Outsourcing has become a common alternative to the ‘do it yourself’ mentality of years gone by. From services like Menulog delivering our meals to Airtasker to get someone to fix a leaky tap. There seems to be a way to outsource even the most minute tasks but is outsourcing worth it?
What Is Outsourcing
Outsourcing is defined as – obtain (goods or a service) by contract from an outside supplier.
In layman’s terms outsourcing can be seen as anything you pay someone else to do. Also known as On Demand Services.
Outsourcing has become an integral part of our lives in the way we can opt to pay for convenience rather than completing tasks ourselves.
Why Do We Outsource
To answer this we should first consider why we choose to pay for others to do tasks for us. For many of us we choose to pay for a delivery service like UberEats out of nothing but laziness (for lack of a harsher term). It’s much easier to press buttons on an app rather than go pick up those pork rolls ourselves.
Another reason we outsource is for convenience. It’s convenient for us to simply order and send gifts to our loved ones through online stores rather than spending our time shopping and delivering the gifts ourselves.
Buying back our time. We hire people to mow our lawns so we don’t need to spend our free time doing it ourselves. Allowing us to spend that time doing things we love rather than chores.
As described by Youtubers Two Cents Video Is it smart to outsource your chores? We can categorise our reasoning into 2 categories for outsourcing.
Leverage or Luxury
Leverage can be considered as something you pay for in order to make more money. For example, if you are paying someone to mow your lawns in order to work on your side hustle which in turn makes more money than you’ve paid for lawn care. You can consider that Leverage. Using the time you would normally spend doing chores to make money in this instance is Leverage.
If you are able to spend the time you’ve paid someone to have free on making money then you have successfully leveraged your time.
On the other hand we have Luxury. If you are paying someone to mow your lawns so you can have that time free to spend your weekend with your kids. That is considered a Luxury.
Outsourcing to free up personal time is considered as Luxury.
Another example, if you are using that time to invest in yourself by studying something you are interested in, this would also be considered Luxury. Luxuries do not necessarily have to be bad things. The price we place on our free time can often not be valued by money.
All reasons behind outsourcing can most often fit into either one of these reasons, Leverage or Luxury.
Is Outsourcing Worth It?
Depending on what you are outsourcing, why and your financial situation will give you a clearer understanding on whether or not outsourcing tasks are worth it for you.
If however, outsourcing puts you over your budget and pushes you into debt then it’s a clear no. It is not worth it.
Quite often tasks we outsource are simple enough for us to learn to do ourselves. For instance, let’s says you’ve just found a leaky tap in the house. Rather than calling a plumber straight away, it could be much much cheaper and easier to find out how to fix it yourself. Most tasks that we would otherwise hire someone to fix can be done without much help from a YouTube tutorial.
If outsourcing tasks is well within your budget and allows you time to work on your side hustle or gives you more time with your family and friends then it can be well worth it.
I recently made the decision to hire someone regularly to mow our lawns at home. In the past I enjoyed doing this myself but since having our twin boys I found myself wishing I could spend my entire weekend with them rather than cutting grass. So I consider the 2 hours I’m paying someone to do it for me ‘worth it’.
So, Is it Worth it?
The question ‘is it worth it?’ is entirely up to your personal and financial circumstances. However, if not monitored properly outsourcing can lead you down a trail towards debt. Which we don’t want. Be mindful of how much you are spending on outsourcing as well as monitoring how much you value your free time.
In my case, I value time spent with my family more than the $50 a fortnight it costs for me to pay for someone to cut our grass. The time I get in return far outweighs the cost associated.
Outsourcing can work for you in a few ways. It can either be a good investment to free up your time to make more money (Leverage). Or it can be a way for you to have more freedom in your spare time (Luxury).