So, which option is best for you? Here's the roundup to help you decide, based on cutting your lawn once a week for 20 weeks:

1. Cut it yourself:
Cost: About $320 for the summer (including the purchase of a $300 mower and $1 a week for gasoline)
Convenience: Low
Quality: Questionable
Reliability: Questionable

2. Paying neighborhood kid:
Cost: About $600 for the summer (estimating a weekly cost of $30)
Convenience: High
Quality: Questionable
Reliability: Questionable

3. Hire a professional:
Cost: About $1,000 for the summer (estimating a weekly cost of $50)
Convenience: High
Quality: High
Reliability: High

Regardless of which factors are most important to you, this isn't a decision you can ignore. Because after all -- your lawn isn't going to cut itself.