When you’re trying to cut expenses, often the first things to go are those services that feel like a splurge. After all, why pay someone else to do something that you can do yourself? It can feel wasteful to spend money on things that feel like luxuries, but before you cancel the cleaning service or drive past the valet parking stand, take a moment to consider the overall value of these services to your life. In many cases, splurging on some help in certain areas not only saves you time, it can also save you money in the long run and contribute to your overall well-being.
So which services are worth the money?
The average person spends four hours or more cleaning their house every week. But squeezing in the dusting, vacuuming and tidying up after a long day at work and shuttling the kids to activities can be tough to do, if you even get to it at all. For a lot of families, cleaning gets saved for the weekend, which means spending time working on the house instead of relaxing and doing the things you want to do, which is an important part of a happy and healthy life.
Paying for a cleaning service to come in and take care of some of the chores, then, is often a worthwhile expenditure. Not only is it nice to come home to a sparkling clean home, but a professional cleaner can often get the job done faster and more efficiently than you would. Even if you just hire a service to come in once a week, or even every other week, the expense (usually about $25 to $35 per hour) is worthwhile if it means you save your sanity.
Taking care of the yard is another chore that often gets pushed off until the weekend and takes up precious downtime. Hiring a Washington lawn mowing service to tackle the chore instead saves time and money. You don’t need to invest in your own equipment, and when you have professionals take care of the job, they can do it faster and with more precision that you can. In addition, a lawn service is knowledgeable about grass and plants and will make sure your grass always looks its best, identifying and fixing problems before they take over and saving you time and aggravation in trying to fix your lawn.
Hitting the grocery store after a long day at work is usually the last thing you want to do. But when you’re down to nothing but a questionable container of milk, leftovers and condiments in the fridge, it’s a must-do. Thanks to grocery delivery services, though, you don’t need to spend time in the store. Using an app or website (such as Instacart or Peapod) you can order your groceries and have them delivered right to your door. These services typically charge a fee, either a flat fee or a percentage of the total bill, but when you consider the time you save, and the fact that you won’t be making any impulse purchases or shopping when tired and hungry, you’re likely to save money. In addition, many services also offer specials and waive the fees if you purchase certain products, so it’s a no-brainer.
If you have joined a gym, or purchased a piece of exercise equipment, and you aren’t sure how to use it to its full advantage, a personal trainer can be an invaluable resource. Not only will a trainer show you how to use the equipment properly for the most benefit (and reduce the likelihood of a costly injury) but he or she can help create a tailored workout regimen that will help you reach your goals. One caveat, though: A trainer is only a worthwhile investment if you are really committed to your workout goals and if you are going to follow through. Many workout facilities offer free introductory training sessions as well, so if you are going to be a casual exerciser or you already have an idea of what to do, take advantage of that instead.
For many people, valet parking seems like a splurge that’s just not worth it. In many cases the cost is significantly more than self-parking, especially when you include tip. However, this is a service that you need to evaluate the cost to the benefit. If you’re in a city where parking is limited, or the closest self-parking is some distance from your destination, it’s probably worth coughing up the extra cash since you’ll spend more time trying to find a spot, which may not cost that much less than the valet. If you are running late, especially if you have a reservation or tickets to a show, spend the extra $10 or $20 and let someone else deal with the parking for you.
Again, it can feel indulgent to pay for these services, but in the long run, they will save you time and money and take tasks off your plate so you can do things you actually want to do. If you reduce expenses in other areas, you’ll have the cash to cover these services.