Homeowner question - to buy a machine or pay a contractor? There must be many homeowners who have confronted this question. Some attempt to answer it by comparing the contractors annual charge over say 10 years with the purchase price of a mower plus an allowance for running costs. The truth is of course more complicated as inflation has to be taken into account along with the loss of interest on funds "invested" in a mowing machine. There will also be a range of opinions as to what value the homeowner should attach to his own time, also the inconvenience of being responsible for storage and maintenance. As an exercise and to satisfy my own curiosity, I have created a simple program which accepts a number of parameters relating to the purchase and running of a machine and does a projection over a selected number of years of the state of the finances of a homeowner who elects to purchase a machine (called the "buyer"). A similar projection is done for a "payer" who uses a contractor, enabling some interesting comparisons to be made. Attached to this message are a couple of screenshots, one showing the input parameters available and the other a table of results. Included in the program but not shown on the screen shots is an explanation of the various parameters and how they are used. If other members are interested in trying out the program, I would be prepared to make it available but to avoid possible embarrassment I would prefer to first send a "review" copy to one or two people prepared to act as "referees" and see if they can find any errors. If you are interested, please post a reply including an email address able to receive a ZIP file of about 300K. This will have to be unzipped to extract the EXE file. As executable files can be a virus risk, it is strongly suggested that recipients scan it prior to execution. I know that I have not built in anything "malicious", but it is still advisable to be careful. I should also point out that the program should not be regarded as a serious financial planning tool. It is just something that was created as an exercise on my part and to provide a starting point in the discussion of "buying" as against "paying" Also bear in mind that I am talking in terms of Australian dollars which in many cases are around double the US dollar amount for the same equipment. The program will of course work equally well in US dollars. Fuel and oil are measured in litres. I am sure that in many cases, the decision whether or not to buy is based more on "emotional" than financial considerations. If you are like me and just like machines, no doubt you will come up with good reasons for buying the whatever machine appeals to you.