- I’m a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom, and I put a premium on my time.
- We budget to spend about $1,000 a month on house cleaning and lawn maintenance, grocery and meal delivery services, workout equipment, and babysitters.
- It’s expensive, but the positive effect on our lives makes it well worth it.
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Time is money, or so they say. Even as a stay-at-home mom/freelance writer, I still put a premium on my time. That’s why I don’t feel bad about splurging on things that streamline my daily life, like meal delivery services and grocery delivery, cleaning crews, or weekly lawn maintenance.
Other splurges I fully stand behind? Monthly babysitters, (research has shown that taking time to unwind has a direct effect on productivity), even at-home workout equipment, which equals less time spent commuting to the gym and saving money on drop-in classes of gym memberships.
Another plus? Knowing that my money is spent directly improving the quality and efficiency of my life makes it easy to stick to my budget in other areas, like going out to dinner, travel, or buying clothing. Here are the top things I splurge on — and why I don’t feel guilty.
1. Cleaning services and lawn maintenance
When we moved into our current house, it was significantly bigger than our first home, a small colonial with just two bathrooms and three bedrooms. Now we have about 1,000 more square feet, plus an additional bathroom and bedroom.
Since I’ve been working steadily since my first son was born nearly four years ago, we made it a priority (and a set budget line, for matter) to hire a biweekly cleaning service. We pay $110 every other week to have our home cleaned, for a total of about $220/month. While that isn’t a small amount of money, I can easily make that up in three hours of work; which, ironically, is about the amount of time it would take me to clean our house myself.
Another thing we splurge on? A lawn maintenance service. We live in Florida, where the extreme heat and rainy season make it hard to successfully maintain the grass and other plants. Coupled with my husband’s busy work schedule, we hired a lawn service to take care of our lawn and landscaping.
We started off paying $110/month for weekly mowing, plus monthly weeding and landscaping. Though that price recently went up to $150/month, which admittedly, hurt a little bit, it’s still worth it to us — especially since we don’t have to spend money on lawn equipment.
Monthly total: $370
2. Grocery and meal delivery services