I’m the financial organizer in our house; the prudent one, the thrifty one, the bill-payer, the budgeter, the saver. So every few months, I take a look at our numbers and see if we’re on track with the goals and priorities we’ve set for ourselves. As I was reviewing our finances last week, I noticed that we are spending family money to buy family time.
I’ve been back to work following my maternity leave for a couple of months now, and our life as two-working-parents-with-two-children is exponentially busier than our life as two-working-parents-with-one-child was. In an effort to maximize family time with our children, our spending priorities have shifted. We’ve had to modify our budget and our mindset to make this happen….. dinners out are now few and far between, our vacation fund has been derailed, and trips to Starbucks and Mapleview Mall are nearly non-existent. But it works for us.
Here’s where I spend family money to buy family time:
- I hired someone to clean my house. Denise comes every other Thursday morning and cleans our place from top to bottom. This means that I don’t clean. I sweep the floor and do the dishes and laundry. And that’s it.
Time bought: 6 hours/month.
- I hired a painter to paint two bathrooms. My friend Tommy did a fantastic job updating our master bathroom and main bathroom- and he did it in a fraction of the time that it would’ve taken me.
Time bought: 10 hours.
- I go to a wonderful hairstylist. Whereas I used to need a hair appointment every eight weeks, Telly gives me a great cut/highlights with minimal upkeep- I now go every twelve weeks.
Time bought: 3 hours every other month.
- I go to a gym that’s got a fast, effective approach to fitness. Crossfit is all about intensity. I go and work HARD for an hour- and I’m back home before my kids are even awake. This is a big change from my long, ineffective workouts at other gyms.
Time bought: 3 hours per week.
- I got a new iPhone. This phone can do everything my computer can do and more, all within easy reach. I’m able to multi-task and complete my electronic to-do list in small chunks throughout the day, rather than a big chunk every evening.
Time bought: 4 hours per week.
The way I see it, I’ve bought myself 45.5 hours this month- nearly two full days and two full nights. And I’ve spent $16.48/hour for that time. I think that’s a pretty good buy.