My monthly “don’t have a lawn that embarrasses me” budget has increased dramatically over the past few years. It has gone from a good buy (about $30/week) to eye-wateringly expensive (a little over $100/week). Part of the increase is that we changed lawn services from a company that did a poor job to one that did a good job. I have tried to shop around for a cheaper, but still good, service, but haven’t found one yet. My wife doesn’t want us to revert back to the old, not-so-good lawn service we used to use. Even if we did, I’m sure we would get a much higher rate than we used to, because prices have increased all around.

Since this summer, I have been bandying about the idea of mowing my own lawn again (it’s been 10 years since I last did, when my mower broke). This week I decided that, by next spring, I will buy a good electric mower and make time to mow my own lawn each week. Despite having to buy a mower, which could cost $700-$800, I wills till save hundreds of dollars per month for a relatively small amount of my time.

It’s true that I won’t be able do as good a job as the service does with edging and weeding, but I don’t care. I will also have to figure out how to buy and use herbicide, which is the main secret to a non-embarrassing lawn in my area; I think I can do it. It will feel good to know that I am saving money. I also think it will feel good—most weeks, at least—to get a little more sunshine and exercise each week.