Is Lawn &Garden in your budget?

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Spring has sprung and each year, I look forward to planting on our mostly shady urban balcony.

Years ago, when I was young and 30, and could burn calories in the sweltering Texas heat, I mowed my own lawn.

My ex was selfish and lazy and I was an enabler. I mowed. He fished and drank beer.

It made me mad.

What made me madder was the green, piece of crap “EZ Start” mower from Sears. Often my neighbor took pity and started her for me.

I dubbed that horrible, horrible machine  “The Green Bitch” and spent many Sundays dealing with this horrible machinery and growing ever more resentful.

Finally, I dug up the backyard grass and put in mulch (it cut down on mosquitoes).

I hired a lawn service for the front.

Best. Decision. Ever.
$25 every 2 weeks in summer and fall.

According to Money magazine, Americans spend an average of $359/year on lawn and garden, down from 2002 of $466 (unsure if adjusted for inflation, so let’s adjust)…..$616.84

Should someone else mow your lawn?

It depends on what you make per hour and what the cost of petrol mix and machinery is.

Figure out what your hourly wage is even if you have a “salary”.

Consider your household post tax salary:
Example $62,000 USD pre-tax
$52,700 post Fed tax
Daily $166 (assumes 3weeks vacation and 5 sick days)
Hourly:$20.72
Plus petrol, equipment etc
$23.00/ hr

TaskRabbit app lawn service rates in Houston:
$19.00 and up

It might be worth your while to hire it out and not worry about mowing, edging and so on. Also, consider the hassle/resentment factor (divorce is really expensive).

If you make minimum wage $15/ hr, may want to hire out yourself to TaskRabbit or continue mowing your own.

At any rate, look back on the past year and estimate what you spent for flowers, fuel, gloves, seeds, hoses, containers, etc.. Divide by 12.

Put this in your monthly budget to save for lawn and garden costs next year. A savings account at another bank is helpful to electronically transfer to. Out of sight, outta mind.

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