5 People Who Can Save You Time, Money, and Stress

Some people straight up know how to get stuff. They get the best deals, know where to research, and never settle. I strive to reach this status, to know everything about everything. I want to be a wealth of knowledge and to share that information with all of you!

That being said, most of us don’t have the luxury of knowing everything about everything, so we turn to experts when we need help. If we know these people, we suddenly have someone we can turn to in a time of need and who can potentially help us save a lot of time, money, and stress.

I often say that “I have a guy” for many projects. I have a guy who does great web design, I have a guy that handles viruses, and yet another that knows where to get super cheap exercise videos. You don’t have to know everything yourself, but if you know someone in a bunch of different industries than can give you advice about your expertise, isn’t that just as good (if not better)?

Here’s my top 5 list of people it’s best to know:

#5. Lawyer – They won’t represent you for free, but if you’re good friends with someone who can give you a quick opinion about your rights or recommend someone specific to you rather than rolling the dice with the guy from the big ad in the yellow pages (do those still exist?), you can be confident that the person you do get will be a good fit for you. When our car was totaled (and we needed a reliable personal injury attorney), we got a recommendation from a family member, and it was great to know we could trust the person we were working with, especially at a stressful time.

#4. Doctor – When your kid isn’t feeling well or when you want to know whether the weird symptoms are something you need to worry about, what’s better than walking across the street for a quick opinion? This could save you the time of going to the doctor’s office, waiting in the lobby, and coming home on those false alarms, as well as the co-payments and deductibles that nibble away at our savings.

#3. Accountant – Few things are more frustrating than sitting down to do your taxes in April and realizing you have no idea what you’re doing. While there are some free tax resources out there, the IRS tax code isn’t the easiest reading and what you see isn’t always what you get. Sure, if your tax situation is simple, you can go with TurboTax or another online tax preparer. But if you take itemized deductions or have some weird exception, you can get your friend to quickly answer your question and save yourself the trip to H&R Block, and you won’t have to worry about getting audited instead of getting your refund! Plus, they can help you develop the best plan for the future to help optimize your tax situation.

#2. Computer Expert – When you get a virus or can’t get your DVD player to load right, who doesn’t like having a tech-savvy teenager around? Other than kicking you out of your chair and muttering something under their breath about how you need to enter the 21st century, they really are great to have around.¬†Having your neighbor come over and fix your problem in a pinch can save you big bucks, because your alternative is hiring the Geek Squad to come to your house. Besides, I remember myself as a teenager; I was awesome and knew everything.

#1. Travel Agent – (Just kidding, do THESE even exist anymore? Just go to Kayak.com, Southwest.com and Jetblue.com you’ll have all your options.)

The Real #1: MechanicThis is a big one because when something happens to your car, there’s nothing worse that not knowing what the problem is and putting your car and money in the hands of a complete stranger. Just knowing the issues and the expected cost from someone who isn’t trying to rip you off can leave you prepared for what can be an expensive trip to the body shop.

Update: I was thinking that maybe someone at the Apple Store would be a great contact to have. Anytime you drop your phone, they can hook you up with a new one. One less (important) thing to worry about, and when you want to be the coolest kid in the room with the newest iPhone, I’m sure they can make sure you get one without having to wait weeks.

Readers, who do you know that you can count on to save you money? What ‘services’ do you provide to people that makes you feel better about asking for some help next time you need it?

16 Responses to 5 People Who Can Save You Time, Money, and Stress

  1. While these wouldn’t crack your top 5 I also really value our Appliance Repair shop and our Furnace Maintenance guy. I don’t know how to fix or maintain these beasts but having a trustworthy repair guy (we have one in our mechanic as well!) is invaluable.

    • Daniel says:

      @Sustainable PF, I’m glad I don’t have those expenses, but I can imagine the furnace being a big one. Those things are crazy expensive!

  2. Meg says:

    Actually, a *good* travel agent can be worth the money, especially if you are making arrangements for a large group of people and are low on time. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

    Be careful about “computer experts”. A lot of people seem to have a hard time distinguishing actual computer experts from people who speak tech convincingly. And even computer experts have their own fields they are better at. My husband has fixed quite a few issues caused by “computer experts” and they weren’t pretty (not that Geek Squad tends to be much better). But once you do have a real computer expert, please respect their time. They are likely in high demand so don’t beg if they say no and be sure to reciprocate in some way. (Same goes for any expert, really.)

    • Craig says:

      @Meg, I agree about a good travel agent. They have what a website does not – experience. A GOOD travel agent knows the location you are going to and can fill you in on the best places to go and things to do which can save time and money. And some larger agencies get better discounts and packages than what you find online.

      Still, I find it’s worth it to visit the travel agent then see if I can match a deal online (or vice versa).

  3. JT McGee says:

    “Just kidding, do THESE even exist anymore?”

    Haha, that’s exactly what I was thinking after I read the title. I know my generation doesn’t go to a travel agent.

  4. krantcents says:

    Without being specific, I use my network of friends and family to solve the problem. The referral is free! For example, I might need a tradesman such as plumber.

  5. Janet says:

    Travel agents … lol. I agree wholeheartedly with the need for a computer geek and a mechanic. Try as I might, I’m not a techie. I “get it” … until I need to fix something myself.

  6. David says:

    An accountant who knows how to leverage home business tax deductions can help you plan and save thousands of dollars every year.

    • Daniel says:

      @David, There are so many deductions that it seems like I keep learning more about, that if I wasn’t interested in taxes, I’d give up so quickly, so having someone on your team who knows it cna be so valuable.

  7. Craig Ford says:

    I think a travel agent can save time (that’s why corporate America has travel agents who do all the bookings). HOWEVER, no way a travel agent can save money with all the cool travel websites around today.

    • Daniel says:

      @Craig Ford, Agreed, I’ve never found someone who can get a better deal, it just takes the effort of searching the sites that don’t allow themselves into the aggregators.

  8. Len Penzo says:

    I agree with you; a good mechanic is absolutely spot on as #1. Accountant is #2, IMO. As I get older, I now think a gardener should be on that list too.

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

    • Daniel says:

      @Len Penzo, O, my mom would love a gardener friend, our neighbor used to help her think of ways to make the backyard look nice (read ruin our football field)!

  9. I completely agree with knowing someone at the Apple Store! I am always able to get assistance from Apple for my laptop, iPad, or iPhone. To me, it’s more important than knowing a mechanic ;-)

  10. Great point! Sometimes spending less money results in such increased stress or anxiety, its just not worth it. When it comes to legal matters, it will almost always reduce your stress so much to get a lawyer, its worth the additional costs.

  11. I do love our mechanic and my computer guy. But we also highly value our house keeper and our lawn guy. We had a bad CPA experience, so we do our own taxes and book keeping.