Archive for July 2016

Should You Hire a Housekeeper?


hire a housekeeperChores ? the dreaded tasks of everyone, no matter your age. Housework, laundry, scrubbing the toilet ? no one likes doing it but these things are necessary to stay clean and sanitary. But it can be hard to prioritize these things over other items in our daily schedules that are more fun.

After a long day of work, or even a long day of fun, no one wants to spend time cleaning the house. This is when some people find themselves contemplating hiring a housekeeper.

It seems so much easier to hire a housekeeper to do these dreaded tasks for you.?There are many professionals who can?clean your house. It can be a one-time cleaning or a weekly occurrence. But before you decide to hire a housekeeper, here are some things you should keep in mind.

A Housekeeper Isn’t Cheap

The cost of having your house cleaned could be as little as paying a few bucks to your child, but if you are childless or you want a professional housekeeper, it can cost you. Average costs seem to be as much as $75 per cleaning. But if you live in a larger city, it could be even more expensive to hire a housekeeper.

That said, when you hire a housekeeper, you can adjust to what level of clean you need and what fits your budget. If you only need a housekeeper?once a month to deep clean as you do the light stuff like dusting, picking up and vacuuming pretty well, then?you’ll be able to save some money.

Privacy and Trust

Before I hired a housekeeper to help in my home, I had to consider privacy and trust. After all, a?stranger is in your home touching your stuff. You are putting trust in an unknown person or service to clean your home for a fee. Most services are well vetted and hire excellent staff, but there are dishonest people who might steal valuable belongings or not do their job. Knowing who is coming to your home to clean is important and you need to make sure you are getting the services and quality you are paying for.

What is Your Time Worth?

One consideration that helped me decided to hire a housekeeper was the value of my time. I did the math based on how much it would cost me per hour to hire a housekeeper vs. how much money I could make by working on my business during that same amount of time. I found that I could significantly more money by hiring a housekeeper than by cleaning my home myself.

A Housekeeper May Do More Than Just Clean

Some housekeepers might be able to do more than just clean your home. You might be able to hire part-time help to do other things like cooking dinner and doing the dishes afterward. They could also do your grocery shopping and fold laundry, which are huge time-savers. If you feel less stressed about getting these tasks done, you?ll be happier and be more productive, but hiring help with these tasks will cost you more money.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to hire a housekeeper vs. rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself, you need to decide what is best for you and your wallet.?Do you need someone full-time who cooks every meal, or could you get by with someone coming just once a month to do a deep scrub of your home? How much can you afford to pay someone for their services? What is the value of your time? Whichever you decide you need, be sure that you are getting what you pay for.


Do you have a housekeeper? Have you ever thought about hiring a housekeeper?


Photo courtesy of: jarmoluk

5 Simple Ways to Save Money When Buying a New Home

buying a new home

buying a new homeHere?s a bit of breaking news ? buying a new home is?expensive. What?s that? You already knew houses were expensive? Okay ? so maybe it isn?t breaking news after all.

As any recent homebuyer can tell you, it is incredibly difficult to get into a new home without totally breaking your budget for the year (and maybe many years to come). If?you are getting ready to go through the home buying process, it is important that you find as many ways to save money as possible.

With that in mind, we are happy to offer you the following five money saving tips. These tips might not make your home buying experience ?cheap?, but they should help to lessen the burden at least a little bit.

Keep Your ‘Old’ Furniture

The temptation when buying a new home is to also buy all new furniture to fill it with. While that might be a fun idea, it is also extremely expensive. Instead, be patient and simply move your old furniture into the new place. Once you have settled in and your bank account has recovered from the house purchase, you can go about starting to buy new furniture one piece at a time as your budget allows.

Don?t Get Desperate

If you find yourself in a ?desperate? home buying situation (meaning you have to buy one ASAP), you are likely to wind up overpaying for your house. Try to give yourself as much time as possible so you can make reasonable offers and only agree to a purchase when you are totally happy with the final sale price.

Pick a Reasonable Square Footage

It is easy to get caught up in trying to find the biggest possible house when you hit the market for your next home. However, square footage isn?t everything when buying a house. Be reasonable with your size needs based on the number of people that will be living in the home, and focus your search on homes that are big enough while still being affordable so you don’t end up feeling house poor.

Be Flexible on Location

You probably have a general area in which you need to shop in order to have a reasonable commute to and from work each day ? but you should be flexible within that range in order to find the best deal. If you are only willing to look in one geographic area, you are more than likely going to pay too much. Keep your mind and eyes open and be ready to act when you find a great deal in a location that will work.

Pay for an Inspection

That?s right ? for this last tip, we are actually going to tell you to spend some money in order to save some money. By paying for a home inspection as part of the home buying process, you can potentially avoid expensive home repair bills later on. A good inspector will be able to catch potential problems upfront, which is far better than finding out about them after you have moved in to the house.


How have you saved money when buying a new home? Can you think of any other tips to help save money when buying a new home?


Photo courtesy of: midascode

5 Ways to Save on Car Rentals for Your Summer Road Trip

summer road trip

summer road tripSummer in full swing and so are the summer festivities that go along with the warmer weather.?Baseball and softball games, outdoor concerts, weddings and road trips are often on the calendar as much anticipated events. But all of these events could mean extra?mileage for your vehicle depending on their location.

Driving is an everyday event for most people, but if you are taking a summer road trip,?the cost of these extra miles can add up. For longer road trips, renting a car could be a better alternative than driving your current vehicle on your trip. It saves mileage and wear and tear on your personal vehicle while giving you the opportunity to test drive a newer make or model. If you plan to rent a car for your summer road trip, here are some ways you can save money in the process.

Don?t Prepay for Gas

The rate you?ll pay at the car rental desk if you prepay for gas is often way higher than current gas prices at the pump. If you only use a quarter of a tank but you pre-paid for a full tank, you won’t get a reimbursement for the gas you didn’t use. To save money on gas, make note of where the gas marker is before you leave the rental lot and fill it back there when you return the vehicle, unless your rental agreement specifically states to return the car with a full gas tank.

Go With a Smaller Vehicle

If you are doing city driving during your summer road trip and your rental options are either a huge SUV or an economy car, go with the economy car. It gets better gas mileage, plus you don?t have to worry about parking a large vehicle.

If the SUV is cheaper, and sometimes this happens, look at how much driving you will be doing and the cost of gas so you can see which is more economical for your summer road trip. Another perk of reserving a compact car is that if they are all gone with you get to the rental counter, you could be upgraded for free!

Don?t Pay for Extra Insurance

Your personal insurance usually covers liability in a rental car, and most people won?t wreck the vehicle during the rental duration anyway. Getting extra insurance is ultimately up to you, but most of the time you won?t need this extra coverage.

If you reserved your rental car with a credit ?card, check to see if your card covers rental insurance. Most credit cards cover liability and auto-body. Just be sure to read the fine print so you know what is and isn’t covered.

Shop Around for Deals

Brand loyalty isn’t always the best way to save money, so when you get ready to rent a car for your summer road trip, check for travel packages and specials that may be going on. This can save you hundreds on your car rental depending on the length of time you’re renting a car and how far you plan to drive it. You can also rent your car through Expedia?as they normally have some of the best rates available.

Take Advantage of Reward Points

If you travel extensively for work, use those mileage reward points to get a better discount on your rental. Credit card reward points can also be an option to help you save money on your car rental. Affiliate memberships, such as AAA or AARP, provide rental discounts or specials that could be advantageous too.



Are you planning a summer road trip? Will you rent a car? How else can you save money when renting a car?


Photo courtesy of: yc0407206360