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Ask Sherry: Helping an elderly aunt in the U.S.

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

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You mentioned helping out your elderly aunt in the US. Did she have any medical conditions or dementia? What resources did you get her? How did you get it done in one week?

Thank you for asking!

Background read: getting the worst news and my update on what happened to my elderly, beaten aunt …

No medical conditions, no dementia.

The resources I managed to get her was Medicaid assistance, I put her in contact with the Food Bank in her area, I connected her with that free telephone service but that didn’t pan out because it takes forever to get on that plan and she needed a phone NOW, so we bought a cheap pay-as-you-go.

I got it done in a week by not sleeping, waking up at 6 a.m., not eating or cooking much, ignoring Little Bun, mapping out plans, calling everyone I could, and working until it was time to sleep.

We moved her close to a family friend so she could check on her and help out once in a while, and I set up an Amazon account to be able to buy and send her things directly to her door.

Say what you want about Amazon but they can get the job done if need be. I have never been happier for online shopping before.


Why don’t you pay for any household help?

Because I don’t want to spend the money.

Even if it’s $150 every 2 weeks or $300 a month, I see it as $3600 a year and $36,000 in 10 years. Add in compounding interest…

I don’t have a health problem, I don’t have to work more than 40 hours a week at a job.. I mean, there is lots of time to do all of this, I just have to get organized and not just throw money at things just because I don’t want to do them.

I’m all for people trading money for free time to do other things, but… I just can’t. I’d rather have the money.

I just can’t see it worth anything to me, seeing as I have nothing else to do with my time. When I clean the place, Little Bun likes to “help”, and when I am not cleaning I am with Little Bun but you can only read children’s books for so long before it is far too tedious and you NEED TO DO SOMETHING ELSE.

I can still clean the place on my own (once a month, I go on a rampage and just massively scrub the place down).

The only thing I could need a lot of help with are the dishes as they pile up daily, but otherwise, laundry is easy enough to start and do when you drop it in the washer before work, and dry it on the way home.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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5 Comments

  1. Mia

    Agree Amazon is great in the US with Prime.

    In the US, you might also want to consider Target.com and Walmart.com. To compete with Amazon, both now do the free two-day shipping for all orders over $35 (without a membership), carry a lot of basic household goods, etc.

    Reply
    1. Mia

      Among the three, in the US (major metropolitan area), I like Target.com the best because their packaging, etc. is the best and their speed is great (a lot of things arrive in one day for me but that may be because I am probably very close to a distribution center) and you don’t have to sort through third-party sellers (which I stay away from) on their site like for the other two.

      Reply
    2. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I will take a look at both for my Aunt. Thank you!

      Reply
  2. SP

    I feel the same about household help – I’d rather have the money. And also, it doesn’t take that much time for things to be at a basic level of cleanliness. When we get really busy, I’d rather lower my standards a bit than pay for help for a super clean house.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Exactly. It just gets dirty again… so I feel like it doesn’t “stick” not like something like a car, you know?

      Reply

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