Should I cut my lawn guy?

I know that I could save myself a lot of money each year if I simply purchased a lawn mower rather than paying someone to care for my lawn for me.

A little history: Growing up, my father made my brother, cousin and I take care of all of our yard duties. That included cutting a rather sizable yard, raking up all of the grass and bagging the raked material. I hated it, and vowed that once I became of age, I would never do it again.

So far, so good.

Except now, it’s costing me money. Here’s my true dilemma, though. I’ve had the same person cutting my grass now for several years. He’s a fantastic guy and does a nice job. He’s also dependable and even when I don’t have the money on hand, he’ll cut the grass and come back later in the day to collect.

But, he charges me $40 a pop. In the height of summer, that’s $80 a month. I’m expecting this week to be my final cut until next spring (at least I’m hoping so).

One of my neighbor’s sons came by recently and offered to cut the grass — for only $7! It’s very tempting, and would be an easy decision if I didn’t feel a bit of loyalty to the man who has been doing it for years. Plus, my steady guy has a family to feed.

However, with a chance to save $33, I’m a bit torn. Is this a no-brainer? Should I cut my regular lawn guy and take the cheaper deal? Is a job well done over several years worth the difference in pay?

What do you think I should do?

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15 comments Add your comment

Kenbud

September 20th, 2010
3:35 pm

Hey Rana!

Tell your main mower guy that someone else has offered to do your lawn for cheaper, and you’re not sure what to do. I bet he will lower his price just to keep the job. Put the decision-making on him. If he can’t lower his price, that could make a transition for you much easier.

Kenbud

September 20th, 2010
3:36 pm

Or just buy a lawn-mower and put that same amount into savings so you can see how much you really ARE saving. LOL

T.Jones

September 20th, 2010
3:37 pm

Unless you really,really need the cash stick with your regular guy. Come on, how much of a good job can a kid do for $7.00? However, being a former lawn care specialist, I would see if he could lower his price some ,considering these economic times. Remember, you get what you pay for.

DW

September 20th, 2010
3:54 pm

Seriously… $7 bucks is a stretch. It has to be a kid that has no clue what hes doing. Im ALL for saving money but i wouldnt even feel right letting someone cut my lawn for 7 bucks.

PJ

September 20th, 2010
3:57 pm

Does your regular guy do more than cut? Does he also edge and blow the walks? Will the neighbor kid do that also? What are you going to do when he moves on to working at Burger King and abandons you. What will your old reliable guy say?

Mary

September 20th, 2010
4:20 pm

I have a huge yard, and therefore pay for it. Still every 2 weeks is a bit much, especially this summer. Remember that the price of gas (his expense) has gone up, even if our salaries haven’t. My yard guy comes when I need it and also does such extra work as hedge trimming and weed control. I pay extra from time to time, like when he turns over the dirt in the garden, or really goes above and beyond the call of duty. I’d keep your guy around for the same reasons as PJ states. He also takes time to teach me about caring for the yard — can your kid do that?

cdawg

September 20th, 2010
4:52 pm

Go with the kid, only if you don’t mind your yard being butchered. I doubt he is going to put much effort into it for 7 dollars.

downsouth

September 21st, 2010
6:59 am

i sure hope your yard man doesn’t read your blog, it’d be a terrible way to find out you’re probably ditching him…

you don’t say how big a yard you have, so not sure how to rate 40 / cut. i’m sure he edges and blows it all off also. most yard need to be cut at least every two weeks, even in the height of summer. if we’d had better rain, most yards need cut at least every 7-10 days, if you want it to look good for the neighbors / covenents / normal satisfaction. cutting your lawn frequently also is a way to not hafta rake leaves, just mulch them up. you need to cut it a few more times this year since the leaves have yet to fall…

just remember that you don’t have to buy any of the yard tools, store them, put gas or gas/oil mix in them, maintain them, or haul them around. for some, thats a big bonus.

that great that the neighbor kid wants to do that but you’ll get what you pay for. does his parent(s) know he’s asking for so little money?

i say suck it up or talk to your man and see if you can juw him down. that’s the way of the economy these days isn’t it. “how can i get the same for less money?”

Rana Cash

September 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Thanks for the tips everyone. I’ll stick with my guy — for now — but definitely let him know that I need at least a small price break. Something tells me he’ll be agreeable.

Brian Cash

September 21st, 2010
11:25 am

What if the kid gets hurt cutting your lawn. That $33.00 savings could end up a lot more.

V. Lewis

September 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

I use to have a lawn guy come out every two weeks to cut my grass but with the economy is I decided to cut the grass myself this year. I saved over $490.00 by cutting it myself. Th eonly time I will use him is this fall when the leave fall.

V. Lewis

September 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

sorry for typos

I hate my lawn

September 21st, 2010
1:56 pm

My “lawn” is two acres of potholes, hills, and tree roots. Lots of weeds, not too much grass. The bare spots throw up great clouds of dust by mid-August. I have to mow it myself because the cheapest I’ve found is $160 per mow ($80 per acre). Our riding mower broke 3 years ago, and it takes about 7 hours over 5 days with a push mower (no edging, blowing, or other fancy stuff). If I let it grow, then the ticks, snakes, and other critters come closer to the house and the kids can’t play outside. At least we don’t have a homeowner’s association. What would you do?

USMC7

September 23rd, 2010
5:39 pm

Buy your own mower and do your own lawn work. This will give you a chance to spend some time outside and get some exercise as well. Alot of my neighbors have a lawn service cutting their lawns, but nothing is better then taking pride in your own lawn care. Just the fact of know how good your lawn looks and also know that you are the one that is cutting it.

The cost of the lawn mower will pay for itself within on year and I only fill up my 3 gallon gas container once a season. So, the cost is little but the satisfaction last along time, well until you have to cut the grass again.

Spindrift

September 23rd, 2010
5:51 pm

You must be kidding, sounds like you need a part time job…