Blogs & Comment

How much is your time worth?

Ive been so busy may be the most overheard phrase in the English language.
We all work hard, and we all wish we could spend more time doing things like socializing, reading and bonding with loved ones, but often enough, there just arent enough hours in the day.
For a price, one obligation you can give up is cleaning your home. Would you give up this chore to win back some leisure hours if it made financial sense?
As an experiment, Ive attempted to calculate how much a persons free time is worth, in order to see if, financially, it makes sense to hire a cleaner in order to save time.
As a benchmark, Ive used a couple with a combined income of $100,000.
For simplification purposes, lets suppose both partners make $50,000 per year, and both work 52 weeks out of the year and 40 hours per week.
Combined, their weekly before-tax income is about $2,000. At this rate, each partner is making about $24 an hour.
If both partners together spend six hours every other Saturday cleaning, thats 12 hours out of their combined free time being spent on cleaning every two weeks. Multiply that by 24 (because each person is worth $24 an hour), and the couple is spending almost $300 worth of their free time hours cleaning biweekly. Thats $600 a month, or $7,200 per year. This is what its costing in time not counting cleaning supplies.
During a chat with Dina, a manager at Torontos My Clean House, I learn that the cost of cleaning services from her company is $22 per hour for weekly and biweekly customers.
Three cleaners for four hours at a home would equal 12 hours being spent on cleaning.
In this example, whether the couple cleans the home or the cleaning service does, the home is getting 12 hours worth of cleaning biweekly.
For four hours of cleaning at $22 an hour, youd be spending $88 to have your house cleaned by the company saving you $212 worth of your own hours spent on cleaning (300 88 = 212) biweekly. Thats a savings of $424 per month, or $5,088 per year.
As a recent university graduate, its literally impossible for me to dole out $88 biweekly to get my home cleaned. But if I was making $100,000 per year, Id never scrub a toilet again.
We cater towards time-starved people, says Aaron Abrams, director of marketing and business development at Molly Maid International.
Abrams says his company always does background checks on prospective employees, including criminal history checks, and that all new hires complete a training program.
While independent cleaners may be cheaper, most cleaning companies offer bonding and liability insurance, meaning that if a cleaner has an injury while on the job at your house, you wont be legally responsible.
We bring our own cleaning supplies, Abrams says, and they are pet, child and eco-friendly.
As opposed to charging by the hour, Molly Maids standard is to give a free estimate after doing a walk-through of the house with the resident. One benefit of this is that the resident has the opportunity to point out special instructions upfront. Children often appreciate that we dont touch their stuff, he says, citing the example of an uninformed cleaner packing away a half-complete puzzle or a partially-built Lego castle.
Dont be squeamish about someone cleaning your unmentionables. If you can afford it, I suggest you take back some of your leisure time and enjoy life.