will make things better the rest of my life.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,830 posts, read 4,940,887 times
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This is what makes Retirement so satisfying.

You get back your time.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,152,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Although, more serious home or car maintenance or repairs, what really brings me happiness is to buy tools, better tools, more tools, that make the job easier. Unlike hiring a "pro" to do the job for me, the tools will make things better the rest of my life.
Same here. I love acquiring high quality and/or special tools to do our own home/car/plane maintenance and repairs. Last year, we bought a bead breaker and rotated the tires of our plane. I watched the A&P replaced the alternator of the plane last month. I took an EAA electrical systems/avionics workshop few years ago. I also did all the wiring on our plane with the help of an A&P. I could have replaced the alternator myself but decided to have a 'pro' to do the job this time. The new alternator has an external voltage regulator and a low voltage warning light which required a bit of wiring. He used quite a few cool pieces of tools for the wiring task in tight spaces. I added them to my cool tool to buy list.

Some of the things which we have tried to do ourselves are labor intensive but the incentives were not saving money. Last year, we spent at least a month raking rocks and spreading top soil to repair the lawn which was heavily damaged by the septic tank replacement process. This year we got quite a few compliments for our beautiful front yard. We would not be as proud if the job was hired out. We are currently trying to fix up an old wooden tool shed. I have spent a lot of time scraping off old paint. We have made quite a few trips to Home Depot and Lowes to buy pressure treated boards, pieces of lumber, galvanized flashing, caulk, stains, paints, scrapers of all shapes etc.

Of course, we can hire someone to do the job. We just paid almost $14K to have the roofs replaced and the chimneys/gutters repaired. The quality of our roofer's job and his craftsmanship pride inspired us to tackle the job of fixing up the rest of the old tool shed to match its beautiful new roof. My husband was very proud in figuring out how to replace part of the ceiling with thicker boards and made them blend in well. We were pleased as punch to find a series of youtube videos showing how to replace the rotten lower part of the sidings. It will take us another week or two to complete the work. We have no doubt that its completion will give us a lot of satisfaction and pride.

Both of us were knowledge workers. We were proud of the many projects that we completed in our careers. Looking back at the things we have accomplished in our life, it seemed that we derived more pride and pleasure in the physical projects and the manual tasks which we learned to do: doing all the maintenance of our old cars including tasks such as tuneup, replacing brake master cylinder, compression coil springs etc.., building two brick fireplaces and chimneys, converted part of the basement into a living room and a bedroom, building our plane, building computers, fixing broken dryers, washers, snow blowers, lawn tractors, oil furnace heating system, broken cameras, computers, electronic equipment etc. I think the satisfaction comes from the tangible nature of these manual tasks where you can enjoy the 'fruits of your labor' both instantly and for many months and years later.

I agree that sometimes buying time (labor and service) can make one more happy than buying goods. However, it one derives satisfaction in doing some of the manual work, the happiness can come from buying the right goods (tools, materials etc.) to accomplish the tasks.

Last edited by BellaDL; 07-31-2017 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:32 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by dothetwist View Post
This study found that buying time gave people more pleasure than buying goods, but that many people have trouble rationalizing that before buying services/labor, as it's not a tangible item.

As we've aged we have found that buying labor/services a much more rewarding experience than buying most goods (like most everyone else, we have enough stuff!).

But it was hard for us to first make those decisions. After buying/selling 9 homes in our married life, we were used to moving our own stuff, re-painting rooms, mowing lawns, even big remodels (when we were much younger).

Nowadays we hire a mowing service in Florida, we have a daily gardener in Mexico, we pay people to do all sorts of heavy lifting. I haven't succumbed to a maid (very common here in Mexico and economical) but most likely by the time I hit 70, I will. We figure by the time we hit mid to late 70's, we will hire a driver and perhaps have a full-time helper (we have a separate casita on our Mexican property). As we buy less and less stuff, and as we expect our travel expenses will decline with age (currently we go to Europe 2x a year and go to other parts of North America every 2-3 months), those monies will go to 'services' rather than goods.

Anyone else happier to pay for services versus goods?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.fdd8e16bae08
The problem is some of us live where labor costs are astronomical. It's hard to justify paying someone nearly as high a rate per hour as my take home.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,829,371 times
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A valuable lesson I learned early on is that I have very few 'mechanical skills' and don't really enjoy "doing it myself."

Thus, I am quick to hire someone else to do almost any job. Even the "easy-looking" jobs invariably take me twice as long as expected --- and often leave me needing to pay someone else to do it right.

Stuff?? - We've got plenty and neither need or derive much pleasure from buying more.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:21 PM
 
1,516 posts, read 969,307 times
Reputation: 3483
I agree with the article in the OP. For years I was reluctant to "buy time", but as I got busier and busier I started paying people to help out with things that I would normally do on my own. For me, the hardest one to justify hiring also turned out to be the one that made the biggest difference in my life- a housekeeper.

For $100 every other week, we have someone come in and fold laundry, scrub bathrooms, steam clean the floors (steam mop), and tidy up. It feels so wasteful, but at the same time, my time is worth WAY more than $25/hr to me, so why would I spend four hours on my hands and knees scrubbing the place when someone else can do it for me.

I actually enjoy mowing the lawn so I'm not ready to hire that one out, but bigger cleanups like spring and fall cleanups and spreading mulch I'll hire out because they aren't enjoyable to me. Car repairs are similar- I won't do oil changes anymore because it is basically free labor to have them done, but I'll still do brakes and minor repairs because I enjoy it and it saves so much money in a short amount of time.
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