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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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