There are some activities that can provide a rush of self-reliant satisfaction, empowerment and fulfillment when you complete them on your own. Others, however, can be downright dangerous or create problems that have far-reaching implications when attempted solo. These are 10 of the things that you should never attempt to do alone if at all possible, seeking the assistance of a professional or the support of a friend instead.
- Heavy-Duty Home Repairs – Some simple home repairs can save you a significant amount of money if you do them yourself. Others, like complex plumbing or electrical work, can be dangerous and can compound problems that are very expensive to fix if you aren’t professionally experienced in such areas. Before you tackle a big repair or home improvement project, it’s wise to honestly consider your skill level and experience to determine whether or not you have the expertise required to do it properly.
- Explore Strange Areas at Night – Women are often cautioned against exploring unfamiliar territory at night, but it’s actually smart for both men and women to avoid such adventures. If you don’t know the area you’ll be walking into, you should always opt for mass transit or a taxi to reach your destination safely.
- Hiking – Solitary walks can be soothing chances to collect your thoughts or simply commune with nature, but it isn’t wise to embark on a long journey or hike into a secluded area without accompaniment. Even relatively minor injuries can be disastrous if you’re unable to reach out for help and cell phones don’t always work in areas that are off the beaten path.
- Handling Complex Legal Matters – There are a plethora of websites and online services offering legal documents and advice for handling legal affairs without the aid of an attorney, but not all of your legal matters can be easily handled by yourself. Estate planning, litigation or any criminal issues are immediate grounds for calling in a professional. Remember that you aren’t actually saving money by doing it alone if you end up forking over huge legal fees to right a messy wrong.
- Grieve – Mourning a loss isn’t something you should do alone. Managing intense grief can make you want to withdraw or crave seclusion, but it can actually impede the recovery process. Seek the help of a counselor or even the shoulder of a trusted friend, rather than carrying the burden alone.
- Move – Unless your belongings can fit in suitcases and a few boxes, you won’t want to take on the task of moving without some help. Because even dependable friends can be mysteriously hard to find as a moving day approaches, you may want to price professional movers, rather than doing the heavy lifting alone.
- Financial Planning – Simple financial planning is fine to handle without help. If you’re starting to invest in the stock market or are creating a more complicated financial plan, however, you will want to consult with a professional or at least a knowledgeable acquaintance. Your nest egg is not something you’ll want to gamble with alone.
- Parent – Single parent homes are more common than ever these days and can create an environment in which thriving children become successful adults. The most ideal single-parenting situations, however, do include help from others. They say that it takes a village to raise a child; even if the biological second parent of your children is unavailable, making sure that your kids have the support of extended family or close friends can make all the difference.
- Buying and Selling a Home – Opting to sell your home yourself and purchase one that’s for sale by owner can be a tempting prospect, especially when you consider the money lost to commissions. Those with some experience in the area may be able to navigate the complex world of real estate law without the help of a professional, but a first-time buyer or seller probably shouldn’t try to manage the process alone.
- Get a Divorce – Just as there are legal documents for sale online at a low price and there are plenty of low-rent legal advice services across the web, there are ways of managing a no-contest divorce yourself. Unless both parties are amicable and in complete agreement about every aspect of the divorce, however, you should enlist the help of an attorney.
As with anything, these guidelines don’t necessarily apply to those who are professionals in some areas or have extensive experience. A real estate agent, for instance, probably won’t need the help of another agent to successfully buy or sell a home. As a general rule, however, these things are among those that you should always seek assistance with before attempting to handle them on your own.