Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Should you do it yourself?

DO-IT-YOURSELF or pay to have it done. Which is best?

Dear Marilyn,

I would like some advice. Do you think it is best to do things yourself, or to pay others to do them for you?

For example, when the oil in my car needs changing, I can go buy the oil, and change it myself, or I can go have the oil change done professionally, and pay for it to be done. Another example is when I buy appliances for my home. I can do a little bit of research, and find out how to install them myself, or I can pay to have them installed.

One final example would be when I need something repaired, I can look up the information on how to fix it myself, and figure out how to do it. Or, I can pay to have an expert do the repairs for me. It is sure nice to get things done right, but there is a financial sacrifice to having it done that way. Of course, it doesn’t take nearly as much time.

What do you think is the best way to deal with these situations?

Signed, Just Wondering

Dear Just Wondering,

   This is a question that can have different answers, depending on a few variables. If you really don’t want to spend your money having someone else do these kinds of things, then you should try to do it for yourself. This is especially true if you are mechanically inclined.

   If you are good at home repairs, not only does it save money, but also there is a real feeling of accomplishment when a task is completed well. On the other hand, some folks are really good at many things, but do not have the natural talent to be good at mechanical tasks.

   In the case of Jim and I, we pay for most of these kinds of tasks to be done for us. We are not mechanically inclined at all.

   We once put a bookcase together. The instructions said that it would take one half-hour. It took us several hours! We had these same results with several plumbing items and home repairs that we attempted. We learned quickly that we were much better off paying someone else to do these tasks.

   On the other hand, my brother is very handy. He changes the oil on his own vehicles, and my mom’s as well. (Thanks, Bob!)

   As you noted, another variable is the time it takes to complete the task. If you feel that the time you are saving is worth the cost, than by all means I would recommend that you pay to have it done.

   So, all in all I would say the answer depends on your own abilities and your financial situation. Do what is best for you.

Dear Marilyn,

I recently moved far away from my family to take a job here in Orange County. I thought I could handle the distance from my family. The job itself is a great opportunity for me. I am well paid, and this job is not available in my hometown. I also really like my boss, and my co-workers.

However, I am very sad and lonely when the weekends come around. I miss going over to my cousin’s house for barbeques. I miss going to the ball games with my dad. What can I do to make my new place feel more like home?

Signed, New In Town

Dear New In Town,

   You are going to need to look for things to do, and people to meet. Unfortunately, things won’t happen if you sit and wait for them to come to you.

   First of all, you mention that you like your co-workers. That is great. Find out if there are other folks that are single too, and see if they would like to get together. Find out if they would like to go to a ball game or a movie. You won’t know unless you ask them.

   Secondly, there are many organizations that are looking for volunteers. Since you like sports, you may want to find out if you can be a coach or a referee for one of the various youth sports programs. This is a great way to meet people, and there is a real need for volunteers in many of the groups.

   Finally, be on the lookout for both social happenings and also adult sports teams that are frequently forming in your new hometown. That is also a good way to have some fun and make some new friends.

   Welcome. We are very glad that you are here. Just give it a little time, and hopefully you will soon feel more at home.

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