How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

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LilyFleur
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by LilyFleur »

delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:01 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:52 pm
delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:01 pm Your original post said you are a one-income family, so I assume one of you is home with the kids?

So I’d recommend a schedule for various chores — laundry on Tuesday, bathroom cleaning on Wednesday, etc. Once you get in a rhythm, you never get too far behind on any maintenance. Kitchen clean-up needs to be as-you-go.

It isn’t a sin to park the kids in front of the TV for an hour a day to get things done.

I hated taking little kids grocery shopping. We used a delivery service as needed.
This has hopefully nothing to do with the OP, but when everyone was going on and on about Marie Kondo all I could think about was the one episode with the stay at home mom, who had 2 toddlers, a nanny, and a cleaning lady yet the house was constantly a pigsty. Like what are you doing all day?
Not to derail the thread, but I have a friend whose house is clean but not neat. She dusts, vacuums, cleans the kitchen and baths, but there is stuff all over the place.

And it also is possible to be neat but not clean.

But it is easier to keep a place clean when it is neat. And an orderly place tends to look cleaner too.
It's easier to be functional if you can find things. I used to make cleaning up a game, and I still say this: you never know what treasure you will find when you clean up!
Aku09
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Aku09 »

We pay someone to mow our yard ($70 week) and about 6 months ago hired someone to clean our house once a week ($75 each time). It’s a decent chunk of money each month, but my schedule is unpredictable (I work in healthcare and have several late nights and weekends). It’s nice coming home to a clean house. My wife went back to work a year ago and while she doesn’t make a ton she makes enough to cover the housekeeping and some other discretionary things.
stoptothink
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by stoptothink »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:52 pm
delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:01 pm Your original post said you are a one-income family, so I assume one of you is home with the kids?

So I’d recommend a schedule for various chores — laundry on Tuesday, bathroom cleaning on Wednesday, etc. Once you get in a rhythm, you never get too far behind on any maintenance. Kitchen clean-up needs to be as-you-go.

It isn’t a sin to park the kids in front of the TV for an hour a day to get things done.

I hated taking little kids grocery shopping. We used a delivery service as needed.
This has hopefully nothing to do with the OP, but when everyone was going on and on about Marie Kondo all I could think about was the one episode with the stay at home mom, who had 2 toddlers, a nanny, and a cleaning lady yet the house was constantly a pigsty. Like what are you doing all day?
This is several of our neighbors, 2 SILs, and many of my wife's friends. Keeping a clean home is about a lifestyle, not time.
mighty72
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by mighty72 »

there are some great suggestions in this topic, I will add what we do:
1. cleaner every 3 weeks
2. someone comes twice a week for a couple of hours to help in the kitchen
3. DW works 0.8 FTE
4. divide & conquer:
a. i do the morning lunches and drop the kids
b. wife picks up the kids on most days, cooks dinner
c. both of us help in getting kids ready for bed, h/w, etc
d. wife puts kids to bed while I clean up after dinner & start the dishes
5. once a month a gardener to clear up the yard. kids & i do some of the work ourselves

It does get better as kids get older. However, you won't be any less busy as there would be school work, sports, etc
patrick474
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by patrick474 »

MrBeaver wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:08 am We are in the toddler stage, and things are literally crazy.

I'll spare you the details of the state of our house, but suffice it to say that I've realized that over the past couple of years we have increased spending on 'emergency' things to solve immediate time, energy, or preparedness problems within our household. My general level of stress seems high as a result of being forced into decisions. I'm talking about simple things like going out to eat because the kitchen is a mess. I'm ok with that periodically because I know 'life happens' sometimes, but I keep feeling like a bit of more planning in how we spend our money to gain time would help us feel less frazzled and move us closer to our non-financial goals. And I'm worried that we are setting habits we will not revert from once toddler stage is over.

What have you consciously decided to spend money on to gain time or family sanity, and not regretted?
Bonus points if it's reasonable expenses (say, total of <$200/month) for a middle class single income young family, and/or things that you found easy to revert away from to reduce spending once toddler stage was over.

I have considered outsourcing lawn care, but I usually do this early in the morning on a weekend when the family isn't up yet, so it doesn't seem like it's a net drain. But I have a hard time evaluating things like this when we feel like we are just doing survival management.
We have a 6-year old and an 8-year old, so I know how challenging the toddler phase can be when you have two working parents. We have a cleaner come on a bi-weekly basis, and we have a landscaper come in the spring to help with planting and cleanup. We have a trusted fix-it guy who we use liberally. And, most crucially, we use a wash-and-fold service for laundry.

It surprises me that more people don't do wash-and-fold. It's subjective, but I personally don't enjoy doing laundry, whereas yard work at least gets you outside. When we figured out how much time we'd save getting wash-and-fold, the dollar amount was easy to swallow - for us, it doesn't get close to $200/month. Wish we'd started this earlier.
LeftCoastIV
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by LeftCoastIV »

Uber Eats and/or other food delivery when our schedules are busy

And, we say no to things we don't really want to do.
chenzi
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by chenzi »

Have two kids 7 and 2.
1. Cleaner for house and another person for yard maintenance every week
2. Mothers helper in the evenings every day to help around house, laundry, dishes etc. Nanny in the morning for 90 minutes since my spouse leaves early for work and I need help to get kids ready to their school & daycare and drop em.
3. Home-cooked food order service once a week. The person cooks food and delivers to home. It can last for 2-3 days. Else DoorDash / Grubhub sometimes. We do like to cook food a lot.
4. A personal trainer who comes home to train once a week. Better than going to a gym and saves time!
5. Peloton and Waterrower at home - again save time from the gym, we just hop on when kids are asleep.
6. Groceries normally ordered from a fresh fruit and veggie market nearby. Anything else on Amazon or Costco Online 2 day delivery.
7. Hire a baby sitter for a couple of hours over weekends when we desperately need to sleep more.
8. Flexibility at work, my new work is relatively low pressure. I could probably make another $150K / year more if I change job, but I like the current work-life balance! My spouse is in a job with higher pressure now.
9. Both parents visit every year for couple of months each and that helps a lot too!
Isabelle77
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Isabelle77 »

MrBeaver wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:08 am We are in the toddler stage, and things are literally crazy.

I'll spare you the details of the state of our house, but suffice it to say that I've realized that over the past couple of years we have increased spending on 'emergency' things to solve immediate time, energy, or preparedness problems within our household. My general level of stress seems high as a result of being forced into decisions. I'm talking about simple things like going out to eat because the kitchen is a mess. I'm ok with that periodically because I know 'life happens' sometimes, but I keep feeling like a bit of more planning in how we spend our money to gain time would help us feel less frazzled and move us closer to our non-financial goals. And I'm worried that we are setting habits we will not revert from once toddler stage is over.

What have you consciously decided to spend money on to gain time or family sanity, and not regretted?
Bonus points if it's reasonable expenses (say, total of <$200/month) for a middle class single income young family, and/or things that you found easy to revert away from to reduce spending once toddler stage was over.

I have considered outsourcing lawn care, but I usually do this early in the morning on a weekend when the family isn't up yet, so it doesn't seem like it's a net drain. But I have a hard time evaluating things like this when we feel like we are just doing survival management.
At that age, you're just surviving :) I've always been a neat person and I remember walking to the kitchen once when my kids were probably 1 and 3 and stepping on cheerios and just not caring. It will get easier and this stage will be over before you know it and then you'll be wondering in your spotless home how on earth you get them to remember to bring home their math homework (that may have happened at my house this week).

Anyway, things I've done. I'm a stay at home mom and obviously that helps but if you haven't juggled toddlers before it's still difficult to figure out the rhythm of it all.

Laundry 1x a week all on one day.

Groceries 1x a week, meal plan, eat out of your panty.

Amazon Subscribe and Save for things like toilet paper, paper towels, detergent etc. Lifesaver, they just show up and I don't have to worry about
replacing those things you don't buy every week. Walmart may have something similar. I also use Chewy now for pet supplies.

Eliminate toys and clothing as the kids get older and don't buy a lot to begin with

Have a grown-up room or floor in your home that kid stuff isn't allowed in or is immediately picked up in. I loved sitting in our living room at night and having a glass of wine or cup of tea with my husband after the kids were asleep, not surrounded by legos.

Get a lawn service, my husband used to "work on the lawn" (all 1/3 of an acre) for hours on the weekend while I was inside wrangling children and he was really listening to podcasts.

Forgive yourself and your wife and know that this too will pass.
delamer
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by delamer »

patrick474 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:25 pm
MrBeaver wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:08 am We are in the toddler stage, and things are literally crazy.

I'll spare you the details of the state of our house, but suffice it to say that I've realized that over the past couple of years we have increased spending on 'emergency' things to solve immediate time, energy, or preparedness problems within our household. My general level of stress seems high as a result of being forced into decisions. I'm talking about simple things like going out to eat because the kitchen is a mess. I'm ok with that periodically because I know 'life happens' sometimes, but I keep feeling like a bit of more planning in how we spend our money to gain time would help us feel less frazzled and move us closer to our non-financial goals. And I'm worried that we are setting habits we will not revert from once toddler stage is over.

What have you consciously decided to spend money on to gain time or family sanity, and not regretted?
Bonus points if it's reasonable expenses (say, total of <$200/month) for a middle class single income young family, and/or things that you found easy to revert away from to reduce spending once toddler stage was over.

I have considered outsourcing lawn care, but I usually do this early in the morning on a weekend when the family isn't up yet, so it doesn't seem like it's a net drain. But I have a hard time evaluating things like this when we feel like we are just doing survival management.
We have a 6-year old and an 8-year old, so I know how challenging the toddler phase can be when you have two working parents. We have a cleaner come on a bi-weekly basis, and we have a landscaper come in the spring to help with planting and cleanup. We have a trusted fix-it guy who we use liberally. And, most crucially, we use a wash-and-fold service for laundry.

It surprises me that more people don't do wash-and-fold. It's subjective, but I personally don't enjoy doing laundry, whereas yard work at least gets you outside. When we figured out how much time we'd save getting wash-and-fold, the dollar amount was easy to swallow - for us, it doesn't get close to $200/month. Wish we'd started this earlier.
Yes, it really is subjective. Laundry is the least time-consuming and simplest household task; it’s the last one I’d pay someone else to do.
Regattamom
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Regattamom »

So I take it that your wife is a SAHM? Instead of paying to have people clean, cook, etc.. it may be more cost effective to hire a mother's helper. A tween or young teen from the local area that will come over to keep an eye on the kids and play with them while your wife is able to get the cooking and cleaning done. Lots of younger teens do this to help prepare them for babysitting later on.
William104
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by William104 »

We are the same as numerous on here and we have a 3 and 5 year old. Things seem to be becoming less hectic with the little one growing out of some things so life is easier now than it was 6 month ago. We've got a house cleaner twice a month, yard maintenance every week for $35, and often order groceries online as the pick-up is quick and easy. With both kids now in preschool, wife went back to school, and my work being slammed these items have been crucial for us keeping up on things.
StealthRabbit
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by StealthRabbit »

spend / out-source / sub-contract?... SIMPLIFY! (your life / family / career) while with toddlers.
You get ONE-trip-around-the-block with your kids, then they are GONE!

We spent 'opportunity costs' while kids were still at home (they left for college at age 16)

We lived very cheap and traveled a lot, and had a summer u-pick fruit farm (no traveling in summer, lots of guests and activities)

No youth camps or daycare, few sports, lots of time 'learning' together (We homeschooled until they left for college)

Living and working overseas was really great for the kids (and the non-working spouse)

Toddler was bicycle time everyday (them in seats / trailer; and road trips in camper van. (I will tell you life gets really ez as soon as they can climb in and put on their own seat belts!!!)
5-8 was adventure (hiking, living in Asia and on a Canadian Island)
8-12 yrs was camping and backpacking
12 - 16 was teaching them 'lifelong skills'


To do it all over (never get it right)
I would have started a family business when they were age 12-14, that they could sell or manage, or hire managers to retain cash flows for them to pay for college.

Then... (parent / child) go back to work when kids leave home (if you must).
bgf
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by bgf »

Cyanide123 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:19 am
stoptothink wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:15 am
Cyanide123 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:10 am
simplesimon wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:04 am
Cyanide123 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:26 am We have a lady that Cooks for us. Pretty reasonably priced. Not having to cook is a huge relief. Every now and then I still cook when we are off.

We're probably going to start using a laundry service soon as well. I hate laundry.
Is this for dinner every night? What kind of food does she make? How much does this cost? Very interested in something like this, thank you!
More like she cooks these large party platters that are enough food for a week. Each small platter is roughly 40 bucks for chicken dishes, 50 bucks for beef dishes, 30 bucks for vegetarian dishes. She has an entire menu basically, we text her what we want, and in a couple of days she makes everything and we pick it up.

Roughly about $120 for a week of food for 2. Her cooking is better tasting than ours as well.
That's essentially what I do. I prepare ~95% of our food for the week on Saturday morning and put it in tupperware. Takes 2-3hrs and we are spending ~$65-$100/week to feed 4 (kids 7 and 4). With a little planning it is pretty easy to do yourself.
Yeah i don't know how people can cook everyday. Id go crazy if i had to do that.
i enjoy cooking. most meals we cook last 2 nights. so we only cook 3 days a week, eat out/takeout on fridays.

cooking solo while watching our 3 year old is stressful, but cooking while the other watches the 3 year old is enjoyable.

we have noticed that we are the exception, and not the rule. most families we know eat out all the time. we have dinner together at home 6 nights a week.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"
an_asker
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by an_asker »

livesoft wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:12 am Here is an earlier thread:
viewtopic.php?t=213662
and there are many more.

I have tons of time because I don't worry what other people think about my clothes, my car, my yard, my house, my kids. I didn't even have to spend any money on not worrying.

Example: Toddlers don't have pajamas but sleep in the clothes they will wear the next day.

Example: No one has more than 3 days of clothes. Clothes are never folded nor stored away. They are on someone's body, in the washer or in the dryer. The rare clean clothes end up on the dining room floor or table where they get put on a body eventually. They can be worn for two days in a row even if they are dirty.

Example: Everybody eats out of their big bowl. There are no other dishes and certainly no serving dishes. Food goes from the stove / oven into eating bowls. Most vegetables are cooked/steamed in a microwave. Food is simple: salads requiring almost no prep, no clean-up.
livesoft:

You're too much LOL!! But I sorta remember your response based on what you answered on a thread about number of school uniforms that ought to be purchased!

But it is good that your DW apparently/obviously agrees with you on these points, else it would be a big issue, wouldn't you agree?
soccerrules
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by soccerrules »

i will add a couple (not having read the whole thread)
1) paper plates -- easy for meals -especially what toddlers eat.
2) Find a drop off babysitter (these are businesses in bigger cities) or parent day out programs. You would be surprised what having 2-3 hours 2 times a week can do for you.
3) if the kids are a little older 3-4 - there will be 2-3 day a week programs that help with getting them ready for kindergarten.

like everything -- "This too shall pass" -- of course it will be something else. But in the blink of an eye they will be up and out of the house for full day school and you will have 9-3 more than likely to do the other stuff.

hang in there.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.
livesoft
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by livesoft »

an_asker wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:32 pmYou're too much LOL!! But I sorta remember your response based on what you answered on a thread about number of school uniforms that ought to be purchased!

But it is good that your DW apparently/obviously agrees with you on these points, else it would be a big issue, wouldn't you agree?
Yes, it's good and my spouse's clean clothes are on the rug in the dining room right now.

I can't imagine doing laundry on a schedule such as one day a week. I do laundry only while doing something else such as taking a shower, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, answering questions on bogleheads.org, and so on. Laundry takes no real time at all because I have a washer and dryer that work by themselves.

The guy taking hours to do yard work is either avoiding his spouse and kids or has a beer fridge in the shed.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xrayman69
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Xrayman69 »

Private tutor for after school 1 hour 4 days a week (3rd grade) who has been working with our family for 2 years. Former teacher at the school wanted some extra cash.

My wife and I are not teachers and I had no idea of how to teach a 6 year old first grade. My attempts were counter productive. Started in first grade with 30 minutes now up to 1 hour per session.

Now my daughter and I have “fun” time together after her homework is done and I come home. As she gets older I suppose I can help her with some stuff but my time to be her father allows me fun time as well.
Stick5vw
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Stick5vw »

Cleaning service once per week

Order groceries online and have them delivered

Laundry service once per week (we still do laundry at home often but these are for when things begin to pile up - and they often do!)

Babysitter one or two days per week. From late afternoons into the evening (say 4pm-10pm) - frees up time for running errands and occasional date night to restore sanity for a few hours

Experimenting with some prepared dinners, as time is most tight in the evenings

However our kiddo is now 2.5 years old and just started preK from 930 to 4p (M-F) - so we’ll probably dial some of this back
Afty
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Afty »

delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:06 pm Yes, it really is subjective. Laundry is the least time-consuming and simplest household task; it’s the last one I’d pay someone else to do.
Same for us. I kind of enjoy doing laundry. Also I've convinced my kids to fold and put away their own laundry for $1/load.
FI4LIFE
Posts: 505
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by FI4LIFE »

livesoft wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:12 am Here is an earlier thread:
viewtopic.php?t=213662
and there are many more.

I have tons of time because I don't worry what other people think about my clothes, my car, my yard, my house, my kids. I didn't even have to spend any money on not worrying.

Example: Toddlers don't have pajamas but sleep in the clothes they will wear the next day.

Example: No one has more than 3 days of clothes. Clothes are never folded nor stored away. They are on someone's body, in the washer or in the dryer. The rare clean clothes end up on the dining room floor or table where they get put on a body eventually. They can be worn for two days in a row even if they are dirty.

Example: Everybody eats out of their big bowl. There are no other dishes and certainly no serving dishes. Food goes from the stove / oven into eating bowls. Most vegetables are cooked/steamed in a microwave. Food is simple: salads requiring almost no prep, no clean-up.
I love this. My toddler only wants to wear the three shirts with trucks or dinosaurs on them anyway.
patrick474
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:41 am

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by patrick474 »

Afty wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:34 am
delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:06 pm Yes, it really is subjective. Laundry is the least time-consuming and simplest household task; it’s the last one I’d pay someone else to do.
Same for us. I kind of enjoy doing laundry. Also I've convinced my kids to fold and put away their own laundry for $1/load.
Interesting! Want to do mine?

I hate having piles around the house. Life and work get in the way, and the next thing you know, the baseball uniform isn’t ready when it’s needed or someone is missing their favorite jeans. Also, it’s mind-numbingly boring. YMMV, but I enjoy the simplicity of emptying the hampers into a bag and getting neatly folded laundry back the same day. If I’m going to spend time on something, I’d rather it be preparing a meal or helping my kids with homework or, ya know, reading a book or watching a movie.
stoptothink
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by stoptothink »

patrick474 wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:33 am
Afty wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:34 am
delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:06 pm Yes, it really is subjective. Laundry is the least time-consuming and simplest household task; it’s the last one I’d pay someone else to do.
Same for us. I kind of enjoy doing laundry. Also I've convinced my kids to fold and put away their own laundry for $1/load.
Interesting! Want to do mine?

I hate having piles around the house. Life and work get in the way, and the next thing you know, the baseball uniform isn’t ready when it’s needed or someone is missing their favorite jeans. Also, it’s mind-numbingly boring. YMMV, but I enjoy the simplicity of emptying the hampers into a bag and getting neatly folded laundry back the same day. If I’m going to spend time on something, I’d rather it be preparing a meal or helping my kids with homework or, ya know, reading a book or watching a movie.
I've never understood the complaining about laundry. My mom raised 5 kids on her own, and worked 2-3 jobs at all times to do so, so I've done my own laundry since I was in elementary school. Maybe that explains why I am so used to taking care of things around the home and am quite efficient at it. I do all the laundry for our family of 4. In total active time, it is 30 minutes a week at absolute max, most of which is spent hanging up the individual items (we hang dry ~75%). And yes, my kids (7 and 4) absolutely put away all their own laundry (without a cash bribe, sometimes - usually - it does take several stern reminders). If there was a way I could make side money by taking this off other's hands, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
EnjoyIt
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by EnjoyIt »

This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.

Once one can decouple appearances and spending from happiness everything else falls into place. When you do choose to spend, make sure it is high yield spending because you realize how valuable your time and your money is and you wouldn't want to waste it on something that provides little value in the long run.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
patrick474
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:41 am

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by patrick474 »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:02 am
patrick474 wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:33 am
Afty wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:34 am
delamer wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:06 pm Yes, it really is subjective. Laundry is the least time-consuming and simplest household task; it’s the last one I’d pay someone else to do.
Same for us. I kind of enjoy doing laundry. Also I've convinced my kids to fold and put away their own laundry for $1/load.
Interesting! Want to do mine?

I hate having piles around the house. Life and work get in the way, and the next thing you know, the baseball uniform isn’t ready when it’s needed or someone is missing their favorite jeans. Also, it’s mind-numbingly boring. YMMV, but I enjoy the simplicity of emptying the hampers into a bag and getting neatly folded laundry back the same day. If I’m going to spend time on something, I’d rather it be preparing a meal or helping my kids with homework or, ya know, reading a book or watching a movie.
I've never understood the complaining about laundry. My mom raised 5 kids on her own, and worked 2-3 jobs at all times to do so, so I've done my own laundry since I was in elementary school. Maybe that explains why I am so used to taking care of things around the home and am quite efficient at it. I do all the laundry for our family of 4. In total active time, it is 30 minutes a week at absolute max, most of which is spent hanging up the individual items (we hang dry ~75%). And yes, my kids (7 and 4) absolutely put away all their own laundry (without a cash bribe, sometimes - usually - it does take several stern reminders). If there was a way I could make side money by taking this off other's hands, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Not complaining, really, just saying it creates messes and is not my favorite way to spend time. I grew up in a house that sounds a lot like yours. In my house, the kids still have to put back their laundry - there isn't a service for that yet. I just think about the time my mother (who worked nights at J.C. Penney and clipped coupons with a vengeance) spent on tasks such as this, and I'm not sure she really treasures that time.

Larger point, for purposes of the OP, is that off-work time is valuable. And most working parents are made happier by a clean house, an opportunity to sleep and exercise, and non-harried time with kids. Find the things you hate most - whether it be cleaning, cooking, landscaping, laundry - and outsource it within the bounds of financial responsibility. Can't take the money with you.
fru-gal
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by fru-gal »

MrBeaver wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:46 am
miamivice wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:24 am 2. We no longer shop in stores. We either buy things from Amazon or for groceries use Wal-Mart store pickup (wife shops online, I drive to the store to pickup groceries.) Saves hours of time. Costco is the exception. Wal-Mart store pickup is free. Other stores have nominal charge.
Thanks for this encouragement. Our local Aldi just started curbside pickup, and I think we may start trying it. I despise 'big' stores precisely because it takes me an hour to walk the acre of aisles (most of which I don't want) to get to the things I do want. I can usually get in and out of Aldi within 20 minutes, and I now know where most things are.
I love peapod, which just started same day pickup in my area. I can add to the shopping list online as I think of it during the week, do a lot more price comparisons than in the store with its non-existent price markings, and avoid the giant trek from one side of the Stop & Shop store to the other. Almost eliminates impulse buying. The peapod people pack the order in the back seat of my car and I'm off home.

Total cost extra $2.95, more than worth the saved time. They do not allow tipping unfortunately, so that's the total extra cost.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by fru-gal »

livesoft wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:42 am
Andyrunner wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:19 am 2) pay someone to fertilize lawn (can't have a toddler stepping on thistles)
I just fertilized my lawn this morning. It took about 15 minutes with a handheld spreader. I did have to buy fertilizer yesterday on my way to the library (while the maids cleaned the house). But fertilizing is such a rare task that saving less than 1 hour per year is not something to think about or pay for.
I live at the water, so no fertilizer or other stuff applied to the lawn. I have overseeded it with clover, which fixes nitrogen, bonus pretty white flowers.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by livesoft »

... and the next thing you know, the baseball uniform isn’t ready when it’s needed or someone is missing their favorite jeans.
In our household neither of those would be any concern to anybody except for the person who wanted to wear the jeans or uniform. If my kid needed "favorite jeans" washed and ready, then they learned at a very early age that they needed to get them washed and ready. Same for sports uniforms. It is not like these items cannot be worn if they are stinky and dirty since they probably got that way by being worn in the first place.

Now the OP is asking about toddlers, so I doubt those toddlers have favorite jeans or sports uniforms yet, but when they do, those kids should be in charge of them and not the parents.

A household laundry rule we have: If it ain't in the washer, then no one else it putting it there. There are no clothes hampers in our house.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by fru-gal »

I was thinking about livesoft's minimal clothes management and realized I am partly there. If I find something comfortable to wear, I buy several, preferably in different colors, but often several in one color. So people probably think I have 3 outfits to my name, when more likely it's 10-15 but a few are always clean.
patrick474
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by patrick474 »

livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:11 am
... and the next thing you know, the baseball uniform isn’t ready when it’s needed or someone is missing their favorite jeans.
In our household neither of those would be any concern to anybody except for the person who wanted to wear the jeans or uniform. If my kid needed "favorite jeans" washed and ready, then they learned at a very early age that they needed to get them washed and ready. Same for sports uniforms. It is not like these items cannot be worn if they are stinky and dirty since they probably got that way by being worn in the first place.

Now the OP is asking about toddlers, so I doubt those toddlers have favorite jeans or sports uniforms yet, but when they do, those kids should be in charge of them and not the parents.
I seem to have tapped into a deep vein of laundry-related convictions. I assure you that I'm a responsible parent who is raising his children to be responsible citizens. I also like it when I don't have to wonder if the baseball uniforms are clean. I'm certain that the opportunity to teach the lesson of moral hazard is not confined to laundry, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm alone in that regard...
EnjoyIt
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by EnjoyIt »

StealthRabbit wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:03 pm spend / out-source / sub-contract?... SIMPLIFY! (your life / family / career) while with toddlers.
You get ONE-trip-around-the-block with your kids, then they are GONE!

We spent 'opportunity costs' while kids were still at home (they left for college at age 16)

We lived very cheap and traveled a lot, and had a summer u-pick fruit farm (no traveling in summer, lots of guests and activities)

No youth camps or daycare, few sports, lots of time 'learning' together (We homeschooled until they left for college)

Living and working overseas was really great for the kids (and the non-working spouse)

Toddler was bicycle time everyday (them in seats / trailer; and road trips in camper van. (I will tell you life gets really ez as soon as they can climb in and put on their own seat belts!!!)
5-8 was adventure (hiking, living in Asia and on a Canadian Island)
8-12 yrs was camping and backpacking
12 - 16 was teaching them 'lifelong skills'


To do it all over (never get it right)
I would have started a family business when they were age 12-14, that they could sell or manage, or hire managers to retain cash flows for them to pay for college.

Then... (parent / child) go back to work when kids leave home (if you must).
At what age did you start traveling with the kids that made it a worthwhile experience for the everyone? I see far too many parents for example dragging their 2 year old on vacation and being pretty miserable because of the work required to keep up with a 2 year old and the 2 year being too young to appreciate the vacation. Can you please share any example travels at a young age?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by livesoft »

patrick474 wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:19 amI seem to have tapped into a deep vein of laundry-related convictions.
It is really not as bad as it sounds in my household. I'm sure we are not the only family where somebody yells, "I'm about to start the washer! Does anybody have any clothes they want washed? If so, then you better get them down here right now!"

Perhaps some folks have been raised on laundry detergent commercials where the actors show that doing laundry and getting the whitest whites and boldest colors are a sign of fulfillment, pride, and being a good parent or spouse.

But laundry is so trivial that I don't want to see any whining on bogleheads.org anymore about it. ;)
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by fru-gal »

livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:53 am But laundry is so trivial that I don't want to see any whining on bogleheads.org anymore about it. ;)
My thought also. I am single, and I spend maybe three minutes loading the washer or transferring clothes to the dryer or folding dry clothes. Multiply that by 4, say, and it's still not a lot, especially if older kids have it as one of their periodic chores. Families do have the kids doing chores when they're old enough, right?
patrick474
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by patrick474 »

fru-gal wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:40 pm
livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:53 am But laundry is so trivial that I don't want to see any whining on bogleheads.org anymore about it. ;)
My thought also. I am single, and I spend maybe three minutes loading the washer or transferring clothes to the dryer or folding dry clothes. Multiply that by 4, say, and it's still not a lot, especially if older kids have it as one of their periodic chores. Families do have the kids doing chores when they're old enough, right?
Oy vey, it’s laundry, not the breakdown of western civilization and the chore-industrial complex.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by stoptothink »

patrick474 wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:21 pm
fru-gal wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:40 pm
livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:53 am But laundry is so trivial that I don't want to see any whining on bogleheads.org anymore about it. ;)
My thought also. I am single, and I spend maybe three minutes loading the washer or transferring clothes to the dryer or folding dry clothes. Multiply that by 4, say, and it's still not a lot, especially if older kids have it as one of their periodic chores. Families do have the kids doing chores when they're old enough, right?
Oy vey, it’s laundry, not the breakdown of western civilization and the chore-industrial complex.
There is a similar thread that I contributed to fairly recently, there was some pretty blatant complaining about the effort and time needed to do laundry. One poster repeatedly called me a liar because I suggested it takes 30 minutes a week to do all my family's laundry. At least for me, that's where that comes from.
Starfish
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Starfish »

People should walk 2 miles down to the river with a soap made from pigs lard to wash clothes by hand in cold water and dry them outside like a century ago.
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:29 am
StealthRabbit wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:03 pm spend / out-source / sub-contract?... SIMPLIFY! (your life / family / career) while with toddlers.
You get ONE-trip-around-the-block with your kids, then they are GONE!

We spent 'opportunity costs' while kids were still at home (they left for college at age 16)

We lived very cheap and traveled a lot, and had a summer u-pick fruit farm (no traveling in summer, lots of guests and activities)

No youth camps or daycare, few sports, lots of time 'learning' together (We homeschooled until they left for college)

Living and working overseas was really great for the kids (and the non-working spouse)

Toddler was bicycle time everyday (them in seats / trailer; and road trips in camper van. (I will tell you life gets really ez as soon as they can climb in and put on their own seat belts!!!)
5-8 was adventure (hiking, living in Asia and on a Canadian Island)
8-12 yrs was camping and backpacking
12 - 16 was teaching them 'lifelong skills'


To do it all over (never get it right)
I would have started a family business when they were age 12-14, that they could sell or manage, or hire managers to retain cash flows for them to pay for college.

Then... (parent / child) go back to work when kids leave home (if you must).
At what age did you start traveling with the kids that made it a worthwhile experience for the everyone? I see far too many parents for example dragging their 2 year old on vacation and being pretty miserable because of the work required to keep up with a 2 year old and the 2 year being too young to appreciate the vacation. Can you please share any example travels at a young age?
I traveled with my kid since he was 8 months old. Long, 15-18h flights. It was always a worthwhile experience for us adults, I am not sure about him :) but he seems to have fond memories.
But yes at the beginning we did a lot of parks, trains, metros, trolley buses and beaches mixed in our travels because this is what he liked. But we visited also museum, ruins, castles, forts, old german towns etc, it's fun for him.
At 6 he could walk and climb 10 miles in Panamanian jungle for example. At 3 he was very happy in Costa Rica. At 5 he played with Russian kids on the beach in Portugal and we visited caves. He liked but was a bit cold in the subterranean cenotes in Mexico.

We prefer to travel with friends with kids when possible, it makes things easier.

People had kids for their entire history, I don't get how they are a disaster in modern age with all the modern comforts. What can be easier that automatic laundry and dish washing machines, single use diapers etc. My mother washed dishes and did laundry mostly by hand and boiled cloth diapers ... as a single mom with a demanding 12h job and 6 working days a week (weekend was only 1 day - Sunday - back then).
MathWizard
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by MathWizard »

I'm a tad older, but when the kids were young we did not have a dishwasher.
When we moved just before the the second child came along, we made sure we got one.

We now have a Roomba that helps with the cat hair. It's not a replacement for a vacuum,
but stretches the time between needing to vacuum.

Main floor laundry.

I used to do all the work on my car, I started taking the car to a mechanic.

During more stressful times, we've used paper plates for a few days, like when
one of us was in the hospital.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by oldfatguy »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:13 am This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.
I'd love to work less, but who will pay for my mortgage, food, retirement savings, health insurance, etc.? Not many people would be able to support themselves on a part-time job.
EnjoyIt
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by EnjoyIt »

oldfatguy wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:56 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:13 am This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.
I'd love to work less, but who will pay for my mortgage, food, retirement savings, health insurance, etc.? Not many people would be able to support themselves on a part-time job.
Depends on the job, where you live, and how much you choose to spend, particularly on housing.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by livesoft »

patrick474 wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:21 pmOy vey, it’s laundry, not the breakdown of western civilization and the chore-industrial complex.
I predict a new genre of self-help books solely on how to do laundry. I didn't realize it was such a big deal to people. Your sentence might be the quote found in many of these new books. :)
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by oldfatguy »

EnjoyIt wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:50 am
oldfatguy wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:56 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:13 am This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.
I'd love to work less, but who will pay for my mortgage, food, retirement savings, health insurance, etc.? Not many people would be able to support themselves on a part-time job.
Depends on the job, where you live, and how much you choose to spend, particularly on housing.
Is there any data you can point to that indicates how many people in the US support themselves on part-time wages? Serious question, because I have no idea. I'm pretty sure I don't know a single one.
Topic Author
MrBeaver
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by MrBeaver »

Regattamom wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:30 pm So I take it that your wife is a SAHM? Instead of paying to have people clean, cook, etc.. it may be more cost effective to hire a mother's helper. A tween or young teen from the local area that will come over to keep an eye on the kids and play with them while your wife is able to get the cooking and cleaning done. Lots of younger teens do this to help prepare them for babysitting later on.
This is an excellent idea, thank you!
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MrBeaver
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by MrBeaver »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:13 am This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.

Once one can decouple appearances and spending from happiness everything else falls into place. When you do choose to spend, make sure it is high yield spending because you realize how valuable your time and your money is and you wouldn't want to waste it on something that provides little value in the long run.
Thank you for this reminder. We do desire this, but I need to keep thinking this way to ensure we don't limit our options in the future.
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MrBeaver
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by MrBeaver »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:29 am
StealthRabbit wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:03 pm spend / out-source / sub-contract?... SIMPLIFY! (your life / family / career) while with toddlers.
You get ONE-trip-around-the-block with your kids, then they are GONE!

We spent 'opportunity costs' while kids were still at home (they left for college at age 16)

We lived very cheap and traveled a lot, and had a summer u-pick fruit farm (no traveling in summer, lots of guests and activities)

No youth camps or daycare, few sports, lots of time 'learning' together (We homeschooled until they left for college)

Living and working overseas was really great for the kids (and the non-working spouse)

Toddler was bicycle time everyday (them in seats / trailer; and road trips in camper van. (I will tell you life gets really ez as soon as they can climb in and put on their own seat belts!!!)
5-8 was adventure (hiking, living in Asia and on a Canadian Island)
8-12 yrs was camping and backpacking
12 - 16 was teaching them 'lifelong skills'


To do it all over (never get it right)
I would have started a family business when they were age 12-14, that they could sell or manage, or hire managers to retain cash flows for them to pay for college.

Then... (parent / child) go back to work when kids leave home (if you must).
At what age did you start traveling with the kids that made it a worthwhile experience for the everyone? I see far too many parents for example dragging their 2 year old on vacation and being pretty miserable because of the work required to keep up with a 2 year old and the 2 year being too young to appreciate the vacation. Can you please share any example travels at a young age?

Thanks for the encouragement. Sounds like we have many similar desires for our free-time, and finding educational and enjoyable ways to spend our time that are lower cost. We got a bike trailer this year and have used it extensively. We've also braved 3-day weekend camping with the kids once each spring and fall since they were 10 months old! That got a bit hairy when they were mobile, but now it's pretty great because they do listen to us when we tell them to stop, so we can let them run around a bit more and explore.

My biggest challenge will be how to move from a salaried traditional job to remote or freelance work to give us more freedom for some of these things in the future. Hopefully by then we have the necessary chores a bit more structured and taken care of!
EnjoyIt
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by EnjoyIt »

oldfatguy wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:01 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:50 am
oldfatguy wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:56 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:13 am This seams counterintuitive but I believe the best way to have more time with family is to spend as little as possible and work less.
I'd love to work less, but who will pay for my mortgage, food, retirement savings, health insurance, etc.? Not many people would be able to support themselves on a part-time job.
Depends on the job, where you live, and how much you choose to spend, particularly on housing.
Is there any data you can point to that indicates how many people in the US support themselves on part-time wages? Serious question, because I have no idea. I'm pretty sure I don't know a single one.
I doubt data like this exists. Most Americans spend what they make and don’t really understand the benefit/value of financial security. Your question is too broad in my opinion. No minimum wage worker can survive well on part time work without government subsidy. But, there are decent paying jobs out there that do have part time or not working 5 days a week options. My spouse negotiated working 3/4 of full time but still gets full time benefits. That’s a lot more time she has now with our kids.

So many of us think we need all these things in our lives to be happy which is far from true. I think as humans we overvalue much of what we spend on and undervalue our time. I see myself falling for this regularly and only catch myself after the money was already spent.
Last edited by EnjoyIt on Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
oldfatguy
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by oldfatguy »

EnjoyIt wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:37 am
I doubt data like this exists. Most Americans spend what they make and don’t really understand the benefit/value of financial security. Your question is too broad in my opinion. No minimum wage worker can survive well on part time work without government subsidy. But, there are decent paying jobs out there that do have part time or not working 5 days a week options. My spouse negotiated working 3/4 of full time but still get full time benefits. That’s a lot more time she has now with our kids.
And she supports the family with that job?
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Texanbybirth »

EnjoyIt wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:37 am So many of us think we need all these things in our lives to be happy which is far from true. I think as humans we overvalue much of what we spend on and undervalue our time. I see myself falling for this all the time and only catch myself after the money was already spent.
Well said. I'm trying to get better about this, and genuinely think I am getting better about it, and my kids are a great help in this direction.

Some really good nuggets in this thread, glad I read back through it!
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
EnjoyIt
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by EnjoyIt »

oldfatguy wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:54 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:37 am
I doubt data like this exists. Most Americans spend what they make and don’t really understand the benefit/value of financial security. Your question is too broad in my opinion. No minimum wage worker can survive well on part time work without government subsidy. But, there are decent paying jobs out there that do have part time or not working 5 days a week options. My spouse negotiated working 3/4 of full time but still get full time benefits. That’s a lot more time she has now with our kids.
And she supports the family with that job?
Actually we both work 3/4 time. Her 3/4 time pay alone is excellent and plenty of money to support a family in a millionaire next door middle class lifestyle plus save a decent amount for retirement. Both of our wages 3/4 time provide an upper middle class lifestyle and give us lots of additional time to spend with our loved ones. We value that over a bigger house, nicer cars, meticulous yard, fancy clothes, regularly eating out, cable TV, new iPhones every year, Starbucks, etc.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by sk2101 »

MathWizard wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:48 pm I used to do all the work on my car, I started taking the car to a mechanic.
I consider DIY car maintenance a time saver, for example I can do an oil change quicker than it would take me just to drive to a shop (not counting waiting there). Plus I can do things at my convenience without having to find alternative transportation or kill time at a dealer.

I just got a new car for the wife that has free maintenance. I still pay to do the oil changes at home, as we both would rather save the time of going to the dealer.
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by Sophia1884 »

Cyanide123 wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:26 am We have a lady that Cooks for us. Pretty reasonably priced.
How did you organize this?

Getting everyone fed healthily is our Achilles heel. I can live on apples and protein shakes but can't really feed kids that...yet. We used to do Blue Apron but even that got overwhelming when #2 arrived. Between the baby, food prep, food clean up, we were running out of time to spend with the eldest. Eldest started having issues. We decided to pay for meal delivery, spend the saved time with the eldest....night and day difference in the kid, just that additional hour. While we aren't going back to cooking for a bit, I'd absolutely love some warm, home cooked meals. We're probably headed towards a one-income household, partially to get those warm meals :)

Paying money for time: Cleaner for the large tasks 1x/mth, food delivery, only buy produce/dairy weekly everything else online.
Last edited by Sophia1884 on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
crre
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Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

Post by crre »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:20 am We spent money by having one of us stop working and become a stay at home parent. That was seven years ago and haven't regretted it for a second. Not only did it gain lots of family time and sanity, but it allowed the still working spouse to focus on their career even more which payed off in dramatic pay increases to the point I'm not sure the decision cost us any money in the long run.
us too, 22 years ago. best decision we ever made.
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