60 minutes every week can save you $500 or more a year!

If straight lines were not your thing in art class, this could be a difficult activity to pursue. We had curvy mohawk grass lines after Chitra, my wife, completed her first attempt at mowing our lawn! 

Having lived in town home communities we were spoilt by the services covered in our monthly assessment fee – like lawn mowing and snow removal. So a rude awakening awaited us, when we moved to our single family home in December 2013. Our first winter in the new home was not kind either and with my travel schedule, it was Chitra dealing with some heavy duty snow removal (we had not bought our snowblower then). So when Spring greeted us, we were quick to hire a lawn maintenance service provider. Their job entailed mowing the grass, trimming all the edges and clearing  refuse from the lawn. This service costed us $30 every week/visit. Their crew typically had 2 team members and finished the job in under 30 minutes. 

In 2016 we had new neighbors whom we got to know very well. I would observe each member of their family take turns every week in mowing their lawn. This also included their kids, then in middle and high school. To me it was a good activity for the kids to burn excess energy and help them learn a chore, that could be a source for earning some pocket money in future years.

With inspiration from our neighbors, in 2017 we invested in a lawn mower and trimmer.  Soon we picked up other supplies for the trade – refuse bags (if you are not mulching your cut grass), city pick-up stickers, gasoline can and gasoline. 

On day one the pressure was high with wifey, kiddo and our pet dog all focussing their eyes on me. I too was dressed for the job, with my gardening hat, gloves and a confident look. That confidence was soon tested because my machine would not start as easily as my car. You got to pull on this starter rope, which revs up with engine. It took a few pulls and a review of the owner’s manual, before it started. The first day was all exciting with everyone wanting to use the machine a bit – including my 8 year old son! We are not a big DIY family and the satisfaction we got to see a our maintained yard was very rewarding.

2018 was our second summer and I have begun to appreciate the value of being able to mow the lawn. Keeping the monetary savings aside, you can monitor the health of our lawn more effectively. You identify defect areas early on and can take remedial measures. Occasionally I have been my son’s hero for being able to find his lost/forgotten toys from our yard. There is the opportunity to talk to your neighbors or regular walkers – yes it does help you being more social. Don’t get me started on the health benefits of being outdoors & adding to your daily step count.

I say to all, if allergies are not an issue for you, get out and mow your own lawn. We have a 0.5 acre yard and I can complete my mowing and trimming routine between 45 to 60 minutes. My son, now 9, has had one training session with me and we hope he picks this chore up in the coming years. That is a “big hope”! 🙂

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Other related data points

  • Many of my purchases are based on recommendations by Consumer Reports
  • Toro 22” Personal Pace Smartstow Lawnmower: $374 + tax
  • Black & Decker 20V Electric String Trimmer: $89 + tax

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