Guest Post: Should you outsource your household chores?

This post is brought to you by the Silicon Valley Blogger of The Digerati Life, a blog on personal finance: budgets, credit cards, online coupons, among other money management tips, tricks, and strategies.

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Chores are one of the “necessary evils” of life. Everyone absolutely has to do chores, else life would surely be uncomfortable, maybe even downright miserable. If you won’t do laundry for a whole month, you’ll surely run out of clothes to wear. Unless you’re one of the Hiltons, the man on the street definitely doesn’t have the unlimited resources to just discard clothes as they get soiled and buy new ones. Or if you don’t want to wash the dishes, you definitely can’t afford to have a sink rendered unusable by a mountain-sized pile of dirty dishes. And don’t forget a house filled with dust bunnies. Unless you were born dust-resistant, surely, by the 6th month of zero vacuuming, dusting or cleaning the house, you’ll be sneezing yourself to the hospital. Thus, you would have to either push yourself to get to doing your chores, else, pay someone else to do it for you.

There are some people who welcome doing chores. For them, the act of doing chores allows them to distance themselves from the mental strain of work, allowing them to gain new perspectives on tough tasks, get ideas on projects they were stuck on, or, for some, believe it or not, doing chores lets them relax and unwind.

There are other people who cannot, for the life of them, do these activities. They would rather work on mentally challenging tasks. Chores bore, even disgust them. They would rather pay someone to do the work for them while they maximize their time to earn more.

If you’re the type of person who welcomes doing chores, here is how you will be able to benefit from doing chores:

  1. You will be able to maximize your budget and add more to your savings accounts, as you do everything yourself.
  2. There were studies in brain functioning and problem-solving that have postulated that people tend to consolidate mental processes as they distance themselves from problems they are attempting to solve. Some inventors have been able to get leads on the portions of their invention processes that they were stuck on when they did something else. While most people view chores as work, for others, chores serve the same function as recreation. If you’re the type who could potentially get their kicks from working this way, then you may be able to benefit from the paradigm shift that doing chores could offer.

If you’re the other type who just cannot do chores to save your life, however, then here is how you’ll be able to benefit from paying someone to do things for you: the main benefit? You’ll save time and effort.

  1. Outsourcing your chores allows you to save time, which you could put to better use: closing more deals, getting more clients, working on more projects.
  2. You’ll save energy as well, allowing you to destress through other means.

Either way, you win. To maximize either situation, here are our tips:

For the chores-loving people:

  1. When you choose to do the chores yourself, make sure that you budget your time accordingly. Time is our true resource. While I could personally clean a room for seven hours straight, this practice isn’t healthy. Seven hours is nearly an entire work shift! Thus, schedule your cleaning or laundry days on days when you’re not working, or, if you don’t have a whole day to have a long stretch of chores-time, try to budget your time. For good measure, try not to go beyond 2 hours. If you need more time, don’t go beyond 4 hours of chores. This way, you’ll ensure that your work, or the rest of your life, isn’t affected.
  2. Get the best deals on the material you use for cleaning or laundry. Grocery coupons or online coupons could work for you. You can slash almost half of your expenses if you used grocery coupons or if you shopped at discount stores. Be a wise shopper!

For the chores-averse people:

  1. When you try to look for janitorial or maid services, make sure that you’ve shopped around thoroughly and checked your area for the best cleaning companies that charge a fee that’s within your budget. Strike a balance between a good, affordable rate and a thorough, excellent service. Don’t pay cheap for something that you will only have to redo. Don’t spend too much for quality work, either. Take a look at online resources such as Angie’s List or Craigslist for this purpose.
  2. When you make a decision to use the services of househelp, make sure that the time freed up would be put to the best use possible. While ideally, you should work more because your time did get freed up, you may want to unwind instead. However, it does not change the fact that you still have to make sure that how you unwind would still be “profitable,” or a worthy “investment” of your time. No, watching TV for hours on end isn’t a worthy use of your time. Find an activity that will truly refresh you. Talking with loved ones: spending time with your wife and kids would be a better use of this time. Reading a good, enlightening book is a better investment too.

Either arrangement, if it truly suits your personality and lifestyle, would allow you to maximize your resources (time and money). Find the better fit for you, and stop trying to beat your brain trying to do something you were not wired to do. The bottom line is, you do need to budget even your time; and since chores take up your most precious resource, time, we hope our suggestions could help you figure out how to best leverage that for the best life you can live!

5 thoughts on “Guest Post: Should you outsource your household chores?”

  1. Thank you for featuring our thoughts here. :) When it comes to my own lifestyle, I've outsourced quite a bit of the work at home: from home maintenance to some babysitting to housekeeping. I've chosen to try to earn a living and maximize what I earn in order to afford the services I pay for! It's a balancing act though!

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