Hiring a maid or a house cleaning service may seem like the ultimate luxury for many of us. But your time is worth money, and the time you spend scrubbing the kitchen floor might be more profitably, not to mention more enjoyably, spent elsewhere.
To borrow a term from economics, it's lost opportunity cost.
- Could your time be better spent doing something else? Maybe it's worth hiring a cleaning service.
- What's your time worth? Compare your hourly rate to the cost of a cleaning service.
- Paying for services you could do yourself is always a luxury. Make sure you're taking care of the real necessities first.
What Does a Maid Cost?
According to Thumbtack, a home services company, a house cleaning service costs $40 to $65 an hour on average, depending on where you live, as of 2021. The total cost could range from $80 to $110 for a small apartment to $150 to $250 for a 2,000-square-foot house. Some charge per hour while others base their fees on the square footage of the home.
If you have a maid come more often, you can typically get a discount of $5 to $10 per visit. Weekly visits will cost less than monthly visits.
All of the above prices are for professional agencies. A local freelance found through word-of-mouth might be considerably less, or more.
Professional cleaning services cost $40 to $65 an hour on average.
What Is Your Time Worth to You?
Every choice we make in life has a cost. Some of our decisions are obviously strictly financial while others require us to give up other assets, such as time.
You can use opportunity cost as a way to decide what your time is worth to you. If you earn $40 per hour at work, or $65 per hour, you might consider your time to be worth that much. If your time is worth $65 per hour and the maid charges $40 per hour, you may conclude that your time is better spent elsewhere.
However, if you decide your time is worth $30 per hour and the maid charges $40 per hour, you probably should clean your home yourself. It's simply more cost-effective.
Do You Want a Cleaner Home?
If you clean your home regularly, or at least once in a while, but are unhappy with the results, a maid could be worth a shot.
Some people are just better at cleaning than others.
There is an in-between choice. You could limit the professional services to once or twice a month, and promise yourself to keep the place reasonably neat and clean between visits.
A few minutes a day devoted to routine pickup can't hurt. And with a little professional help, your home could be cleaner than ever before.
Consider Your Budget
If you have any outstanding credit card balances or high-interest loans, you should focus on paying those off first before spending on a maid service or any other discretionary expense.
The same goes for meeting other priorities including basic living expenses, emergency savings, and retirement savings.
No matter how you analyse the expense, a maid is not a need, it is a want.
Independent vs. Corporate Maid Services
If you decide you can afford a maid and want to hire one, you have several options to consider. One of the most important is deciding between an independent maid or a home cleaning company.
Independent maids generally cost less, and 100% of the money you pay goes to the service provider. A friend or neighbor might be able to recommend an ideal candidate.
A professional services company, on the other hand, may come with insurance, proper background checks, and greater reliability. Scheduling is typically flexible since these companies have multiple employees.