You’re known for being on top of your game at work. All the other moms in your kids’ playgroup regularly comment on how you can do it all. You smile and take compliments from coworkers and fellow parents with ease and grace. But you’ve got a dirty secret: Your house is an absolute mess.
When you’re a busy professional, a busy mom—or both—it can be impossible to keep up with the housekeeping. But it’s important for you to have a clean home to relax in after a hectic day. If the above scenario sounds familiar, it may be time to see if your household budgeting has room for a professional cleaning service.
Let’s take a look at some handy instructions for creating a monthly budget, and determining whether your home budget can accommodate residential cleaning prices.
1. CREATE A HOUSEHOLD BUDGETING CHART
The first step in determining whether or not you can afford a professional cleaning service is to make a budget worksheet. There are many printable budget charts available online, but you’ll also find programs like Excel that have templates for household expenses spreadsheets. Fill out the columns for your income and expenses like childcare, student loan payments, and groceries. You may find it helpful to go over your bank statements from the past few months to get an idea of what your fixed and non-fixed expenses are.
2. DON’T FORGET ANYTHING
Certain expenses—such as quarterly car insurance payments or annual credit card fees—aren’t going to hit every month. To avoid a rude awakening when bills like these arise, set a little bit aside each month in your household budgeting. You’ll also want to include known outliers in your budget. For example, you might know the car is due for new tires in June. It also helps to track small expenses, like your mid-morning coffee run. Once you have a clearer picture of all your incoming and outgoing funds, you’ll be better able to determine whether a professional cleaning service is realistic for you.
3. PLAN WHEN YOU CAN
Major one-time expenses like vacations can make a huge dent in your household expenses spreadsheet if you don’t plan properly. It’s also wise to have savings set aside for costly surprises such as car repairs or emergency situations. Use resources like Mint to set monetary goals and track your weekly progress. A little financial foresight can make a big difference in terms of whether you’ll be able to take advantage of a professional cleaning service.
4. LEAVE SOME WIGGLE ROOM
You want a bit of flexibility in your household budgeting, so you can spring for lunch with friends or treat the kids to an afternoon cupcake run. Make certain you’ve got some “mad money” to play with, if possible. After all, the purpose of a budget is to help you see what you can afford, not to squeeze every last penny until you’re miserable.
5. PRICE HOUSEKEEPING SERVICES
Once your budget is in action, you can evaluate it to see if you can afford a professional cleaning service. With your household expenses spreadsheet in hand, research area cleaning services online and call their local businesses for pricing estimates. Keep in mind that the cheapest is not always the best. Be certain you look at residential cleaning prices, reputation, and customer reviews when making your decision.
If you complete your household budgeting and find a professional cleaning service that isn’t in the cards, take a second look. There may be a non-necessity you can cut or adjust to make up the difference. Or make housekeeping services one of your budgeting goals. In a few weeks or months, you may be able to have your dirty secret swept away.
Valet Maids is a Dallas maid service that gives you your time back for the things that you enjoy.