We went from sunny and 68-degrees on Tuesday this week to an 8 inch snowstorm in just 24 hours this week. That’s life in Minnesota. As I was shoveling snow off the front porch this morning, I found a lawn service flyer on the handle of my door.
I have always mowed my own lawn – sometimes with help from my wife & son. We live on a good-sized suburban lot that takes about 50 minutes to cut & trim. I enjoy doing the work and figure it’s good exercise. That said, I’ve always wondered how much it was really saving me in the long run?
It turns out … it is quite a lot!
Where we live, the mowing season runs about 28 weeks from late April into early November. During that time, I mow every 5-6 days on average. That works out to about 36 times out mowing the grass and an additional 4 times putting down fertilizer.
The company that left an estimate for our lawn quoted $40 per mow and $53 per fertilizer application. That works out to about $1,650 for the whole year. I’ll estimate the fertilizer & fuel for the mower cost about $150, so we’ll call it an even $1,500.
Annually paying $1,500 may not seem like a whole lot of money in a nice neighborhood, but it certainly adds up. Invested over 25 years (with a 7% return rate), that amounts equals a six-figure contribution to your retirement nest egg. It tallies up to an incredible $102,898 over that time!
For most households, that likely equals a full extra year of going into work. It saves you 140 hours of work over that period of time, but with the invested returns, you could be making the equivalent of $735 per hour for your effort.
Additionally, this math assumes you live in Minnesota – a state with one of the shortest lawn-growing season. While residential snow plow services have also become popular in our city, I haven’t calculated out that investment opportunity cost. I’ll have to do that when I find the snow plow estimate on my front door this coming November!
Do you mow your own lawn? Use a service?
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