Author Topic: Outsourcing  (Read 3050 times)

kimmarg

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Outsourcing
« on: November 05, 2013, 10:57:20 AM »


I see the article's point but really? If I wasn't doing my own laundry would I be making more money? No I'd be surfing the Internet. So until I get to a point where my day is so full I don't have 20min I'll keep doing it myself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/magazine/outsource-your-way-to-success.html?src=me&_r=0

LalsConstant

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:13:14 AM »
Isn't the whole point of being frugal having so little to fuss with you can tend it yourself at minimal or ideally negligible cost?  I do not see how outsourcing daily tasks is economically wise in that situation.

Jamesqf

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 11:18:31 AM »
There seems to be a basic math problem there.  Taking laundry as an example, doing it myself requires 1-2 minutes to pick up dirty clothes, place them in the washer, and turn it on, 2-4 minutes to hang everything on the line, and another 2 minutes to take it down, so maybe 8 minutes. Could I bundle everything up, take it to a laundry, and pick it up later in less time than that?  I don't think so, even if I lived in a city and the laundry was right on my way.

Then for most of the other stuff, I've found that (for me, anyway) it often takes longer to find someone to do a job, explain what needs to be done, and correct the inevitable mistakes/misunderstandings, than to just do it myself.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 02:27:43 PM by Jamesqf »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 11:35:26 AM »
wow. I'm not going to deny that I don't outsource things - I pay someone to change the oil in my car or rotate my tires - but the idea that paying someone to organize my photos or clean my house is actually better than me doing it myself and saving the money and TIME spent earning it?

There's a disconnect here.

All of these people that pay someone else to do something don't get that they are working more hours to earn that money to pay someone to allow them to have an extra bit of "downtime" to devote to something they deem more important than basic upkeep... so they can work harder and longer hours to "get ahead" and afford to hire things they could do themselves... but then the couple in the article are "rising stars" and that means they are so awesome that they would be morally wrong to waste their talent and energy doing mundane tasks like laundry and cooking. So there's the actual meat of the article - they are too "amazing" to waste their time doing things that aren't important or fun - so if you do want to pay someone else to do the same, then it's not because you're lazy or bad with money; it's because you're awesome.  :)

I used to really like doing housework and cooking. Most of the time lately I'm too tired from work to do as good a job as I'd like, but I'll be damned if I'm going to work more hours to hire it done and extend the time I'd have to work in order to afford all of that outsourcing.

kimmarg

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 12:33:18 PM »
Love that just as I was reading replies the phone rang and it was work offering me OT, which I declined. Oh yea, my laundry is in the washer right now ;)

Nords

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 10:02:18 AM »
wow. I'm not going to deny that I don't outsource things - I pay someone to change the oil in my car or rotate my tires - but the idea that paying someone to organize my photos or clean my house is actually better than me doing it myself and saving the money and TIME spent earning it?

There's a disconnect here.
Here's one connection.

My spouse and I hate to clean.  We're pretty neat in the first place after our years of service academies and sea duty, and we tidy up after ourselves when we make a mess, but we still hate to clean.  We'll spend two hours bitching and procrastinating for every hour spent actually cleaning.  We are Olympic-class experts at winning gross-out contests. 

The solution?  We set aside two hours every Wednesday morning for a housecleaner.  The best ones get away with demanding weekly business because it's easier to keep up with the dirt. 

We don't waste her time with clutter or laundry or dirty dishes or wastebaskets.  We don't even want her to clean bathtubs or window screens.  She's a highly-trained professional who scrubs toilets, cleans sinks & mirrors, dusts just about every horizontal surface, and damp-mops the floors.  Once every 3-4 months she'll do windows or blinds or the fridge shelving. 

We clear the deck for her to be able to do a good job.  Because we know she's coming every week, we're much better about not making messes in the first place.  (None of that "Eh, we'll let the housecleaner get it.")  We also spend the time & effort to pick up after ourselves on Tuesday nights.

While she's cleaning, we disappear.  We're usually outside doing yardwork, or in the garage working on a project, or (occasionally) running errands.  (I might even change the oil in my car or fix a flat tire.)  No playing, no workouts, not even any surfing.  When the housecleaner's doing her job, it's no fair sitting on the couch watching TV and eating bonbons. 

The result is that we're outsourcing to discipline ourselves to get stuff done.  We know that every Wed morning we're going to put in two solid hours of chores or home improvement while avoiding a task that we utterly despise.  Most times when the housecleaner has finished her duties, I'm dirtier and sweatier than she is.  Yet if we had been left to our own devices we might not have even mustered the initiative to do our chores or the projects, let alone the cleaning. 

Could we do it all ourselves or delegate it to a floor-cleaning robot?  Sure, and we also know that we could have six-pack abs, eat more veggies, cook gourmet meals, and end world hunger.  We also realize that we'll at least have a clean house in which we can not achieve those goals.

Rationalizing?  You bet.  We call it "budgeting" by spending on the things that we value, and the little hedonistic jolt that we get from her services is far more valuable than any restaurant meals or luxury consumer goods.

By the way, I deal with the laundry problem by accumulating 50+ t-shirts from thrift stores, swap meets, and freebies.  I'm only doing 3-4 loads (of everything, not just t-shirts) once per month.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 10:05:21 AM by Nords »

MrsPete

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 11:35:15 AM »
Outsourcing specific tasks can make sense.  If you genuinely despise mowing the yard (or whatever other task really doesn't appeal to you), you might be willing to pay someone else to do it rather than dread that chore, cause fights with your wife because you hate it so much, etc.  Pay someone to do that chore, and find place in your life to cut back financially.

It might also make sense to outsource things for a specific period of time -- say, the year you have a newborn, or while you're undergoing cancer treatment.     

I think the key is that you can't rationalize your way to doing it with too many things.  You hate laundry?  Okay, pay someone to do that?  You hate all your chores?  Quit complaining and grow up.  That's probably a sign of laziness. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Outsourcing
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 12:02:22 PM »
I don't have a problem with outsourcing some tasks that someone could do a better job of - like I said, I pay someone to do my car oil changes and tire rotations because I'm not as capable of doing these one my own anywhere near as fast or competently.

I don't see an issue with someone (like Nords) paying for a cleaner to come in and allow them to focus on other tasks that need doing.

I disagree with the article in that it reads like the people that are outsourcing are too talented and important to spend time doing mundane tasks and that it somehow makes sense for THEM to avoid things that they could do easily and more efficiently themselves - paying someone to do stuff like organizing family photos? That is ridiculous. It even said in the article that they enjoyed cooking, and yet they were so busy that they hired a personal chef to cook their meals. That's also ridiculous! They are working more and having to pay out more due to their overinflated sense of importance.