Outsourcing to Help Juggle Responsibilities

I have recently began shifting my view on outsourcing now that time has disappeared with parenthood. However I do want to be smart about it - Im not considering outsourcing everything I can, I want to selectively outsource the lowest cost/least rewarding activities to balance making progress on my todo list with our ability to save money. After all with one income, our growing family, and the larger home we bought <2 yrs ago our ability to save has already been hindered a plenty.

So my wife and I tried to put together a list of things we think we could easily outsource and 3 attributes that we thought were important - the cost per hour to outsource, whether we like doing the work, and if it was a tax deductible expense:

Service Cost Enjoy it? Deductible?
Home Cleaning $30/hr No No
Home R/M/I* $35/hr Yes No
Home Office R/M/I* $35/hr Yes Yes
Rental R/M/I* $35/hr Yes Yes
Rental tenant mgmt $45/hr+ Indifferent Yes
Oil Changes $12/hr Indifferent No
Lawn maintenance $35/hr Yes No
Car wash/cleaning $25/hr Indifferent No
Trash service $30/hr Yes No

R/M/I* - Repairs, Maintenance, and Improvements

Somethings begin to jump out to us. Changing our own oil is an obvious one - we can get it changed for <$19 with coupon or do it ourselves and spend $13 on supplies and still need to deal with oil disposal. Unfortunately that does not save us a whole lot of time as we only need to spend 1 hr every few months changing our oil.

However I do spend a significant amount of time dealing with our rental maintenance, repairs, and improvements. Given this work would be a tax deductible expense and the rentals required additional travel time for me they really stand out as an area where we can increase our outsourcing on. If our labor rate is $35/hr for a handyman the net cost to us would be < $25/hr. It makes much more sense for us to focus on outsourcing services related to our rental properties or home office.

Things like maintaining or repairing our own home or cleaning our cars are still things we think we should continue to try and do ourselves unless we are able to get the cost substantially lower.

Based on this we are looking at hiring handymen/contractors to take care of most of the maintenance, repairs, and improvements at both our rental properties. This will help us keep up with many of our commitments as our responsibilities continue to grow and minimize the affect our our ability to save. I'll need to keep a close watch on this and will need to reevaluate periodically as our situation changes.

Well also look for other opportunities to outsource more with this same approach if we still don't think we are able to keep up with everything.

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Comments (2)

Lawn service and trash service for your rental homes should be deductable - it's a business expense. If your car is owned by the same entity that owns your rental property (LLC or partnership) then all car expenses should be deductable.

ParatrooperJJ - your right. I didn't include rental lawn service or trash because the tenants are responsible for them in our situation (even better than deductible). However if we did handle them or our car was owned by our business we would definitely include them as a tax deductible business expense.

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