Today’s blog post is inspired by one of the conversations I saw on a mom group Facebook group. Someone has recently hired a cleaning lady and was expressing her happiness with the decision. Many people replied that they would like to do the same, but they cannot afford it.
Here is what I am going to tell you today: You CAN afford it. You just must figure out how. And I am not talking about the close your eyes and manifest money into the universe (although if you are into that, then I hope it happens too). I am referring to the sit down, get your notebook and calculate where the money will come from. If it is important to you, you can ALWAYS find the money. I will play the housekeeping help game now, but you can apply the same principle to whatever else you wish to get that you don’t think you can afford.
Here is the thought process I went through thinking about this:
- What is the cost per month of whatever I want? You might really want to get the help every day but realistically, what would make your life better? Once. Just once. Let’s start with a one-time help. Btw, look around and ask for recommendations; you want someone who is as good at cleaning as you are, otherwise you will be angry you spent that money. The cost I came up with is $120.
- Where can I find $120 in the month of September? List all your expenses from the month so far, see which ones you could have done without (you did not enjoy what they brought that much) and promise yourself not to spend your money that way until the end of the month.
- Alternatively, you can play the I don’t buy anything for the next 5/7/10 days and see how much money you have afterwards. If you do this consistently, you will start seeing more money in your accounts.
- Over the long term, you need to include the housekeepers into your budget and cut something else. What is that something else? What do you value less than a clean house? $12 spent on Taco Bell? That is 10% of your cleaner right there. $14 on an expensive cocktail with your friends? Go to happy hour, get a $5 drink and put the difference towards the cleaner’s fund.
When people tell me that they can’t afford something reasonable (and yes, I agree, you really cannot afford a Tesla perhaps), I always challenge them. Is it that you cannot afford it or that you do not value it enough to afford it? If you really wanted something, with few exceptions, you would find a way to make it happen. And if you do not believe that, send me your expense report and let’s see what we can cut out. Life is about spending your money in a way that will make you feel good. It is so hard to do that if you are not intentional about how you spend your money. So, let’s get to putting together a list of what you would like to have but can’t afford and then find the money for it.