Should You Spend Money On Outsourcing Your Chores?

I’ve discussed outsourcing before on When Life Gives You Lemons, specifically related to blogging, but not everybody has a blog and a huge concern about outsourcing for most people is really just the financial aspect.

I don’t doubt that 99% of the population would love to outsource the tasks that they don’t particularly like doing, if only money wasn’t an object. For most of us, however, money is a concern. It’s the reason why we find ourselves scrubbing the floors at 11:00 AM on a Saturday morning instead of watching somebody else do it.

via euangelizomai.blogspot.com

via euangelizomai.blogspot.com

Sometimes, when I’m scrubbing the corner bathtub or pulling weeds in my yard, I dream of hiring a cleaning service and outsourcing my yard work. When I’m bathing my dogs, I’d rather just drop them off at the groomers instead of enduring their dirty looks for the rest of the day. When J is changing my oil, I’d rather just drive up to an oil change company and get it done for triple the cost. Sometimes, however, it just doesn’t make sense to outsource.

You Should Outsource If..

If you can use the time your are saving to make money.

If you have a salaried job, and that is your only source of income, this likely won’t apply to you. If you go to work at 9:00 AM, get off at 5:00 PM, and make the same amount of money regardless of whether you stay and work late, you likely won’t be able to make more money with the time you save with outsourcing the task.

I freelance write on my spare time, as well as offer some services to bloggers to make their lives a little easier. I babysit, too. All of these make up a nice side income portfolio.

Because my babysitting schedule depends on the family’s needs and schedules, I can’t just pick up extra shifts when time allows. However, I can take on more freelancing and blogger clients if I have the gift of extra time; I’ve had to limit myself to how many I can take on because I have other responsibilities.

If the money you can make is greater than the money you are putting out. 

So let’s pretend that I determine that having somebody come weekly to maintain my yard for me is worth it, because I can take on two additional clients with the time I am saving (about 3 hours/week). For the sake of this post, let’s pretend that I didn’t have to seek out additional clients, and that they were kindly standing by waiting for me to offer my services to them (ha!).

I phone the gardening and landscaping companies and come up with an average quote of about $100/week. That’s around $400/month.

Let’s say that by taking on my additional clients, in that 3 hours/week, I would be able to make about $40 per client, or $80 per week. In a month, I could make $320.

Is hiring the landscaper worth it?

No!

I am still out $80/month, but I’m working for just as long.

It breaks even and you really hate the task to be outsourced

Let’s pretend, now, that I can make $100/week by taking on new clients, in the time that I save by hiring the landscapers. I am making an extra $400/month, and outsourcing my yard work costs me about $400/month. I’m breaking even.

I might jump at the opportunity to break even, because I hate yard work but love my freelancing work (or, at the very least, prefer it to yard work).

Have enough money but not enough personal time

Of course, you shouldn’t just outsource if it benefits you financially. If you have more than enough money (and no debt) and struggle to find enough time in the day to spend some time with your family or work on yourself, outsourcing tasks like home care may be the best idea for you.

 

Do you outsource anything?

 

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22 thoughts on “Should You Spend Money On Outsourcing Your Chores?

  1. We recently outsourced mowing the lawn. It’s around $100 a month and I’m glad that we don’t have to worry about it. Plus, they mow the lawn so much faster than we could.

  2. We outsource our cleaning and ironing which is great. But you have to take into account taxes. Most domestic work will be paid out of your taxed income whereas if you earn something on the side, you will (at least should) be taxed on it. So you have to compare after-tax numbers. Whether your baby sitter is declaring income or not doesn’t matter – it is your tax situation that matters.

  3. I don’t outsource anything. While it would be wonderful to have my meals cooked for me and my house cleaned when I come home from work, I don’t think it is worth it. Now that I have my own house, I don’t mind cleaning it really because it is my own home, so I know I have to take care of it. I feel odd paying someone to do something I know I can easily do myself.

  4. I’m quite happy to pay for services like these, especially if you can use the time to earn more money yourself. If you can earn $40 an hour doing what you do, but can pay someone $15 an hour to do the jobs you hate, then I think it makes sense. It’s still nice to keep it real and do some of these chores yourself though, we wouldn’t want to be too spoiled now would we 🙂

  5. This is an issue that I really struggled with a few months ago. I had the same thoughts as you while I’d be mopping the floor on a beautiful weekend day. I decided to pay myself for cleaning the house. I know it’s still my money and I haven’t earned anything extra. We decided to pay an extra $200 a month toward our mortgage instead of hiring outside help. Mentally, this has made me feel like chores have more value. Our main goal right now is to pay off our house, and by not hiring a maid, we can do it 6 months earlier. That made sense to me. Perhaps when it’s paid off…..

  6. I am outsourcing more now. I am a single mum and my time is precious to me because it has to be split between my children and their needs plus my work. I have a large yard so will be getting someone to mow it and am now taking on a PA as well. If I worked for someone else I probably wouldn’t outsource much, but since I can make more money in the time it would take me to do my yard and someone else can do it much faster, I am better off getting them to do it.

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