Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
Septemer 16, 2010
Issue #17

The Best $14 I Ever Spent
Five years ago when my youngest child was a few months old, my family was drowning in the exhaustion of life with three children, two working parents, and six weeks of clean but unfolded laundry heaped on the guest bed.  Though mortified by the thought, I asked our teenage "mother's helper" if she would come over and fold our laundry.  It turned out that paying her $14 for a couple of hours of laundry folding was the best money I had ever spent.  Not only did her efforts lead to the return of clean clothes in our drawers, it led to the return of my sanity.

It's important for all of us to recognize the value of our time and be willing to pay for services which will help us manage our busy lives.  Here are few inexpensive ways to get the help we need:

  1. Shop online and pay the shipping fee.
    Even if you're a bargain shopper who likes to browse the sale rack, there are times when it makes sense to go online and shop when it's convenient for you (invariably at 10pm when the stores are closed).  When you consider the value of your time, the cost of gas, and the money you'll drop in Starbucks on your way out of the store, it's worth it to pay the $7.95 for shipping.  An additional tip:  Make it even more cost effective by purchasing on sites like Amazon where shipping is free (for many items) if your total is over $25.

  2. Have your groceries delivered.
    Just like our reluctance to pay shipping fees, we balk at the idea of spending $10 to have our groceries delivered. So let's ask the question, "How much do you spend on impulse items when you go to the store?"   I bet it's more than ten dollars.  So, log on and start shopping.

  3. Pay for a takeout dinner.
    Whether you forgot to order your groceries or you just don't have the time or energy to cook, there are many inexpensive and healthful takeout options available these days.  For less than $20, you can purchase a rotisserie chicken and some greens from the salad bar.  As long as getting takeout isn't a daily habit, this can be a great way to create more time for yourself in the evening, and have a delicious dinner as well!

  4. Use a drycleaner with pick up/delivery service.
    It's time consuming running to the drycleaner before or after work.  However, when comparing the cost of going to the cleaners yourself versus having them come to you, the difference is nominal.  Once you factor in the cost of gas and your time, it's a no-brainer- leave your clothes at your front door and let the drycleaner do the rest.

  5. Don't forget those teenagers.
    As I mentioned above, hiring a teenager can be a very cost effective way to get some help around the house. Consider asking a teenager to rake the leaves, provide help with kids' homework, organize the playroom, or wash dishes after a dinner party.  Teenagers need money and you need stuff done.  It's a perfect match.

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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