Is It Smart To Outsource Your Chores?

Is It Smart To Outsource Your Chores?


Hun, I think someone’s stealing our trashcans. Oh no, that’s just the guy from Curbit.com. It’s an online service that rolls your cans
to the curb on garbage day. Only $14.99 a month! That seems kinda pricey… Babe, everyone knows that time is money. So we’re actually saving money by not doing
chores ourselves! That’s why I’ve got Instacart delivering
our groceries, Rover walking the dog, Washio doing our laundry and Taskrabbit cleaning
the gutters. Well, I guess that’ll give us more time
to write this episode. No need! I already hired Writey-O to finish the episode
for us! Wow… that’s really… meta. The convenience economy is nothing new. Ever since the industrial revolution, first-world
families have been willing to cough up hard-earned dough to spend less time on household chores. “The confining hours around the washtub are a thing of the past.” Until recently, that meant gadgets and appliances,
but the internet has ushered in a new kind of convenience: “on-demand” services that
quickly match clients with freelancers who will do… just about anything. The on-demand industry is one of the fastest
growing in the world. Transportation and food delivery are still
the biggest sectors, but new services in areas like home and pet care are popping up all
the time. There’s even a service that matches you
with goats in your area who will come by and trim your lawn! Goats? Oh, we’re totally doing that. It’s an economy driven not just by technology,
but changing social demographics. Not too long ago, it was standard for every
household to have one full-time employee who took care of the vast majority of household
chores, and all for free! (Thanks, Mom.) But unpaid work is still work, and since more
women have entered the workforce, it makes sense that we’re starting to assign dollar
values to the tasks that most of us got to take for granted. So how do you know whether you can afford
to outsource your chores? When considering one of these on-demand services,
the first question you need to ask is whether this is leverage or luxury. Leverage is more like an investment. Let’s say that by hiring a lawn service,
you save yourself two hours of yardwork, and you invest that time into your side business
screenprinting T-shirts to sell on Etsy. Like the responsible side-hustler you are,
you’ve already calculated that you make about $25 profit for every hour you put in,
and since the lawn service costs $40… congratulations! You’ve successfully leveraged your money
to make more money. In other words, as long as you’re able to
make MORE per hour than what you’re paying someone else, you’re coming out ahead. But let’s say that’s not an option for
you. Maybe you work 40 hours a week with no overtime
and no side hustle. Then you’re likely outsourcing chores for
a different reason, to free up personal time to do stuff you actually like. That puts this service into the luxury category. Luxuries are not necessarily bad things–but
they are harder to judge economically, because you can’t really put a dollar value on “me”
time. But one thing’s for sure: no luxury is worth
going into debt over. So that’s why you’ve got to “mind the
gap!”. If any outsourcing service pushes your monthly
expenses above your monthly income, you’ll either have to forego it, or find somewhere
else to cut back. That means you’ll need a clear idea of how
much these services actually cost, and some of them aren’t very transparent. Grocery delivery services like Instacart are
clear about their delivery fees, but they also charge hidden markups on many items that
are constantly fluctuating. There’s no way to know how much extra you’re
paying without going down to the store to price check, but that kinda defeats the purpose,
doesn’t it? One instacart user actually did the math and
posted his results on reddit: turns out he paid an average 42.8% markup, including some
items that cost well more than double their in-store price. When you factor in the service and delivery
fees, he spent almost $70 to not have to go to the supermarket. That might be on the high end of the spectrum,
but the point is: the easier these services are to use, the less likely we are to keep
track of the costs. When you pay a cab driver in cash, you’re
very aware of the value of that ride. But with Uber, you just get out of the car
and walk away. Depending on how you approach it, the on-demand
economy can be a solid investment, a path to more freedom, or, if you’re not careful,
a financial ball and chain that could drag you deeper into debt. We often recommend that saving for retirement
should take priority over present comfort, because there will come a day when you really
won’t be able to mow your own lawn or shop for your own groceries, and you’ll want
to be able to afford those services then. And that’s our two cents!

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29 thoughts on “Is It Smart To Outsource Your Chores?”

  • I only take an Uber/Lyft if I absolutely have to which is very rarely and is usually because I’m being safe because I am out drinking with friends 🍹 Pass on all the other temptations that add up so quick! I can’t believe how much those meal kits cost.

  • Millennials….. Gen X here(44). All of my millennial neighbors pay for landscaping, maids, contractors. I have one neighbor who does nothing but work from home and it seems like they are always home. I am pretty sure all of their free money goes to pay for services that I do all buy myself. I take pride in fixing things and doing my yardword and living the suburb life. This will free up money to buy nice cars or go on nice vacations. It’s a lifestyle choice to do everything yourself. Sure it takes a lot of your time. But if you manage your time and do these things during the work week only. You can have your days off and enjoy them. I just do not get paying for everything. Sure in the past time is money and I had to work and had no time to do it myself…

  • How about a video on a Roth 401K works? Can anyone open one? Who is the suitable candidate? How much should someone invest without digging themselves in a hole come tax time? Does the government judge you at a higher tax bracket for having one versus a regular 401k?

  • Perhaps a video on different health insurance plans for young people who are starting to pay their own health insurance? HSA accounts, deductibles, etc. I really enjoy your channel–Im always excited for new ones.
    –Oliver

  • Why do you need someone to walk your dog, roll out the trash cans, or go shopping. Do it yourself it’s way easier and cheaper

  • Always enjoyed your vids. Would be even better if tax impact (before tax) is mentioned in your opportunity cost example 😉. Just my 2 cents😝

  • Came across your channel through your FIRE video, and have watched a handful afterwards. I like your content, and definitely appreciate the level of thought and care that goes into it. Just sub'ed hope to see more $0.02 from you two.

  • "on demand economy", yeah, it sounded way better than "unpaid servants". Why bother employing maid that needs to get paid every month when you can just use "on demand maid service". I mean, what could go wrong with tons of people with on-demand jobs that is also depended on app from corporations that is backed by cheap debt and would go "boom boom" when the cheap debt is over?

    *makes one order in Uber*………ahhh…… progress.

  • what you forgot about outsourcing the lawn service is that you don't have to buy a mower, you don't have to spend money to store it, maintain it, gas it up and so on, so there are a whole slew of costs to the mower.

  • As a dog walker, pet sitter, and babysitter, I hope people don’t stop outsourcing these things. It’s how I make my money 😂 (I’m 15 btw)

  • who are the 64 people that thumbs down this video? I know one of them. He told me with straight face "Eating out is a right, not a privilege."

  • Mowing the lawn takes me 3 1/2 hour sessions on consecutive days. It costs me $50 to have a team (of 2) do it better and faster. Why not, I dislike the torture of lawn care. Plus, I’ve got allergies and mowing makes me itchy all over.

  • Instacart suspended my shopper account
    for giving some receipts to customers lol. They are making $20~$100 on each shopper usually.

    They don’t want shoppers to know real prices haha

  • Need to stop saying woman worked for free what about her food, stay home luxury etc. By the way lady you have gained too much weight in just one year seems to me you need more hand washing and cutting the grass yourself to loose that extra weight. #overweightladyfromourtwocents

  • Wait a second the laziest country on earth hasn't invented grocery delivery yet? You have to go to a third part app? All British supermarkets deliver for between £1 and £5 and no mark ups.

  • If people want to spend less time on chores why do they keep getting bigger houses, bigger yards, more cars/household, bigger closets with more cloths, over scheduling their kids in every extra curricular activity and on and on and on…???