You know how it goes: there’s always so much more to do than there is time to do it. We can’t add hours to the day or reduce the workload. So what’s the solution? You can buy someone else’s time.
To us frugally-minded folks, this may not seem very thrifty. Why should we pay to have someone iron our shirts, for example, when we can do it ourselves for free? When a task is consistently not getting done, and we see no end in sight for when it will get done, it may be time to consider it money well-spent. In fact, hiring someone to do the work we never get to is worth every penny of the investment.
I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I can’t. It came from Sandra Felton’s book, Messies Manual, The: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home—a great source of tips for those of us more…organizationally-challenged (shall we just say “messy”?!).
I look around my house on any given day and see a zillion (yes, there really are that many!) things I need to do, but getting them done feels like climbing Mt. Everest. My boys, I’m realizing, need almost constant supervision (not an overstatement!); and so that means if I don’t want liquid Tylenol in a “child-proof cap” poured all over my bathroom carpet while I put some laundry away, there are just some areas of my house and tasks that routinely get neglected. But not if I buy someone’s time!
I can’t afford to do this every week, but once in a while, I could probably pay someone to come in as a mother’s helper. She could provide the supervision for my children for a few hours while I provide the cleaning. Buying her time frees up my time and allows me to tend to the rooms and tasks I can’t seem to get to with my busy boys right by my side. A more frugal alternative is to swap kids with a friend a few hours a week.
So whether it’s your laundry, your ironing, your dusting and vacuuming, your scrubbing, or any other task that’s conquering you rather than you conquering it, maybe it’s time to buy someone else’s time—at least until you can get caught up. It doesn’t have to be a weekly expense—maybe once a month is all you need. I know my husband would kiss the $20 bill that bought me some help if it meant he could walk into a clutter-free room when he got home!
So what about you? Do you pay for any services to help you more effectively manage your home? How do you budget for the expense of it?