Save. Spend. Splurge.

Ask Sherry: Why I won’t pay for household help

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

You can ask any question using the form here.

Hi Sherry – has there ever been anything you have outsourced for a fee that you could have done yourself but didn’t want to expend the mental or physical energy (i.e. cleaning, cooking, driving, caretaker responsibilities, etc.)? If not, is there something you would consider in the future?

Hmm. Yes. Daycare and preschool.

I pay to put Little Bun in a place to get taken care of so I can go to work. I absolutely pay for that 100%.

Cleaning, no.

I have not paid for any outside cleaning yet. It is a step, and a luxury I cannot quite get to because I don’t feel comfortable with someone else touching our things, and I don’t feel like I deserve it. My apartment is 1200 square feet, and it is not THAT arduous to clean. I would just need a day a month and it would be fine.

My partner also helps out and vacuums on occasion but as he cooks 100% and does everything else to manage the home and household, I cannot ask him to do anything, cleaning is my responsibility.

As for.. well eating, no.

No catered help, no chef anything.. thus far, no unless you count restaurants. I pay for restaurants once in a while.

Driving, again no.. I still think taking cabs is a luxury.

I don’t ever call a cab. I feel so strange if I have two legs. The metro costs $2.25 and any cab ride is at least $10… I just can’t get over it. I mean $10.. when I could just spend $2.25…

Is it something I’ll consider in a future? …… Maybe cabs. Maybe.

Maybe cleaning if I get really old and creaky like in my 70s and am unable to do cleaning with any kind of energy.


What width and depth are your tables in the living room and the one in the office/bedroom? (the ones that you work at) Thanks.

They’re the IKEA INGO tables.

Product dimensions
  • Length: 47 1/4 “
  • Width: 29 1/2 “
  • Height: 28 3/4 “
  • Length: 120 cm
  • Width: 75 cm
  • Height: 73 cm

Still have a burning question?

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


  • SarahN

    It is incredibly interesting that you won’t uber or get a cab, in light of a recent expensive car purchase. I wonder, despite your feelings, if you’d do a post on the cost benefit analysis of the new shiny car vs only metro + cabs, for when metro isn’t possible to the locations etc.

    I resent partners who don’t clean or nag, I’d rather split the cost of the cleaner.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I know people who think I’m ridiculous for not wanting to take an uber or a cab. I just think they’re usually dirty inside, they aren’t usually minivans or SUVs (and that does make me very sick from my motion sickness), and I don’t like having to wait for anything to go anywhere. I’d rather start walking or know that I am taking the metro and I am in control.

      I don’t want to take cabs, that’s not something I can negotiate, so it is only metro + car. There’s no point in doing the analysis — I won’t take a cab.

      And where I live, I need a car if I am toting Little Bun to preschool, because I tried the bus thing and it was hell with two lunches, and all of the things I needed for him and myself.

  • Shauna Otway

    That salad looks delicious, do you have the recipe or can you let me know where to find it? Thanks so much!

  • Jess

    I’m with Maggie on this one. I’m planning to hire a cleaner once my partner moves in. I value my time more, and I have the money. There are certain household chores that I just don’t enjoy doing! Plus, I don’t want to argue with my partner about whose turn it is to clean the bathroom 😛 It is a luxury, but one that I can afford and is worth it, at least to me.

  • Mia

    We do pay for a lawn service (mow the lawn, seed it, do basic hedge trimming), and every month or two months we have someone come and clean the house (floors, bathroom scrubbing, kitchen scrubbing, etc.). We didn’t pay for these things when we were in a condo, though (we had no yard and everything was on one level, now we’re in a 3 story townhouse), which is the benefit of condo living over a townhouse.

    • Mia

      However, the cleaning is something I may discontinue, depending on how things go.

      I started hiring the cleaners to do some things (the floors and bathrooms) when I had a pretty bad injury during pregnancy that meant I literally couldn’t pick up the vacuum, reach the bottom of the tubs, etc. without risk to myself and the baby. But once I recover, we’ll probably discontinue it. So this falls under the comment below about physical disability.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Agreed. We don’t have much to maintain. I pay for it in my fees already.

  • Mia

    Do you ever Uber? I Uber quite a lot but never take cabs.

  • Maggie

    I have a housekeeper. I don’t consider cleaning beneath me, there are a lot of chores I do. I don’t enjoy housekeeping and gladly pay somebody else to take it off my hands. It annoys me when that is the reaction I get from people “Oh, you can’t be bothered to pick up after yourself?” Nope, that’s not it, it’s a luxury I am willing to pay for. I might save that money in another area of life, but I value the time I save more. Some people enjoy luxury goods; good for them. I enjoy the freedom from household chores. Yeah for me. Whatever floats your boat.

  • liteadventurer

    Regardless of how much money I have in the future, I won’t ever hire someone to clean my house unless I become physically disabled. I consider that task to be a very basic one for human living and don’t want to get the point mentally where I view work like that as somehow beneath me. It’s both funny and sad to see colleagues of mine who pay for weekly housekeeping services, yet they regularly complain about needing to make more money.

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