As my friends and family can attest, I am frugal and thrifty – to say the least. (Our kids often have less flattering terms for it.) So, when a fellow rang the doorbell and offered to do some yard work for us, my first impulse was to say, “Thank you, but No, we would do our own mulching and weed whacking.”

But this guy was persistent and came back several times. He seemed eager to work. My husband helped me see this in a new light when he said, “Hey, the guy needs money and he’s willing to work for it. Why not honor his industriousness and consider it a donation to a good cause.” So we did.

This reminded me of experiences two of our adult children had when living in Indonesia, Mali, and Senegal. When we visited them we were aghast that each of them had a maid. “Hey, this isn’t the Vogt way of doing things. Haven’t you been reared to do things for yourself rather than have ‘servants’”? Each of them explained the local culture to us saying that if one is educated and making a decent income in these poor countries, it is expected that you will provide work for those who need it. Not to do so would be considered selfish. Hmmm. Now I’m looking at things a little differently.

How do you feel about doing stuff yourself versus paying for someone else to do it? What criteria do you use to make these decisions?