- Hiring out chores seems like a luxury, but I’ve been doing it since 2015 and haven’t looked back.
- I spend a total of about $400 a month on cleaning services, lawn maintenance, and ready-made meals.
- I use the time I save by hiring out these hassles for my work as a freelance writer.
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While we were married, my husband and I lived in the land of financial lack: No matter the working versus stay-at-home equation — both before and after kids arrived — we lived paycheck to paycheck, just to cover the basics.
While getting help with time-consuming tasks we truly despised like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and cooking all the time sounded great, we convinced ourselves it was out of financial reach. However, since 2015 I’ve been a self-employed single mom who hires out all of these tasks — in fact, I’ve come to the conclusion I can’t afford not to.
My journey toward this liberating realization went something like this: I took out a pen and paper and made a tally of how many hours I spent each week doing household chores.
Then, I compared what I could have been earning at my job instead of doing these tasks based on the amount of time I spent on them. I’m a work-from-home freelance writer who is largely paid by the project, so my time is worth money.
Finally, I did a bit of research to find the best rate I could for hiring out each of these tasks, and then subtracted the latter from the former. I realized I could make a net profit by hiring out these tasks by using the saved time to focus on my work.
I spend $200 on cleaning services, but save over 10 hours of time
I live in a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home that was originally meant for a family of five. Of my two living children, one goes to boarding school and the other is with her father 40% of the time — leaving very few people to use this very large space most of the time.
The time it takes to clean from top to bottom is tough to nail down, because it’s rare that I’ll tackle this job all at once. Here’s why: Finding a multiple-hour chunk of time during the work week is nearly impossible, and highly unlikely during the weekend.
Even a conservative estimate of three hours each week means that I’m losing about 26 minutes each day at minimum. This might not seem like a lot, but if I have to break up this chore in increments every day, I’m also spending a ton of …….