2012-05-06, 11:21 AM
Have you considered giving up some business to enable you to get home to your son?
The business will still be there after your son has left home!
2012-05-06, 12:37 PM
This almost my situation exactly! I am lousy at cleaning, so is my spouse. The difference is my spouse will not clean and he is the one that wants a cleaner house. Since I work just as much if not more than him, and have little free time. Another reason we had a house cleaner and then went with a nanny instead of childcare, is to keep the peace in the home. Housecleaning for me is something that will ALWAYS take the lowest priority in my life, now even more so. Unfortunately, I was even featured in our local paper years ago as one of the women who did not keep a clean house and even then choose to outsource. I was referred to the report by one of friends who knows that when I have guest over they are to visit me, rather than to judge my house. I btw am a fabolous host in a messy house.
Originally Posted by Berubeland
2012-05-06, 12:46 PM
To MG point to it becoming the norm, I don't necessarily see that as a problem. The roles of women have shifted in relationships, and at home and work, and there's good and bad things about that. In my personal opinion, more good that women are treated more as equals, and have less limitations, which is another thread. There are a lot of things, not just housekeeping that can be put in the category of 'norms', people who are looking at outsourcing such as cleaning, gardening, lawn mowing, snow shovelling, personal assistants, manicures, pedicures, two vehicles (or more), really anything that is not a neccessity and adds to the conviences of life can become the norm. The issues is not what is becoming the norm in what people are thinking its okay to spend on, but rather the fact that it is becoming a norm that it's okay to pay for it using debt.
I think the norm around debt is really the problem, and people don't necessary weight their options because they think debt is okay. I think its a problem that people do not necessarily look at the total impacts of their decisions. It's the person that doesn't have a handle on their spending is the problem, not what is considered the norm.
2012-05-06, 12:54 PM
Good distinction...I picked housecleaning because (as I've said now many times) I personally can't justify it, AND I can't see how the people I know who have regular housekeeping can.
However: if you can't afford to do the regular stuff of life (NOTE I am not talking about whether you like housecleaning, or are good at it, or "whose job it is" and whether you have to be a "a superwoman" to have both full-time employment and maintain your house!), probably you need to change your life. If you are too exhausted from your work to maintain your house, AND you don't make enough money from your employment to save for retirement, retire your house debt, have an emergency fund etc. AND pay for housecleaning, you probably need to change something, maybe even something major.
If you make enough money to pay for housecleaning AND meet other financial goals, who cares? In some ways I dislike that I picked housecleaning as my example, although it is the one thing I do personally wonder about. Just like I spend probably $20 a week on coffees out of the office. I love coffee. I buy fancy coffees (not at Starbucks, though!) all the time. Is this affordable for me? Heck yes. So is the "latte factor" a concern for me? Heck no.
Anyways. Now I'm just rambling. I do think this discussion is interesting. My husband is cleaning the house as I type.
2012-05-06, 01:34 PM
I have turned down 3 new buildings in December and hired someone to help me (it's not working out at all)
This latest crisis comes from a transition between building superintendents. The guy leaving was doing nothing...not even answering the phone to people trying to pay the rent (We have interac) Our Interac went from 30K to 13K which I collected. I was on site trying to make sure we hit our target of $75K in collections. (I failed by 4K but it could have been sooo much worse.)
So anytime I have an extra stress on my time I have to do extra work, I do not have anyone to delegate to. In business I am always learning to grow myself, I have to develop competency in hiring the right people. It's not easy...
2012-05-07, 12:38 AM
I think the problem is that the norm of what is affordable has become distorted. I was brought up that if you couldn't pay for it outright, you couldn't afford it, with the exception of University, and MAYBE a house. Heck, my family was horrified that I had to get a mortage and wouldn't have it paid off within 3 or 5 years. Interest unless you could write off was a four letter word.
Originally Posted by MoneyGal
When I see all these people around me that all drive nice cars, huge houses, etc, my spouse and I actually got caught in the the Jones'. We were thinking that we were doing really poorly because we didn't have all of these things and how do people afford all of these things. Then we realized that they have a different definition of affordability.
Now, I think the norm of the definition of affordable has drastically changed. No longer is it if you have the money, but rather can you make the payment. I am absolutely baffled when I see people buying lattes, designer shoes, manicures, spas, etc, when I KNOW they are in debt. The justifications I have heard when I have questioned spending (only on my closets friends who talk to me about it), are just as baffling.
- Since they paid for the item out of cash or their bank card, they can afford it, even though they have credit card debt.
- It's on sale, so the more they spend the more they save
- I can afford it, I still have a few thousand left on my LOC
- It's only $5 or $10 or whatever the amount
- Every else is doing it and we make more than so and so, therefore we should be able to spend
The list goes on and on. It's just become normal to go into debt, not save, not worry about retirement, etc. I think people are getting worse and worse with money.
2012-05-07, 06:53 AM
People tend to take their behavioural cues by watching others around them. One of the many reasons that obesity has become epidemic, for example, is that the more obese people you see around you or in your family, the more you eat: a Harvard study that followed 12,000 people over 32 years found that obesity is "contagious." Studies performed at Columbia University found that 75% of students left alone in a room that started filling with smoke immediately left the room and sought help, whereas when three students were in the room only 38% of the groups of three reported the smoke. Each person's inaction signaled to the others that there wasn't an emergency.
Originally Posted by Plugging Along
The same thing is going on with debt and spending. As more and more people live beyond their means, spending freely despite debt, it sends a signal to others that this is normal behaviour and many of the people around them start doing the same thing. Eventually the numbers reach a critical mass and the behaviour becomes widespread in the population.
I don't think education is the answer. If we want to change this, somehow financial responsibility has to go viral: a critical mass of people have to start behaving responsibly so others start viewing it as the new normal and conform their behaviour accordingly.
2012-05-07, 01:28 PM
This is an interesting discussion. I've always said if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do would be hire someone to cook and clean for me! Forget a fancy house or car...I want staff. It is kind of a joke, but also kind of true. In most of the world, as soon as you have some extra money, you don't buy more stuff, you hire people to do things for you. You may have a dirt floor in your house, but gosh darnit you will have someone to sweep that dirt floor for you! Why? Because they point of money is to make your life easier and more enjoyable...not to accumulate more material possessions. People only work enough to meet their needs, then spend the rest of their time enjoying the company of family and friends. Sounds like a good life. Except, in North America, the opposite is true. People will make their lives miserable, working crazy hours, to make more money...just so they can spend it on stuff for the sake of saying they have a lot of stuff.
I don't pay for house cleaning...yet! But I will. We decided on it a while ago, but just haven't gotten around to finding anyone yet. I have a job that is draining and often overwhelming - physically, mentally and emotionally, so I truly subscribe to the idea that money is for making your life easier and more enjoyable...and I don't spend money on things (excluding necessities, like my hydro bill!) unless they either make my life easier or more enjoyable. I would love to have fancy nails, but paying for a manicure isn't going to make my life more enjoyable, so to me it is a waste of money. I used to cut my own hair because nobody could cut curly hair nicely, so why pay for someone $50 to do a crappy job? But now I will spend $200 every 6 months to get my hair straightened...why? because it makes my life SO MUCH EASIER! I hate cooking, so eating out makes my life easier and more enjoyable. I will pay someone to clean my house because I hate doing it and I like having a clean house...it will make my life easier and more enjoyable. It means when I come home I can go do my gardening rather than scrub the stove.
2012-05-07, 02:45 PM
I find it interesting that there is so much worry about people spending and spending and incurring debt to purchase more and more, and to pay for that extra car, and that house cleaner, and the spa treatments, etc, etc... Brad mentions that financial responsibility has to go viral. While this is completely logical and would be best for individuals, the fact is we live in a CONSUMER society that depends on frivolous spending and waste in order for our economy to run. Do you not find it absolutely ridiculous that we just went through a "financial crisis" and "recession", yet you go to the malls and there are massive hordes of mindless consumers blowing every last penny. Recession? what recession?!? It's completely ridiculous that "economic growth" stalled all the while people are spending like crazy, building up DEBT hand over fist. Where is the logic? It's because we are all a bunch of brainwashed consumers that are under massive attacks from advertisers and market researchers/manipulators that infiltrate our minds with custom advertising to make you believe you NEED this new greatest thing. Newsflash - my iPhone 3G is good for the garbage.
Perhaps we should stop blaming "the stupid" masses for their reckless spending and wonder why it is that this spending is exactly what is needed for our "economy" (look up the definition of the word economy) to run at the proper growth rate. If everyone lived within their means, the economy would grind to a halt and the financial system would collapse.
100 years ago people were not savage consumers and how we got here was very carefully orchestrated by corporate America. This is very well explained in a BBC documentary called "The Century of the Self". I recommend everyone check it out on YouTube.
I personally am so damn sick of advertising - it drives me mad. It is disturbing to see my 20-month old son turn around and become mesmerized when an Apple or Chevy commercial comes on. And then we wonder why people grow up wanting all this stuff.
As for the original topic - I think paying for housecleaning is probably the single best expense I have. It directly gives me more time to spend with my wife and son, makes my house cleaner with less germs to make us sick, and it also provides employment to a hard-working young woman for a fair wage. There are many luxiries I will give up before I stop paying for house cleaning services.
Sorry for the rant.
2012-05-07, 03:24 PM
This is true. My wife had to point out that my 16 month old son and I were both staring blankly at the commercial for the New iPad. creepy, but undoubtedly powerful.
Originally Posted by gimme_divies