Ignoring Your ToDo List Can Cost You Money


A notebook sits on my kitchen counter open to my current todo list. I add things as necessary, and cross things off as they are completed. My wife even gets in on the process by adding things to the list that she wants me to do. My list is constantly being re-prioritized, and sometimes tasks fall off the list completely when it’s time to rewrite the list onto a new page. As I’ve found out recently, removing items from my todo list may cost me a lot of money.

Putting off items my wife requested may end up costing me a lot of money.

On Friday afternoon I heard my wife making phone calls trying to collect estimates to do some things around the house. After listening for awhile, I waited until she hung up from a particular call and stated that all the things she was inquiring about were things I could do myself.

“But you haven’t done them, and they need to be fixed.”

Here’s a list of the things that had dropped off the todo list that were suddenly in the forefront of our conversation:

Outlet Repair

There is a GFI outlet on our deck that has stopped working correctly and needs to be replaced. During the winter we weren’t out on our deck anyway, so I lost track of the task. Now that it’s getting nice outside, we’ll be spending more time on the deck, and we’ll need the outlet.  I’ve replaced outlets before, so I should be able to knock this one out quickly.

  • Estimated Electrician Cost: $90
  • Estimated DIY Cost: $8

Switch Repair

We have a three way switch in our kitchen that isn’t working right. I suspect one of the switches is worn out. I was going to replace all three switches and see if it works. There’s always a combination of the three switches up or down that work, so I didn’t see it as a big deal. My wife, however gets really annoyed at it.

  • Estimated Electrician Cost: $95
  • Estimated DIY Cost : $15

Paint Exterior Doors

My wife has been asking for years for me to paint our front door, as well as the door that leads from the house to the garage. It never seems to make it to the top of the list since the doors are functional, she just wants them a different color. Someone told her that the best way to have it done is as an auto body place, which turns out is super expensive. Although we could potentially hire a painter to do it for us, as well, the estimate she got is from the auto body shop.

  • Estimated Auto Body Cost : $600
  • Estimated DIY Cost : $100

My wife is (rightfully) tired of waiting for me to complete these tasks. They are things I know I can do myself, but I’ve just never gotten them done. I don’t know if her phone calls were intended to be a wake-up call, her taking matters into her own hands to get the items completed, or a little of both. But I know that I would rather save money and do them myself.

I begged for one more chance.

I asked my wife to allow me another shot at getting the items done. If I can’t figure them out or they turn out to be more work than would allow me to get them done in a very prompt manner, then we can pay to have them done. Luckily for me, she reluctantly agreed.

I’ll be picking up the needed supplies this afternoon.

This is my last shot to save money on these items, otherwise I’ll be fixing them with my checkbook.

How about you, Clever Friends? Has your significant other ran out of patience for you to complete a task on the todo list?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


    • LOL, that she did, Money Beagle. I did the switch and outlet repairs….but after talking to our neighbors about the process of painting the exterior door, I decided to take it in and have it painted. 🙂

  • In our house generally my husband’s to do list just sits as he knows if I get aggrevated enough I will do it myself–paint doors-prep time 2-3 hours –sand, remove hardware, take off hinges styx cover coat, then fist coat 1 hour then 2nd coat 1 hour. Sand between coats. What seems like should take 15 min. really takes several hours and maybe a day to dry–buy good quality Benjamin Moore paint $25. So not always cheap and timely to do yourself. However my husband knows I am way too cheap to hire someone because by the time painter comes over. looks at job, gives estimate, we work so sync some dates we can have work done, I can have it done myself. Hubby knows that I am cheap and hate trying to line these things up. But I get it done.

    • I got a good chuckle out of your story, PW. I don’t think I’d ever purposely aggravate my wife….it’s just a matter of priorities of what I have to do in a day. She helps me “re prioritize.” 🙂

  • It’s funny how common it is for people to procrastinate on small things. If it was a huge repair, you’d probably spend 4 days straight on it. Since they are small and may only take 15 minutes, you just ignore them forever.

    • I’ve probably spent more time thinking about doing them than doing then Eric….it is funny how things work that way!

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