It is fun to make and break things, to hack personal projects, and to handle repairs ourselves and right away, all the while also saving a little money here and there. There are also times, though, when we just need to step back, give in and give up, and leave things to the professionals.

Being a builder and tinkerer by nature, I have been brought to learn and re-learn this lesson my entire life.

I have managed to fix a stove and an air cooler, maintained my personal computers, and even built a bed using wooden planks! There is no denying, though, that most of the time I end up having to spend an unreasonable number of hours on the project and with sub-standard results.

The cost of this habit has become more and more obvious to me in the past couple of years. I had resigned from my job that offered a fixed monthly salary and required regular hours, and have started offering services independently. I now charge clients by the hour.

Now that an hour is easily computable to a monetary cost, I always cannot help but notice the man-hours that I spend on these kinds of errands and compare potential income with the cost involved if I hired a professional, especially when time pressure and stress from work are creeping up.

The challenge lately has been to be more mature about my urge to handle things myself: To compute enjoyment, learning, and applicability of skills for future tasks, and then to put all of these up against the cost and expected difference in results when contracting professionals to handle the work.

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