In Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Spending

Let’s face it. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that demands your attention. So, how do you decide which jobs you tackle yourself and which ones you’re better off outsourcing?

The thought of hiring other people to do tasks traditionally under your responsibility may feel like a foreign idea at first. However, when you do the math, it may make more sense to hire someone to complete the day-to-day tasks you don’t care for anyway.

Here’s how to find out when it makes financial sense to outsource household tasks and projects and when it doesn’t.

What is Your Time Worth?

The first thing you can do to start ascertaining whether or not it makes financial sense to hire someone for a task versus doing it yourself is to calculate your hourly rate. No matter your career or title you hold, you can quickly figure out how much your time is worth by understanding how much time you spend earning money and the amount of money you earn. If you’re unsure how much time you spend working, I recommend using 2,080 hours per year as a starting point, which is roughly 40 hours a week.

To calculate, divide the money you earn by your time to earn it.

So, for example, if you earn $50,000 a year and you work 2,080 hours in a year, then your time is worth $24 an hour. If you earn $100,000 a year and work 2,080 hours, then your time is worth $48 an hour. And if you earn $200,000 a year and work 2,080 hours, then your time is worth $96 an hour.

Why Knowing What Your Time is Worth is Important

Knowing what your time is worth is valuable because it allows you to make more informed financial decisions. Knowing what your time is worth can make other choices clearer. If your time is worth $40 an hour, you should probably hire someone to come walk your dog in the middle of the day for $15 an hour rather than using your 1-hour lunch break to do it yourself.

If you know you’re time is worth $60 an hour, it’s OK to have your home professionally cleaned once a month for $175.  What four or five people can accomplish in two hours for $175 versus the five-plus hours it would take you to do the same work alone is a clear example of when it makes sense to outsource a household task rather than doing it yourself.

And if you know you’re time is worth $25 an hour, then you also know that it doesn’t make the most financial sense to hire a lawn guy who charges $50 an hour to mow and weed your property. Probably better for you to roll up your sleeves and tackle this job yourself.


The bottom line is that your time is valuable. If your time is worth more earning money than the cost to outsource tasks or paying for convenience, that is powerful information. Perhaps the time you save by paying a little extra for services can either go toward earning more money or making priceless memories with your loved ones.

The idea isn’t that you outsource to work more, but that you pick and choose your places to increase your quality of life. If you can spend more quality time with your kids by ordering your groceries online and having them delivered for $10, it may be worth it to you and your family AND make good financial sense at the same time. Look for the win-win scenarios and then never look back.


In the market to buy a car soon? In the next installment of FRANKly SPEAKING, I share tips for buying (and financing) your next automobile purchase so you get the highest value for your dollar.

As always, I invite you to reach out to me – in real life – with any comments, feedback, or questions!  [email protected]



Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes.  None of the information provided in this article is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. Please consult with your accountant, finance professional, and/or legal counsel regarding your specific circumstance. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Frank Shields, and all rights are reserved. Read the full Disclaimer.

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