I consider myself to be pretty intelligent. I mean, I read incessantly and Google so much that I have a retention bank of miscellaneous facts in a multitude of subjects. I pride myself in figuring shit out and welcome a good challenge. I’m under the impression in pretty much anything and in any area, that if I set my mind, I can do it, or fix it, or figure it out. Overconfidence much? Slightly. But those qualities often keep me driven and motivated. They work well in some areas, and not so much in others. Case in point.
When I purchased my first home, it had a beautiful sparkling pool. I don’t think I actually got in one time, but would definitely sit poolside with my dog, Diesel, and watch as my siblings and mom had a splashing good time whenever they came to visit. My pool guy came weekly and didn’t seem to be doing anything earth shattering in my opinion to keep the water beautiful and clean. He poured a little of this here, and scooped out this there, which looked pretty simple to me. So when my financial situation became strained, he seemed like a logical expense that could be replaced with a good ol’ DIY on my end.
My decision to get rid of him came after he told me some story about some filters that needed to be cleaned and changed. It sounded too simple to me to merit his cost (which escapes me at the moment). Whatever that price was, he wasn’t getting it from me. So I set out to do it myself. I engaged my neighbor who didn’t even have a pool to help me, and we set out on a sunny day to clean the filters. We knocked out the job and I was feeling pretty good; PLUS I saved money!
So, here’s the thing. Too much pressure can crack the frames of the filters which we apparently applied when trying to reassemble them. I learned of this flub when the pool started to turn green and attract mosquitos and a loud frog who kept me up at night. Basically, I had a swamp. I remember calling the pool guy back out to fix the problem. He told me he’d now have to replace all of the broken parts, drain the pool, clean it, and refill it. I still couldn’t justify this bill which was now much more expensive than before not to mention what my water bill would be, so I had another brilliant idea.
I decided to call the city and sign up for some sort of a wildlife program (don’t quote me because I cannot remember the name of this program right now). A man from the city came and introduced minos to the pool and reassured me they would eat the mosquitos and any other things growing and living in the pool. He did that for free! I officially had a swamp. Winning, right? Wrong.
My next door nosey neighbor (who I’m convinced was and still is a hater) happened to be the president of the HOA association and apparently according to bylaws or rules or some other HOA jargon that I clearly didn’t read, I was in violation and subject to foreclosure for turning MY pool into a natural pond. (What kind of hater hates on nature?!?!) Needless to say, my DIY and subsequent “fix” cost me waaaay more than the initial quote to fix the filters. Lesson learned until I attempted to fix my toilet because I didn’t want to pay the plumber and had to call the fire department because I didn’t know how to turn the damn water off and water poured and splashed everywhere! But that’s another story for another day.
I’ve found that for some, dealing with money issues can present a similar DIY attempt. In many of my initial consultations, clients are often embarrassed by their lack of financial savvy or knowledge. They feel they should know how to manage their finances and attempt over and over again on their own to fix their financial problems. They usually end up turning a small problem into a massive one by doing what they think and what makes sense to them. It’s usually not efficient and nowhere near what should be done. I get it. I’ve clearly been there. What I’ve learned is that it’s easier to suck it up and stay in your lane. Finding an expert (as early as possible) to hand off what you’re not good at is okay and recommended.
If you need help, I don’t fix pools or apparently toilets but I fix money. Let’s talk.