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A Housekeeper's Cheaper than Divorce or Death

February 26th, 2008 at 02:17 pm

Today was Hazel the Housekeepers' day to come work her magic on the hovel we call home.

It's been suggested that I drop Hazel the Housekeeper and put the $80 I spend on her every two weeks toward debt payoff. In the end, I don't think it's worth losing my marriage or life over, so Hazel stays.

My husband has a very demanding full-time job and is working on another degree in his "free time." As I've whined about here numerous times, I work two jobs, which equate to more than 40 hours a week -- plus I have a 7 year old and two dogs to pick up after, not to mention the countless hours of volunteer work I do.

If my husband and I were to clean the house, it would take a full day, which is something neither of us has available to give up at this point in our lives. In the days when we did have a day to give up for cleaning, we would bicker over who was going to clean the bathtub. Now, it's a no brainer. Plus -- and here's the big clincher -- I have issues with chemical smells and asthma, so it's better to leave the cleaning to a professional and skip the whole gasping and wheezing part of the experience.

Hazel is not the greatest of maids, but she's better than the alternative -- living in filth or lying dead from an asthma attack. (Plus, I love walking into the bathroom after she has left to find the perfectly folded towels....)

16 Responses to “A Housekeeper's Cheaper than Divorce or Death”

  1. Caoineag Says:

    One comment on the chemical smells, even though you have a maid doing the cleaning, you might want to encourage her to use things that are a little less toxic. With your asthma, those chemicals can still build up and cause problems.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I wish I could find a good cleaning lady, but they want more an hour than my husband charges for building houses.

  3. Slowlygettingthere Says:

    I think you are very smart to not save the money & to save your marriage! $160 a month is a lot cheaper than the potential for arguments and stress, plus you are investing in your family.

  4. compulsive debtor Says:

    I've narrowed our cleaning products down to things that don't make me reach for an intubation tube. In the summer, it's easy. I just open all the windows. However, in the winter, I stay out of the house while Hazel's cleaning and for a bit afterward so the smell has dissipated.

  5. merch Says:

    When my wife was working, we had a housekeeper come weekly. She mainly did dusting, floors, and bathroom.

    And it was great, it freed up our Sundays. Alas we had 2 kids and moved to the suburbs and the wife dropped her job. So I bought her a roomba.

    She does all the cleaning, the robot does the vaccumming, and I just can't create messes. When she goes back to work (if she wants), we will probably hire a maid service.

    I think the main issue that people have is they equate their situation to yours. In other words, if i'm making 40k and have 170k in debt, I'm not hiring a maid. If I'm making 350-400k, $170 a month really doesn't mean that much.

    How's the cash only working for you? Is your behavior changing?

    Remember ... keep the focus. BTW, I'm not a friend of Bill's.

  6. monkeymama Says:

    Sounds good to me!!!!!!! I'd keep Hazel too. Big Grin
    since I can find a maid at a fraction of my wage, yeah, I'd hire one. Probably will in the future.

  7. luxlivingfrugalis Says:

    Only you can decide if you can actually afford the services of Hazel. I loved watching the old TV show about Hazel the maid - so I think it's GREAT that you have one actually named Hazel!

  8. compulsive debtor Says:

    If I were not working, I wouldn't have a maid either. In fact, I keep going back and forth on whether to keep the maid if I drop the office job and boost the booming side business. Yes, I will be home all the time, but presumably I will be working at home. (Oh, and the cash only thing has been in place so long that I don't even think about it anymore. It's just automatic.)

  9. Aleta Says:

    If you stay home, maybe you could try having her for less time to see how that works or for her to do jobs that you definitely don't want to do. My dIL hates ironing and that is one of the jobs that the woman she employs does for her. She basically likes someone to keep things straight, dust, and vacuum once in a while.

    You might not want to drop her in the beginning until you see how much time your business is going to take from you.

  10. compulsive debtor Says:

    My big issue is bathrooms. The enclosed space makes the fumes even worse. I have thought about just having her clean the bathrooms only when I drop the office job in favor of the side business.

  11. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    OH YEA!!!

    FORGET Oil and Gasoline! The next war is going to be over HOUSEWORK!

    I am soooooo resentful over this too sometimes. Work 1/2 time (20 hours/week), 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig, and 1 husband!

    Just have never been able to get the nerve to hire someone, as I WOULD PROBABLY CLEAN UP AFTER THEM TOO!!!

    it is just a result of being a fanatically clean person, but that is thankfully fading with age!!! Big Grin

  12. compulsive debtor Says:

    I thought I would clean up after and before Hazel as well, but after the first cleaning session I got over that. I do pick up more than usual on days she comes. If there's a toy on the floor, I make sure it's put away. And, I make sure there are no dishes left out from breakfast, but otherwise I don't do much else.

  13. pfodyssey Says:

    I think a regular house cleaning is money well spent...especially if you know you won't do it otherwise. Of course, there's no reason to spend that money on a less than stellar housekeeper! I would suggest asking Hazel to clean up her act or clean out!

  14. baselle Says:

    I don't think anyone here has an issue with the housekeeper, but please let me play a bit of a devil's advocate here. If you want to save money and you haven't been, something has to go. If you get a lot of value out of the housekeeper, or the cable, or the fill-in-the-blank, great, but it means that you'll have to find things that you'll have to let go. Things that you'll also find necessary or that you can't live without. No one here can spend on everything; we all pick and choose.

    So the housekeeper stays. What goes?

  15. compulsive debtor Says:

    Since I gave up cable long ago, I guess nothing has to go.... Oh, and then we also gave up Netflix years ago and only get free DVDs from the library. I also have been saving money despite the luxury of having a maid -- and paying my debt on time each month -- so the whole devil's advocate thing doesn't really work in this case. Try again...

  16. baselle Says:

    Good for you!

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