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Today, I am snowed in from work. Up to ten inches of snow are supposed to fall in my area throughout the day. The accumulated snow is very beautiful but also very dangerous. I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to drive to work in such harsh conditions, but it is slightly stressful knowing that everything continues to pile up in my absence. Still, I am determined to enjoy my day nonetheless.
Unfortunately, our cars are probably getting snowed in as I type these words. It will soon be necessary to begin the mind numbing task of shoveling off our driveway, walkways, and front porch. I cringe at the thought of my husband or I in the cold, instead of spending the day warm and cozy indoors. Usually, we would suck it up and get our butts outside. We weren’t ones to spend money willy nilly, and certainly not on easy labor type work. But, something has come over me recently. I am seriously starting to consider something that would have been unthinkable even a year ago. I am wondering whether I should pay someone else to do all of the backbreaking work for me.
Rationalizing a Bit of Lifestyle Inflation
Shoveling for hours on end never sounds like a fun idea as it is. But, would it really be worth it to pay someone else to plow off our driveway and clean off our sidewalks? Shouldn’t we be doing this ourselves since we are clearly able? My personal philosophy used to be one that dictated only paying others for work that we absolutely cannot do ourselves. Still, something is holding me back from putting on my snow gear and heading outside into the freezing cold – even though I am snowed in from work.
First of all, my back problems make it so that I probably shouldn’t be shoveling outside anyway. My husband is in great shape, but do I really want him spending a day off slaving away in the cold? It would probably take several hours to finish the same job that a truck with a plow could do in five minutes. Isn’t his time worth more than whatever it costs to have someone else do the work?
On this day, we quickly agreed that it is indeed worth the $20 to pay someone else…and my husband is thoroughly pleased with this decision. Since we are snowed in, we decided that it is much better for us financially, emotionally, and physically to spend the day writing and working on our side gigs. It seems that we have reached a breaking point. In some instances, it appears that our time is beginning to be more valuable to us than our money.
“Snowed In” with Housework
We think being frugal is awesome, yet other unfrugal ideas have been batted around our home recently. As our children grow up and require more of our time, we are constantly falling behind on housework. We generally find the time to keep up on laundry and dishes but often struggle to find the hours needed for deep cleaning. We’ve begun feeling “snowed in” by all the dusting, mopping, and cleaning required to keep this place looking good.
Whenever we end up with a week day off of work, we almost always take the kids to daycare and do incredibly boring activities like mopping floors and dusting baseboards. Yawn. I wish that I didn’t have to spend valuable time off slaving away at housework, but until recently I didn’t see any way around it. What is boils down to is this: getting almost anything done with my children home is next to impossible. However, I no longer want to spend my days off deep cleaning.
There are so many other things I want to do when I get a day off of work. Instead of cleaning toilets, I could write, run important errands, see a movie, or just relax. Luckily, my husband and I are on the same page. We’ve decided to consider hiring someone to clean our house once a month and hope to get someone who will do it for less than $100. This way, I can hire out the heavy lifting and not feel snowed in by all of the work. I will only have to keep up on things in between. There are simply not enough hours in the day to give 100% to everything, and I think we’ve finally decided that – in some cases - our time is worth more than money.
What do you guys think? Are we giving into lifestyle inflation? Do you tend to do all of the work yourself? Do you feel snowed in by chores and buy more time by hiring out some of them? Please share by commenting below.