Time Savers to (Possibly) Splurge On

Time Savers to (Possibly) Splurge On

  • 10.29.19
  • Lifestyle & Technology
  • Article

For some time-pressed families, paying for help with routine chores is money well spent.

Many of us feel stressed about our to-do list. One option, if it makes sense for your family and financial situation, is to outsource your more routine chores. You may just find yourself feeling happier and more relaxed.

That’s exactly what Ashley Whillans, Ph.D., and her team of researchers found in a recent study on how buying time promotes happiness. “The more time-pressed you feel, the lower your wellbeing,” Whillans says. Their paper noted that swapping money for time might be especially beneficial for women – in part because many face a "second shift" of household duties after work.

1. Housecleaning

Ask a friend for recommendations, or go to bidmycleaning.com and book a cleaning online.

2. Laundry

Sometimes you can negotiate to include this with your housecleaning. If not, try oneclickcleaners.com to schedule free pickup and delivery.

3. Yardwork

At lawnmowingonline.com, you can be connected with someone who’s available to work on your yard.

4. Pet sitting

Whether your animal needs long-term care while you’re away or just social time while you’re at the office, you can find someone to give your fur baby the attention they deserve. Search rover.com for someone near you.

5. Grocery delivery

At retailers like Walmart and Target, you can order online and pick up in-store. For groceries delivered to your door, try shipt.com or peapod.com. Grocery delivery varies by zip code, but a Google search should turn up choices where you live.

6. Online shopping

Instead of spending hours trying on clothes, use a reasonably priced service like Stitch Fix and have your wardrobe hand-picked and delivered. With Amazon Prime you can get most household items within two days. Plus, many online clothing retailers offer free returns, making it easier to upgrade your wardrobe.

7. Food meal prep

Want to avoid the all-too-painful “What are we having for dinner?” discussion? Try a meal delivery service. Most have introductory offers so you can try a few before committing, and they usually have a variety of dietary lifestyles, too.

8. Travel, research and concierge needs

Take advantage of travel benefits through your credit cards and services like AAA. Or try zirtual.com and delegate the end-to-end planning to an assistant. Costs range from $97 to $997.

9. Odd jobs

Whether you need a piece of furniture picked up and delivered to your home or just got a TV that needs to be mounted on the wall, search for just the right person for the job at taskrabbit.com or airtasker.com.

Next steps

  • Delegate household chores within the family to establish a tradition of responsibility. Children may like to take ownership of small tasks.
  • Outsource the rest. Work with your partner and advisor to establish a budget and then enjoy the extra time you’ll gain!

Sources: “How to Outsource All the Worst Chores in Your Life,” The Muse; “Average Hours per Day Spent in Selected Household Activities,” Bureau of Labor Statistics; “Outsourcing Unpleasant Tasks Scientifically Proven to Make You Happier,” Cosmos; “Want To Be Happier? Spend Money on Avoiding Household Chores,” Forbes