Reaching The Saturation Point with Parenthood

I have always been a firm believer of "insourcing". If I can actually do the work myself then I'd rather pay myself to do the work and save the money. I attribute a significant part of our success at growing our net worth to what it is today by trying to minimize the $ that we spend on services and doing everything we can ourselves.

While my wife and I were on our assignment in China, I first encountered a whole new paradigm of "outsourcing". Hiring a person to do something had a completely different labor rate. For instance a person to help with cleaning our apt would cost < $10USD/hr. While I was initially resistant to embracing hiring someone to help clean we quickly warmed up to the idea as other time commitments took priority and a realization on my part that my time would easily have a better return if I invested it elsewhere.

Once we moved back to the US, my wife and I began to focus again on "insourcing". We started hauling our own trash to the dump, cleaning our own home, making repairs and improvements to our home, maintaining our yard, performing maintenance work and other labor activities at our rental properties. As a rule of thumb I generally associate labor (cleaning service, handyman, etc) at $25-$35/hr and that will quickly motivate myself to go and do the work myself. I easily get dismayed at people who complain about the amount of money they can't seem to save but yet "outsource" a lot of things they don't want to do themselves while they watch TV.

However after about a year and a half of parenthood Im beginning to change my personal take on "outsourcing". With parenthood my life has become more saturated with things to do than I can possibly complete. Its not a matter of when I'll get something done, but if something will ever make it high enough up my To-Do list to get done. I now recognize it may be worth spending money for someone to complete some of my To-Dos and keep momentum going. Otherwise I'll become increasingly frustrated with my inability to keep up with things that are still important and have value to me. I believe the key will be to keep the "outsourcing" in check and find the right balance between general progress and methodical savings.

Related in Outsourcing:

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Comments (9)


Yep, you are married all right - wife doesn't want to clean and why would she - she's only home all day and besides - she has 600k in the bank. Why doesn't Buffet rationalize a larger house and owning his own jet?

Keep it real - don't let the wife ruin ur goals

Some of those hidden costs of parenthood ... the good news is that when the kids get older you can do a lot of those things with them - working together can teach lots of lessons. (speaking as the mother of 4)

hi 2million,

Why not just hire me to do your work! I'm really cheap and do good work. I'll work for $15 per hour. That's slightly higher than the Chinese labor wage but lower than the wage you associate with labor here, $25-35. Come on 2million, give me a call!

What did you decide to outsource and at what rate?

This happens - I have outsourced my house cleaning and lawn mowing work. It is a matter of return on money invested factoring in time.

Ok, I will work for free as long as you mention me as your best blog fan! ha.

We've talked about hiring someone to do the cleaning of the house, but we never bring ourselves to it.

Perhaps in a few more years, for us...


What are you wanting to outsource? I can understand lawn, shrub work, but anything in the house, isn't your wife home full-time with your child? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but isn't that part of the deal of her staying home?

John,
I have a later post talking about this a bit - I think we are both feeling pretty saturated at this point, although I think of myself as more saturated. My wife does juggle a number of things including staying home with our daughter which wears her out pretty good alone. She also works part time - so with that in mind there may be some things in the house that we could help my wife with, but their not first on the list.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,701,144

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