Krazy Coupon Ladies are all too familiar with busy schedules and juggling tasks that seem to be the inevitable part of the modern woman’s life. On top of your own to do list and work responsibilities, there are often additional lists of things to do for the rest of the family. Chaperoning, carpooling, weekend projects, couponing prep and shopping, homework help, and maybe a squeezed-in date night are all vital parts of healthy family life but leave little time for the inevitable: household chores. As much as spending time with your family comes first, eventually those dust bunnies piled up in the corner of the room are going to need to be vacuumed up.  When was the last time you wiped off the blinds or washed the windows? Welcome to the newest lesson I’ve learned and incorporated into my life: Hiring a maid!

To savvy spenders and penny pinchers this can seem utterly frivolous. I resisted this notion for years, insisting that I could keep up with the multiple needs of my family and household. In the past year I have given up this battle. Here are the top 5 reasons why cleaning my house myself was actually costing me money and what has changed:

  1. Extra trips to and from school, work, and home for forgotten items cost in time, but also cost in money if you consider the cost of transportation. Delegating some of my responsibilities makes for a more organized home and less frazzled mad dashes out the door. Cleaning was the easiest responsibility to delegate.
  2. Because we now have a more organized home, we all know exactly where everything is. This has saved me money because I am no longer buying duplicates of things we already have. That black dress blouse you swear you’ve worn before but which must have migrated to the black hole that is the back of your closet? No longer!
  3. We are on a set laundry schedule now.  I run the washer and dryer a third less than I used to. When the maid comes and replaces the sheets and towels with clean ones, the dirty ones go directly into the wash. Instead of hoping to gather everything all at once and then realizing I left out part of the whites load once it’s complete, I now know for sure I’ve washed everything that was dirty.
  4. I can coupon for the cleaning products our maid uses. I made sure, when hiring our maid, that I would supply her with the cleaning supplies she needed. She mops our floors with vinegar and water, and I make a similar solution in an old Windex bottle for the mirrors. I coupon on the toilet cleaner, furniture polish, soap, and even the vinegar. She uses a mop with machine washable mop pads and rags that cut down on paper towel usage and eliminate the cost of disposable wet cloths.
  5. The biggest money-saving reason to hire a maid happens when you calculate how many hours per week you spend on your chores, and how much your hours of labor cost. Chances are very good that with the many interruptions and distractions that are part of life, cleaning takes you much longer than it would take someone else. You might end up paying someone less to clean than your precious hours of time cost you. I’d say that before maid service I spent upwards of 8 total hours per week cleaning. My time is worth $30 an hour to me based on my employment and other activities. This means I was “spending” $240 a week in the scattered time I was trying to clean. By paying someone $50 a week to do all my cleaning for me (including changing towels and sheets, cleaning kitchen, bathroom, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc.) I am saving money.  She is able to do all of it in about 2-2.5 hours each week.

This is one solution for some people, but, of course, it might not be right for you. This required some budget-shifting to pull off. I sacrificed my salon manicures and pedicures. I learned that if I do my nails late at night when the house is quiet it takes me only 30 minutes. This is less time than I was spending at the salon, and now my house is clean.  It’s a win-win on both counts!

Are you curious to see if it might be worth your while? Calculate the hours per week you spend cleaning your home. Think about how much your employer pays you for that same time. If you don’t have a salaried job, calculate how much you could do with those hours. If you’re thinking that you wish you had more time to coupon, play with your kids, go on a date, or just have quiet time alone, you might find that this solution saves you peace of mind and money, too!

This has been a guest post by Christiana from Chicago, IL
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Leave a Reply

21 thoughts on “Surprising Money-Saving Idea for Your Home: Hire a Maid”

  1. What all does the cleaning lady do? Dishes? Laundry? Or just the mop, dust kind of stuff? I feel like I would have to clean before the cleaning lady could come. Does that make sense?

  2. Imona Budget says:

    $50 a week! I need her number…!
    I’ve had a cleaning lady
    ever since I got married 7.5 yrs ago……I love them…..I’ve tried to
    “save money” by cleaning the house myself a couple of times(as in 2), and it’s
    just not worth it…I take my kids to the mall to play and have lunch every monday…so our cleaning “team” comes once a month on a Monday while we are gone and the house is clean when we get back…! Very convenient for me….

    But I will say that I have trouble finding someone to DEEP clean
    the house….seems like they only surface clean…which is ok most of
    the time…but at least once a year I myself have to “spring”
    clean…..I guess a cleaning lady is not the person for this type of
    cleaning…..?
     

  3. Anonymous says:

    While I think it’s an awesome idea for working-outside-the-home people, I think my husband would freak out.  The key is squirreling away the money and having her come when he’s at work… lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if there are many SAHMs who have a secret bi-weekly maid…?

      • Imona Budget says:

         I’m a SAHM and I’ve had them come 2 times a month sometimes, but mostly once a month because that’s all we need…and no no one really know…it’s just not something I like to broadcast….

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hired a cleaning lady once and I’m trying to figure out how we can finagle fitting her in a couple of times a month. It was so worth the $50 that I didn’t have to spend on Sobe drinks at school that month! I’m in school full time and work part time. The hubby tries to help with housework but his idea of clean is VERY different than mine, and I’m lucky if I can get the teenage son to clean his bathroom and take out the garbage. We rent and couple of months ago the landlord was coming in to do some minor repairs that had been piling up. I hadn’t had time in months to do a thorough cleaning (ok. maybe about a year) so I decided to hire someone to come in and help out. I found her on Craig’s list and she was FABULOUS! She cleaned things that I never would have thought of, like the top of the molding around the doors and closets! Who would think of that?! Well, not me, but she did! Hopefully couponing will save me enough money that I can hire her again. She’s worth every penny!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Now that I am a retiree, hubby feels like we can keep the house ourselves.  My sister has a friend that has a business cleaning houses, and with the recession, she had lost a couple of regular clients.  Sis “gave” me a house cleaning to help me and her friend.  Yahoooooo! What a wonderful gift.  My house was sooo fresh and I didn’t have to do the work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hired a housekeeper and she lasted a month. Apparently, I’m too picky when it comes to the cleanliness of my house :-(

  7. Lelia T says:

    My biggest problem is picking up after my kids.  Would a maid pick up toys before vacuuming, or put away my dishes before cleaning the kitchen? Maybe I should hire a separate maid for that

  8. Jen Dozer says:

    I have had fibromyalgia since I was 15, and developed MS-like symptoms and arthritis after my first child was born. When I became pregnant a second time, I gave up and hired a maid service. I work full time, and want to spend the precious energy I have left on my family, not on my knees scrubbing the floor. It was the best decision ever! I can work full time and not worry about keeping up the house. I hired a local woman through a good maid service, and can feel good about giving another mom work to do while her kids are in school. It has been worth every penny! We don’t have smartphones, iPads, or cable, and we don’t go on vacations. Our luxury is having someone clean our house twice a month.

  9. GSD Science says:

    I have used a cleaning lady for years.  I have no children, but I work full time–and have many other obligations.  I just wasn’t getting all the cleaning done like I wanted, so for me paying someone to come in every other week to do the bathrooms, the floors and the dusting has made all the difference.  I provide the cleaning supplies and she comes when I’m at work.  I love cleaning lady day…I come home and everything is just perfect and smells so clean and fresh. I swapped out cable for a clean house. 

  10. Sonal Agrawal says:

    love the article, very inspiring!!

  11. martin ludi says:

    I work as a maid, and I have honestly seen people go back to work after they hire me. So in that regard they do “save” money.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if hiring 2 maids will save me twice as much money?

  13. TracyM says:

    YESS!!!! I have only, one child, single mom, and I have a cleaning lady. People laugh at me, and call me lazy! But it gives me more time to devote to being a mom, couponing, and tutoring on the side to make extra money! :)

  14. Alyson Brown says:

    We hired a maid 7 years ago when I was pregnant so I wouldn’t have to worry about housework. We have never stopped. Even when money was tight and I suggested that we stop the house cleaning, my husband would say that it’s the best money we spend. We don’t ever have to worry about cleaning the bathrooms, changing the sheets or vacuuming the floors. Now, I have time to devote to special cleaning projects or spending time with my family. It’s been a life-saver for us!