Why I Disagree with Hiring Others to do Your Work for Less

Last year I read an article in Redbook declaring that mothers should hire people to do some of their household work and errands for them. The article made the popular argument that if you can hire someone to do your housework for less than what you make doing something else, you shouldn’t waste your time with menial chores. It even took the concept a step further, suggesting that at-home mothers’ work is worth $40 per hour, so these unpaid mothers should still consider hiring out their most onerous tasks.

I cancelled my subscription to Redbook shortly after reading this brief but preposterous article. I couldn’t relate to a magazine that urged me to hire someone to do my


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12 Responses to Why I Disagree with Hiring Others to do Your Work for Less

  1. wealthman says:

    “Please, don

  2. Courtney says:

    I remember reading something similar in Reader’s Digest a few years ago. I mentioned it to my father, who is a highly paid executive, so under this logic, he should pay someone to do everything.

    He reiterated your argument, that you aren’t ACTUALLY spending that time working or earning more money (especially if you’re salaried). And even if that argument does hold water, as he says, “it’s not healthy to focus all your time on getting more money.” Many of us are desk jockeys and could use a little housework for exercise! Housework is generally tedious – but like meditation, I find it to be stress relieving. It’s mentally (and usually physically) easy to do and you have a nice result at the end, a fresh-smelling drawer of laundry or a neat home.

    I know sometimes it seems like we need moretimemoretimemoretime to get everything done, but maybe what we really need is to slow down and mindfully do the tasks that need to be done.

  3. DoneToZen says:

    @Wealthman: “Your time is limited so if you are spending time doing something that someone else can do for you less expensively, then you aren

  4. Lisa says:

    Sometimes we get locked into doing something because thats the way its always been done. My mom did it, it builds character, ect. Some moms also made all the clothes for their children when I was growing up and I rarely see that now. I don’t believe that makes todays moms lazy or without character. But it has become a lost skill. I think we should challenge accepted habits to see how they benefit ourselves and our families and go from there. My grandmothers family came from alot of money and grew up with servants. She never adjusted to the loss of family money. She had never learned to clean. I think housework should be a part of parental teachings so children will know how and it can also build a sense of teamwork. But character building can come from many things, it is not limited to housework.

  5. Pingback: Done To Zen » Why hiring others to do work for less is not always right

  6. Wealthizfreedom says:

    Some tasks do require a professional service, like plumbing, electrical etc. Also, if you are working 50 – 60 hours a week and by the time it comes to do some menial tasks, your’re so exhausted, the value of hiring a service is beyond monetary and serves an emotional and mental relief. That is how we treat ourselves, like going out to dinner.

  7. Alexandria says:

    When I was young and made half the income I pretty much never hired anyone to do anything.

    Now that I have kids, my time is more limited and immeasuarbly more valuable. The bigger income is also a large factor. I obviously would not feel comfortable outsourcing so much if I didn’t have the income – I tend to be rather frugal.

    I hire people because I love my job, and value my time outside of work, and only outsource things I don’t like to do and/or I know others can do much better (the cheaper the better).

    It would be silly to hire people to do things you don’t mind doing, of course. That’s kind of stating the obvious.

  8. gary says:

    This is not an option if everyone makes more than you…

  9. Hana says:

    Finally! someone who takes health into consideration. I have very poor health- am on disability,and even with a limited income, I have hired much of my housework. Right now being between housekeepers is a real hardship. We try to make up for it with prepared food and shortcut cleaning supplies, but things don’t get done. money is, in my eyes, a sdecodry resource. We use it to augment our primary ones- time and energy.

  10. orchid says:

    People assign different values to their time. My freetime is worth more to me than my salary per hour, so I am willing to pay more for services to free up my time. I don’t think Redbook was implying that you should spend money if you cannot afford it. They were simply trying to make a point that your time is worth something even if you are not earning a salary. If you disagree, can’t afford to pay for services, or don’t want to pay for these services then don’t. I’m sure that there are others out there who value using money for tangible goods over paying to free up time. Everyone should look at their own finances and priorities. I hope that everyone can learn to place at least SOME value on their freetime.

  11. Gail says:

    >>If your health is good now, you should still consider saving that money you can use to hire someone to do a mildly annoying chore so that you can afford to pay someone to help you to do something vital when your health fails and you really need the help.

    Amen sister. So many seem to think that they will always have unlimited good health and income. It isn’t necessarily so. I think many people today overbook themselves because they are trying to keep up with the Jones. In the long run they are stressed out and feel like they don’t have time to get things done and need to hire it out. Save your money to hire things out when your health is too rickety to do things for yourself. And for those who think it won’t happened to them, think again.

  12. TopWaysToSave says:

    I think a lot of chores are also the only exercise some people get. If you pay someone to do some of these jobs like tending a garden, raking leaves and mowing your lawn then you might as well pay someone to go to the gym for you too.

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