The life of a homemaker is one that includes an endless amount of demands and to-dos. Depending on the size of the home and family, the position of homemaker can go well beyond the usual nine to five. We examined some of the tasks that a homemaker might do to find out how much his or her services would net as individual professional careers. We only take into consideration tasks which have monetary values and use the lowest value for each calculation. (To read more, see Insuring Against The Loss Of A Homemaker.)
TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics
Meal preparation is one of the major tasks of most homemakers. From breakfast to dinner, there is plenty of meal planning and cooking to be done. The American Personal Chef Association reports that its personal chefs make $200 to $500 a day. Grocery shopping is another chore that needs to be factored in. A homemaker must drive to the supermarket, purchase the food and deliver it to the home. Grocery delivery services charge a delivery fee of $5 to $10.
Total cost for services: $1,005 per five day work week x 52 weeks = $52,260 per year.
A clean and tidy home is the foundation of an efficient household. Typical cleaning duties include vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing sinks as well as loading the dishwasher and making beds. Professional maids or house cleaning service providers will charge by the hour, number of rooms or square footage of the home. For example, bi-weekly cleaning of a 900-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment with five rooms, costs $59-$124. A 1,300 square-foot, single-story home with seven rooms runs $79-$150. A 2,200 two-story, three-bedroom home with nine rooms averages $104-$180. Additional tasks such as oven or refrigerator cleaning and dusting mini blinds can run an extra $20-$25.
Total cost for services: $118 per week X 52 Weeks = $6,136 per year.
Homemakers provide full-time, live-in child care. This type of service from a professional provider would usually come with a host of perks including health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, federal holidays off, dental and vision coverage, and bonuses. The International Nanny Association's 2011 survey found that nannies make $600 to $950 per week in gross wages, on average. (For more, read 5 Ways To Save On Child Care Costs.)
Total cost for services: $600 a week plus perks/benefits x 52 Weeks = $31,200 per year.
A private car service might seem like a high-end luxury to most, but the beneficiaries of a homemaker get this service on a daily basis. Companies like Red Cap, which provides personal drivers that use the client's own car as the means of transportation, offer a glimpse into the cost of this homemaker task. An elite membership which includes 365 days of unlimited, round-trip service is $1,000 a year plus 33 cents - $2.03 per minute.
Total cost for services: $1,000 per year + [(estimated miles driven 8000 miles / 50 MPH) x 60 min/hr x $0.33 per minute] = $4,168 total per year.
Clean clothes come at a cost when you have to pay for the service that most homemakers do for free. Professional laundry services charge by the pound. For instance, Susie's Suds Home Laundry Service, Inc. in Texas charges 90 cents to $1.00 a pound to wash, dry, fold, hang and steam your clothes. Items that take longer to dry such as comforters, blankets, rugs and winter clothes are assessed at a price of $12-$15 each.
Total cost for services: $0.90 per pound x 4 pounds of clothes per day x 5 days per weeks x 52 weeks = $936 total per year.
Basic maintenance of the exterior property is a less common, but possible duty of a homemaker. This could include things such as mowing, debris removal, edging and trimming the lawn. These services cost about $30 a week on average.
Total cost for services: $30 per week x 52 weeks = $1,560 total per year.
The Bottom Line
Total for a year of all services is: $52,260 + $6,137 + $31,200 + $4,168 + $936 + $1,560 = $96,261 per year.
The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted by his or her family members. However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace. Homemakers in general contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks, and no amount of money can fill those needs. (For related readings, check out How To Become A One-Income Family.)