Outsource your household

When to outsource your household

Should you spend thousands each year to outsource your household?

People sometimes say you can’t put a price on your time, though this is forgetting that your time is the one thing you can’t ever get back.

Spending thousands on outsourcing household chores – such as cleaning, landscaping, and dog-walking – might not seem like a wise use of your hard-earned funds, but it can be worth every cent. These are the sorts of things you could do yourself, though this may come at the expense of less time earning and less time spending quality time doing things you really want to do, such as spend time with your family or performing other activities. So, if you’re stressed out because it feels like there are never enough hours in the day, here’s a solution: hire a house-cleaner, order takeout, and pay the kid next door to mow the lawn.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is a term typically associated with business. It means hiring another company or external person to perform services or create goods that were traditionally performed “in-house”, that is, by the companies own employees and staff. Outsourcing in business means companies can allocate resources where they are most effective. Naturally, the term outsourcing can also apply to our own household tasks.

The decision to outsource your home

There are three categories which are typically used to identify if outsourcing an aspect of your home life is worthwhile:

  • Sometimes, the decision to outsource a domestic task can be mathematical. Look at these examples:
    • Mowing your lawn might seem like a cheap task. However, if you conduct some maths based on how much the mower itself may cost, average-out the cost of replacing it every five or so years, the cost of fuel and oil etc, and any other associated costs such as maintaining the mower, you may quickly find that mowing your own lawns isn’t worth the $25 week that a neighbourhood teenager may be happy to mow your lawns for!
    • If someone who’s a freelance worker or is self-employed can earn $55 an hour, then paying a cleaner $30 or so an hour for a couple of hours of house-cleaning a month is clearly worthwhile. The self-employed person doing the outsourcing can then use that free time to earn more.
  • In other instances, the decision may be based on family and your pastimes. For instance, if you’re a busy professional, maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of your weekend scrubbing toilets when you could be doing things which are of real value to you personally, such as travel, quality time with those close to you, or just relaxing.
  • A combination of both reasons above.

Of course, the decision to outsource probably needs to be a team effort.

The range of things you may wish to outsource is nearly unlimited, and may include; dog-walking, mowing lawns or other gardening, cleaning, childcare/babysitting, school transportation, going to the supermarket, bookkeeping, household projects, laundry, and cooking.

The payoffs

Studies have shown that when many of your household duties are taken care of, the payoffs can include increasing health and happiness, and even increased wealth. Wealth may increase not just because you’re able to increase your productive hours, but also as you’ll get better at your profession and boost your future earning potential.

Many people also find that as they’re happier and healthier after not spending most of their weekend performing chores, this makes them more productive in other areas of life too.

So, what are you going to outsource?