Author Topic: If you are FI, should you still DIY  (Read 5351 times)

Gin1984

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If you are FI, should you still DIY
« on: September 01, 2014, 12:27:03 PM »
I hate cleaning, I would much prefer to have someone come in and clean and let me go off to the job I like, instead of cleaning.  However, I knew people who loved their jobs but by their 50s hated them but could not leave because they did not have the money.  So, I clean myself and save the money.  But what happens once I get to FI and if I still like my job and hate cleaning?  Why not save myself the time of cleaning and do something I enjoy for money instead?   

iris lily

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 12:36:20 PM »
I hate cleaning, I would much prefer to have someone come in and clean and let me go off to the job I like, instead of cleaning.  However, I knew people who loved their jobs but by their 50s hated them but could not leave because they did not have the money.  So, I clean myself and save the money.  But what happens once I get to FI and if I still like my job and hate cleaning?  Why not save myself the time of cleaning and do something I enjoy for money instead?

ok, you have my permission to hire household cleaners.

I hate housecleaning, too. For a couple of years I had house cleaners (my friends) but they left the business and I didn't replace them. It was lovely to come home to a clean house every two weeks. I was always happy with their work.

I've always said that anyone can clean my house and I'll be happy with the job, I am not picky. Now my gardens, that's another story--don't TOUCH my flower gardens, you can't get it right, you'll screw up something, I am picky, about that, haha.

But actually in my retirement I will be cleaning the house and won't mind it so much. I've already lost some of my dislike of it. Part of that had to do with decluttering over the past 5 years. With less "stuff" it's not such a burden. Sweeping the floor with a broom is kind of a zen exercise.
 

neophyte

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 12:38:54 PM »
  Why not save myself the time of cleaning and do something I enjoy for money instead?

If that's something you value, why not?  It's all about spending your money optimally for what will provide the most value for YOU.  If you hate cleaning, you are buying valuable free time and freedom  from having to do something you hate. If it's worth it to you, I say do it.

I'm one of those people that doesn't mind cleaning (as long as I don't feel like other people are using me as their free maid service) and I've even considered trying to do some house cleaning as a side gig. So, not worth it to ME.  Unless you want to hire me ;)

FrugalZony

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 12:45:57 PM »
Ya know, I HATE cleaning! HATE it with a passion!
But I hate a messy house as well ;)

I pay for cleaning service every other week and maintain things myself inbetween.
I am super frugal in other areas, but this is one area, where I don't mind paying for a service
(well, I do mind actually, but not enough to cut the expense ;)  LOL )

I guess, everyone has different priorities

When Pete aka MMM recently reviewed my FIRE Budget and current expenses, he was like,
"WOW your grocery spending is amazingly low" and then he saw "Cleaning?" and gave me a raised eyebrow.
LOL! No facepunch though, whew!

Each of us values different things and as long as you are not in an emergency situation and
purposefully and consciously choose the areas that are worth it to you to spend on, I see no issue with that.

Of course now, if you have a 2xweek cleaning service, a landscaper AND a pool person, like most of my neighbors, that in my eyes is facepunch worthy.

I just spent an hour, caring for my pool, some of it was, while I was in it. Then I plucked some weeds in my backyard....
We all pick and choose what we want to do ;)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 12:47:57 PM by FrugalZony »

Jessa

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 12:48:01 PM »
SO and I were cleaning today, and we agreed that if we ever hit it big, the one "rich people" thing we will totally do is have a housecleaner come in every two weeks or so. At this point, it is completely out of the budget, but I can dream :)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 02:22:01 PM »
Build it in your budget if you want, it's your life.

But it doesn't take that long to clean a small house, especially if you avoid the consumerist trap of clutter.

Exflyboy

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 06:43:46 PM »
Well lets see... I'm FIRE'd and I still do ALL my own DIY, in the last year I have built a deck for one of my rentals, Built a boom sprayer for my tractor to spray our pasture for weeds, modified an old sack truck to make a pull behind garden sprayer, welded up a set of forks that clip onto my tractor bucket so we can stack hay (or anything else for that matter) with no manual effort. Repainted half an old car plus rebuilt the engine and manual transmission(I bought the car for $350)..

On Saturday I replaced a $53 component that was in warranty on my Wife's car..why?.. well the dealer wanted $83 to "diagnose the problem".. when I had already diagnosed it!.. But I did this cus I wanted to understand this weak spot on the 2012 Chevvy Cruze.. I know have the outline of a redesign that should allow me to fix it virtually for free in future.. Plus I now UNDERSTAND the issue.. I would not have had the learning if I had given it to the dealer.

In the past we doubled the size of our house with our own bare hands and I have built two full size airplanes.. But I wasn't FIRED then.

So yeah... I do everything DIY except for pumping my own septic tank..:).. And "why not" is the question I have to ask.

Frank
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 06:47:58 PM by Exflyboy »

Jessa

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 06:45:27 PM »
Build it in your budget if you want, it's your life.

But it doesn't take that long to clean a small house, especially if you avoid the consumerist trap of clutter.
At this point, I'm focusing on tightening my budget as much as possible so I can save as much as possible. I'm pretty sure that next year I will have a savings rate of over 52%, and that is more important to me than having a clean house. Depending on how things go financially over the next 5 years or so, I may be able to budget it in and still hit my savings goals, but for now, it's just a dream.

The clutter is something I need to work on...but I get really anxious just thinking about it, so it's a long term project...

Gin1984

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 08:17:29 PM »
Well lets see... I'm FIRE'd and I still do ALL my own DIY, in the last year I have built a deck for one of my rentals, Built a boom sprayer for my tractor to spray our pasture for weeds, modified an old sack truck to make a pull behind garden sprayer, welded up a set of forks that clip onto my tractor bucket so we can stack hay (or anything else for that matter) with no manual effort. Repainted half an old car plus rebuilt the engine and manual transmission(I bought the car for $350)..

On Saturday I replaced a $53 component that was in warranty on my Wife's car..why?.. well the dealer wanted $83 to "diagnose the problem".. when I had already diagnosed it!.. But I did this cus I wanted to understand this weak spot on the 2012 Chevvy Cruze.. I know have the outline of a redesign that should allow me to fix it virtually for free in future.. Plus I now UNDERSTAND the issue.. I would not have had the learning if I had given it to the dealer.

In the past we doubled the size of our house with our own bare hands and I have built two full size airplanes.. But I wasn't FIRED then.

So yeah... I do everything DIY except for pumping my own septic tank..:).. And "why not" is the question I have to ask.

Frank
I assume you don't have a burning hatred of car stuff or building, I have a burning hatred of cleaning and I'do rather do something enjoyable like my current job or spend time with my kid.

Nords

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 12:24:14 AM »
I hate cleaning, I would much prefer to have someone come in and clean and let me go off to the job I like, instead of cleaning.  However, I knew people who loved their jobs but by their 50s hated them but could not leave because they did not have the money.  So, I clean myself and save the money.  But what happens once I get to FI and if I still like my job and hate cleaning?  Why not save myself the time of cleaning and do something I enjoy for money instead?
I don't have a burning hatred of cleaning because I just don't give a crap about it.  My spouse and I work reasonably efficiently to keep things from getting dirty or cluttered in the first place, so we can go a month or two between serious dusting and floor-sweeping.  I usually win the gross-out contests, although I'll often clean a toilet every week.

However, now that we're FI, we have a housecleaner visit once a week for two hours.  She's a self-employed entrepreneur and she's taught us quite a bit about speed cleaning.  She does not declutter or handle dishes or even empty wastebaskets.  She does bathrooms, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and (a few times a year) windows. 

The real leverage to hiring the housecleaner is that we feel compelled to stay out of her way.  While she's in the house, my spouse and I are outside doing heavy yardwork:  weedwhacking, bougainvillea pruning, tree pruning, sprinkler maintenance.  Some days we're doing home-improvement projects or other repairs.  The key is that we know what we're doing every Wednesday morning for two hours, we get ready for it, and we push hard for the whole two hours. 

In our personal twisted Puritan work ethic, we earn back the money we spend on the housecleaner by doing our own more expensive work on the yard & house.  It's work that would get done at a much slower pace (if it got done at all) without the weekly housecleaning.

In about 20 years, though, I'm going to have to hire someone to handle the bougainvillea pruning 5-6 times/year.  Mid-70s seems a bit old to be waving around a pole trimmer on a steep hillside below a 10-foot-tall thorny hedge, or dancing on the top of the adjacent lava-rock wall to reach twigs on the far edge.  Maybe while the pruner is hacking away at the greenery, I'll take over the housecleaning.

So you should align your spending with your values.  If you want to hire a housecleaner then put the money in your budget and control your spending appropriately.  You could do it right now if you feel that you're willing to work a few extra months to reach FI while maintaining a suitable quality of life.  You have to define the line between frugality and deprivation.

But if it came to paying for a gym membership or a housecleaner, then I'd ditch the gym and do my own aerobic housecleaning & weight-lifting.

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 05:24:13 AM »
Now that I am FI and have a passive income that is 250% of my basic living expenses, I find I do a lot less DIY.  And it is not just about house cleaning.

We just paid a carpenter $25 an hour to build a small deck... refinish an antique bench... and assemble a weight training machine.

The deck I could have built myself, and would have before FIRE.  But we chose to use some of our home improvement funds to pay to have it done.

The bench refinishing would have been a pain in the neck to do, and I was glad to be able to outsource it. 

The machine assembling money came out of my own personal discretionary fund; I figured that 8 months of staring at boxes full of parts should prove to me that I wasn't up to assembling it myself.  And I was right, because it turned out to be a long, drawn-out bitch and I would have been cursing my head off 15 minutes into the process.

But I still cannot stomach paying out $25 to $30 a hour to someone just to swing a broom.  So that we still do ourselves.

Fishingmn

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 07:47:24 AM »
We use a house cleaner - every other week - 3 hours for $75 and she brings her own supplies. Not sure we will continue once we are both out of the workforce but we definitely enjoy not having to clean after working all week.

That said, we make good money and could probably FIRE. If money was a lot tighter I might question that expense as an easy place to save.

Workinghard

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 12:31:29 PM »
We're FI but are working longer to build more of a buffer. 

When I started back to work a few years ago, I was determined not to inflate our lifestyle. Thus we still do our own yardwork, cleaning, and pool work. However that will end when we sell. We will still have housework but it won't feel like much with downsizing.

Oh, I did cave on getting the dog clipped every four months so I wouldn't have to deal with the dog hair. Course most of the time she's at a family member's home.

Cassie

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 04:21:20 PM »
We have house cleaners once per month & it only costs $55.00 because I don't have them do the floors.  I have a floor robot "Fifi" that sweeps & mops the floors.  It only cost $130.00 and I have had her 2 years now so well worth the $. I maintain in between cleanings.

Gin1984

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Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2014, 07:39:53 PM »
We have house cleaners once per month & it only costs $55.00 because I don't have them do the floors.  I have a floor robot "Fifi" that sweeps & mops the floors.  It only cost $130.00 and I have had her 2 years now so well worth the $. I maintain in between cleanings.
That is quite cheap compared to a romba, can you tell me where you got fifi?