When I was growing up, having household help was something that not many people did. As our lives get busier, it ceases to be a luxury and begins to be a necessity. The problem is that sometimes, no matter how badly we may need the help, the budget says no.
Sure, if you have the money you can just hire someone on the recommendation of a neighbor, but when you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t? Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when creativity steps in. There are ways to get around a stubborn budget, but you will have to think outside the box. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Check with your local homeschool association to see if there are any teenagers that would be willing to help you. Homeschooled kids can help all year long and they can put the time toward credits for Home Ec, Business, or Child Development (if there is any babysitting involved). 160 to 180 hours usually equals one credit so keep track of the time that they work.
While you should plan on paying them something, you can talk to them about what you can afford and what they would be willing to do for that amount.
Good old bartering! There are many sites like Craigslist where you can advertise your willingness to barter your skills for someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Maybe you do taxes or landscaping and you need someone to make a birthday cake or clean your home Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you can trade your skills for theirs and everyone is happy. Even that cranky budget.
Co-operate with Friends
It is true that two people can get things done faster than one. If you have a friend that also needs help then work together. Take a few hours one week and work on her stuff and then a few hours the next week and work on yours.
Trading off babysitting, cooking together, and household chores are all ways that you can help each other. If one of you likes to iron and the other hates it, strike up a trade!
Room a College Student
If you live near a college or university and you have an extra room consider letting a student live there in exchange for an agreed upon amount of help. Be very upfront and honest about what you will expect and what you will provide.
Be sure to draw up an agreement and have it notarized. Both of you should sign it so that if anything does go wrong, you have documentation to prove it.
Sometimes you just need to find the money in the budget for your own sanity. Take a good hard look at what you are spending and cut back on things that arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as important as you getting some help.
Dinners out, stops at the coffee shop, snacks, and other luxuries can add up pretty quickly. See if there is some way that you can give up a few things to get the funds for what you need.
Do you have any other ideas for getting help without spending a lot of money?
photo credit: Julie Vazquez