Mowing the Lawn – Yesterday as I was mowing the lawn I started thinking about how, as a single woman who owns my own house, this was part of what owning a house entails. You see, until recently my teenage son had always mowed the lawn.
When I bought my house three and a half years ago, he was 16 and I figured it was a good chore for him, so I’ve never mowed my own lawn. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve mowed a lawn before, though admittedly, not very often. I did it for my mother a few times a long time ago.
When I was married, The Ex always did it. After the divorce, I lived in an apartment for a long time and never had to deal with it.
Even after my son left home, he would come home periodically and do the mowing. However, he recently moved away and no longer comes home for afternoon visits, so it falls on me.
As I pushed the mower (and yes, it’s an old-fashioned push mower), I thought about the financial ramifications of owning a home. I could hire someone to do the lawn, of course, but I figured I should try it first to see how hard it is. It’s not a large yard; in fact, it’s quite small, so I decided I should give it a go.
Please understand, I’m not a girly-girl who’s afraid of a little sweat and getting my hair messed up. Those things don’t bother me. However, I’ve never been a big fan of gardening in any form. Just not my thing.
But I am always aware of my finances and thought it no big deal to mow the lawn myself instead of paying someone else.
As I mowed, I thought about other women who have recovered from financial abuse and how this might be a teachable moment.
Whether to mow one’s own lawn or to pay someone else to do it. What choice should you make?
In my book it comes back to whether it makes dollars and sense or not. I try to live below my means, and not spend more than I bring in. Therefore, I thought why not save the money? Here is something I can push (pun intended) myself to do and save a few bucks.
As the sweat poured off me, I kept hitting twigs and little seed balls that locked up the mower, and I started to change my mind. I already pulled up weeds that were growing in the lawn and raked up the leaves. I knew I should get out the weed whacker and edge the whole bloody thing. But by the time I finished mowing I was toast.
The crab grass, I discovered, overran some of the sprinkler heads. So some areas aren’t getting enough water and are drying out. And with fall coming, the trees will be dropping all their leaves soon, adding more work.
Maybe I need to look at my budget again and figure out if I can afford a lawn service. I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, but that doesn’t mean I have to do it.
When it comes to finances, you get to choose where to spend your money and where you can pinch a bit by doing something yourself.
Maybe you’re the kind of gal who likes to break a sweat, enjoying the smell of fresh cut grass and tackling the yard yourself.
Or maybe you feel empowered having enough money for lawn service and not worrying about a clogged sprinkler head. Either choice is fine; just think about how the decision impacts your finances before making a commitment to an ongoing expense. Perhaps now is not the right time and, once you get the hang of it, it won’t be that big of a deal to mow your own lawn.
There isn’t a wrong choice. It’s what makes the most sense for you and your budget.
Sherry Lutz Herrington is the owner of Sherrington Financial Fitness, a business consulting and accounting firm specializing in strategic business planning and solid financial accounting for businesses. She is also the author of Strong Women Thriving (https://strongwomenthriving.com/), a blog which focuses on empowering women to be financially savvy, particularly after experiencing financial abuse. Sherry is currently writing a new book that both shares her personal story and addresses financial abuse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/womensurivingfinancialabuse