Frenchie; I just wanted to say I agree with you. I have experienced and tried to explain this to people I know in real life and some people have a really hard time understanding my point.
It's kind of a question of what your skilled at, if the OP is a store manager say and he could make $35 /hr if he worked, he might come out ahead if he was working and hired a contractor.
However for some of us, due to family, health or other personal reasons, we choose not to or are unable to have a regular job. In these cases, you can "save money" if there is nothing else you would have been able to do with your time to make money.
I agree no ones time and labor in a project like this is really free and should not be technically counted as such. But if it make the OP feel better to look at it that way, then it doesn't hurt anyone and make him feel good, so I'm all for it!