There are many times you can do a task yourself or make your own decisions without consulting an expert. Some services are a waste of money, or even a scam, and you should avoid shelling out cash in these cases. However, it is important to recognize when you need to open up your wallet and pay an expert. The decision depends a lot on what you have at stake. For example, if you know you have a competitive resume, you might not need to pay a resume writer. But you might decide to bring in professional assistance if you have bombed several interviews in a row.
Here are 10 situations where you probably should pay an expert.
1. Legal trouble
If you’re facing jail time, now is not the time to try to study up on legal terms and get yourself out of your own mess. Although you might be able to talk your way out of some situations, it’s often worth springing for professional help. Your best bet is to pay a criminal lawyer. Unless your income qualifies you for a court-appointed lawyer, you definitely need to enlist one. A quality lawyer will help you negotiate a plea deal, gather evidence, advise you on the case, and help you in other ways that you might not otherwise have the time or skills for.
It seems like the entertainment headlines are constantly changing from celebrity couples amicably separating to divorce proceedings that suddenly get messy. And the same can happen to you. Even if you are amicably divorcing, don’t assume you won’t need a lawyer. There are certain situations where you won’t need one, but you might want to at least look into hiring one.
If your divorce gets messy, you will need a lawyer to help you fight your case. But even if it stays clean, you still might need help ironing out the details. A divorce attorney will know the specific state laws and be able to advise you in several situations. Lawyers also can communicate with several other experts who can add to the case, such as psychologists, social workers, or accountants.
3. Preparing or signing legal documents
One more situation that might require a lawyer is any that involves legal documents or future planning. This can include purchasing a home, writing a will, estate planning, leases, or even documents related to your career or worker’s compensation. The list goes on and on, and determining when it is worth paying a lawyer or another expert can be tricky. You can complete many legal forms yourself online, but hiring an attorney can help you make sure the language you use is appropriate and everything you need included is in the document. If you are making a large purchase (such as a home), expert advice can help protect your investment, as well.
4. Home renovations
There are many home renovations you should be able to complete yourself. If you have the time, landscaping, painting, and even small bathroom or other room renovations can make your home more attractive for a low cost. If you have experience or are willing to learn, then you might be able to successfully undertake bigger renovations, as well.
However, if you are short on time or have very little experience, it’s probably best to pay an expert to do the renovations for you. In some situations, such as a renovation in a home with lead paint or a home with mold, employing an expert will also keep you safe.
5. Learning something new
If you need to learn how to do something well, and you need to do it quickly, then it is best to hire an expert. You can read through a Spanish (or other) language manual or listen to language recordings, but many people will learn more quickly if they take a class or work with an expert. You can prepare for a big speech by reading your speech over and over, but working with an expert will help you refine your points and learn to speak with confidence. Sometimes, especially if you need to do something quickly and want to do it well, it makes sense to pay an expert to teach you or help you.
6. Improving your job prospects
There are so many different articles available online about how you can improve your resume or how to ace an interview. Many of these articles are excellent, and some people can learn from them and won’t need any additional help. However, if you are consistently being passed over for an interview, then it might be time to hire some help.
If you freeze up every time you go to an interview, then you can enlist the help of someone who has human resources training or specifically helps with interviews. If paying someone a little money once helps you land a job, then it will be worth the cost. According to U.S. News & World Report, a good career coach should have an online presence and have experience and specialization.
7. Financial trouble
Like interviewing and searching for a job, you can find a lot of financial advice on the internet. However, some people need something more concrete than just reading articles. You might need someone to actually keep you accountable. Or, if you simply feel overwhelmed or are deeply in debt, then hiring a financial adviser or certified financial planner might be the right choice.
8. Big events
If you want your wedding to be perfect, then hiring a wedding planner can make the process easier and more enjoyable. Be sure to look at potential planners’ websites, check services and availability, and call references to be sure you find a good fit. You can also hire an expert for almost any other event that you want to go smoothly, such as a graduation party, anniversary, or even a funeral. Even if you don’t hire a person to organize the entire event, you might want to hire someone to do the aspects you are less comfortable with (such as a caterer or musician).
No one can keep you safe all the time, but if you are truly feeling like you or your family are in danger, then it’s worth paying to feel feel a little bit safer. This doesn’t mean you should go out and hire a bodyguard (unless you really need one). Instead, consider a home alarm system. There are different levels, so you can find one that works for you. If there have been recent break-ins in your home, and you want to protect your family or your valuables, this can be a decent investment. Or, if you or your spouse travel a lot for work, then having a home alarm system can bring piece of mind.
Paying for a self-defense class is another option. So is installing new locks in your home or fixing broken windows. Even if you are concerned about a different kind of safety (such as financial), you can take steps, such as investing in identity-theft monitoring. You have to decide what you need in order to feel comfortable.
When you can do something yourself, then you should do it. It’s great to save money by doing as much as possible yourself. However, sometimes you just don’t have the time. If hiring an experienced person to clean your house lessens your stress when you are busy or getting ready for guests, then go ahead and pay someone. If you are desperate for time, hire someone to do your grocery shopping for you. Or, if you need to, bring your clothes to the dry cleaners to get them expertly cleaned and ready for a big event.
Although avoiding these services will save you money, if you are truly stressed or in a hurry, paying someone else to help you out can be a good thing to do.