I have minimal expectations of the NY Times. The bar is low. And this article didn’t even come close to clearing it. The point of Susan Saulny’s Even to Save Cash, Don’t Try This Stuff at Home seems to be “If at first you don’t succeed, give up forever and pay someone else $1,000.”
It’s not just that I disagree with what’s said. It’s that I think even the author would disagree if she’d spent a moment of thought on it.
Yes, I know, when you’ve inadvertently flooded your house, you don’t have a lot of choice but to call a plumber. But since when is having ugly hair an emergency that requires $1,000 to fix? And you’re telling me you don’t have even one friend who could help you change your car battery? Come on, people.
No mention was made of actually learning how to do things yourself through research and tapping your network for help. There’s no acknowledgment, explicit or tacit, that there’s any value in to trying to do something for yourself. There’s no link to actual DIY resources. There’s no reference to “best practices” (read: common sense) such as starting small. There’s no mention of honestly evaluating the necessity of the project and the worst-case impact of your utter failure before you begin. I didn’t even get a good laugh out of it. There’s basically nothing of value in this article.
I guess you could argue that adding value to the world wasn’t the point. And I guess someone very clever could argue that that’s ok. Who am I to say that the NY Times can’t print shallow drivel if it wants to?
I guess it falls to bloggers like Trent at TheSimpleDollar.com to put thought into written pieces. Check out a home repair gone awry as told by Trent, and a few other related articles of his that might also be useful to you.