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Why hiring help seemed smart even for our budget

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hiring help around houseASKING FOR HELP IS NEVER A BAD THING


I know you are thinking that it can’t be possible that Mr.CBB would shell out money to hire help around the house but it’s true.

Would you have spent the money we have to get jobs done or do you think we are crazy? Read on…..

Not everyone has family around who they can lean on for help when it’s needed nor do you want to bug your neighbours for help in the summer.

Sure I help my neighbours do the odd jobs but I would never ask them to help me with jobs that are easy enough for me to do on my own. Maybe that’s just me.

I’m the first one to cringe but don’t complain out loud when our neighbours let their house fall apart because they fail to put any money into maintaining the home.

Maybe communication would work better because you never know what someone is undergoing in their life and they could use some help. That’s also being a caring neighbour although some might view that as being nosey. You never win! I think just about every neighbourhood has one of every type of neighbour going.


Types of neighbours


  • Too much debt no money to maintain the home or just don’t care to
  • Difficult neighbours
  • Crazy neighbours that scare you
  • The “I’ve got more money than you” neighbours
  • Nosey neighbours
  • Lazy neighbours
  • Copycat neighbours
  • Helpful, caring neighbours
  • Neighbours who always visit or find a reason to
  • Complaining neighbours
  • Busy neighbours who work more than they are home (that sort of describes me some days)
  • Neighbours who rent their home and don’t care
  • Neighbours with ill-health or other serious issues
  • Loud neighbours
  • Neighbours with kids who are left to do as they please (how many windows have you had shattered? This house has had 2 with plenty of tennis balls in the gutters)

I’m sure we can all add to this list because we’ve either lived through it or we are one of these neighbours I’ve described above. Everyone has their own personality and for me that means I like to keep our home pristine looking at all times. I don’t like to see our house falling down around us so I tend to make sure the jobs that need to get done are accomplished.

Over the past 5 years I’ve done so much around the house that I’m amazed how far we’ve come but there’s still so much to do. I am currently renovating the bathroom with a second bathroom on the to-do list right after. I also have a full basement to finish with a third bathroom, living room and dining room floors, full kitchen renovations and adding ledge stone to accent walls in the home. I also need to paint again as it’s been a few years.

I know, it’s lots of work but we knew moving in there was going to be lots of work that needed to get done to make the home our own including a serious overhaul of the front and backyards. Just because you move in a home doesn’t mean the work stops because it’s new or has years behind it. Some people like to create a style of living that suits them and this is what we are doing.

We have the money in the budget to do the work and although our house is not old according to what I know is old back in the UK. The renovations are more updating than anything like most homes in our subdivision that are upwards of 15-20 years old.

I’ve since completed the front yard and was trying to get the backyard done this summer. That was the plan but with the new job and other things that have popped up I’m on overdrive at the moment.

My wife is super busy as well and can only do so much around the house as well but she does her fair share. Just when I think that I’m going to have time to do something another job pops up. I know you can all relate. Just last week my employer has me scheduled for two medical training courses which I’ve already re-booked once.

I’m far from a workaholic but to some that might seem like a giant big lie. I do work as much as I have to but with my compressed work week it’s not so bad although factor in when I have to work my second job and it can be overwhelming. This is only to get my foot in the door for my dream job which I’m hoping will become a reality in the next year or so. My problem is I try to do too much at once.

The blog is where I chill out and a hobby that gets my mind off of work and what I have to do around the house. I love personal finance and without diving into money matters I’m sure our budget would be much different today. Blogging is more about investing in our finances, learning and networking with other like-minded people (the fans and other bloggers).

Since paying off the mortgage back in May of this year we’ve had extra money in the budget to play with although a large chunk will go to investing in our retirement. Hiring help around the house was the last thing that ever crossed our minds. No way were we going to hire someone to help us to do something that we can do on our own.

I believe that there is only so much we can plan into our day without going crazy. I don’t sit around often to watch TV or movies rather my time is spent doing things that need to get done or I’m blogging. It’s hard to turn off at times but don’t get me wrong I do that as much as I can by taking day trips with the wife or just getting out to enjoy a long walk and keeping fit.

Our budget update is certainly going to take a hit for July but for good reason, we are renovating. I am doing the work on my own which is a HUGE savings for our budget. If I had to hire someone to renovate the bathroom it would have cost me far more than the $5000 we have budgeted for this upgrade.

I’m quite comfortable with doing the renovations on my own as I’ve renovated my other two homes as well as my parents’ home. If I run into a problem I will hire a professional but for now I’m fine. What’s the problem then?

The problem is I can’t be in so many places at the same time and neither can my wife. If our budget didn’t have extra money to play with we might have had to suck it up and figure this out a different way. However with a tight deadline looming with the bathroom renovation we’ve had to hire help around the house.

What kind of help? Well my wife would love to hire a housekeeper for about $15 an hour but for the moment she is sticking with it and we are both pitching in as much as we can to keep the house clean and organized. I doubt this will ever happen but you never know what the future may bring us.

What bothered me more than having clothes on the couch that needed to get folded and put away was watching the weeds grow in the back garden. I know for many of you it’s not a big deal but for me I can’t stand staring at an overgrown yard.

A neighbour up the road put flowers outside her home and has not cut the grass in over 2 months and it makes me wonder how someone can spend upwards of $800,000 on a home and not mow the lawn. Keep in mind she is planting flowers in her make-shift garden bins on the front property so I’d be hesitant as their neighbour to ask if they need any help.

I know everyone has issues behind closed doors even if they don’t admit it. I’m admitting it today. I can’t keep up.

So, I’ve had to hire help by placing an ad in our local community online forum in search of someone who was willing to help us maintain the backyard.

I wasn’t looking for a professional landscaping business just someone who wanted to help clean up the weeds and dig over the garden until I could get out to do what I need to do. I’m afraid that might not be until next summer but until then I’d like to keep the yard neat and tidy.


Hire me


I don’t think I was prepared for the overwhelming response from people who responded to my want ad to hire help, literally hundreds. The stories people told me via email about who they were and why they wanted to do the job was outrageous. Some people pour their heart and soul into finding work and I appreciate that.

There were some who said “please help me” because they needed the money to pay for bills, childcare etc. I heard everything from how someone graduated with lots of OSAP debt they wanted to pay off to people who simply needed more money.

I know I’ve said it a million times that if you can’t balance your budget you have two choices

1: You spend less and make cuts to your budget


2: You find more work.

I figured since it was just general clean-up that minimum wage was a reasonable amount to pay. Some people emailed me wanting $25 an hour which may have been reasonable for professional services but not for something simple like cleaning up the weeds in our backyard. Others wanted below minimum wage or would take anything we were willing to give. We would never go under minimum wage though.

Since we weren’t allowing someone in our home we were safe in hiring someone to work outdoors. I’d caution with wanting to hire someone to come into your home without any type of references or police background check. You never know who they are and if getting into a homes is all part of a master plan to rob you when you aren’t home. Stay safe.

Once I found the person I wanted to hire the job was completed in a timely fashion and the yard looked amazing. I was able to breathe again because having chores mount up can be breathtaking especially when you have a full plate.

The amount of money that we paid him was well worth it because if I had to take three hours out of my day to stop the bathroom renovation it wouldn’t have been worth it.

If I wasn’t so pressed for time to get this job done I may have done just that but time is money now and to hire someone to help with the bathroom is something I’d rather not do. It made more sense to hire someone to help with chores around the house.

I know this won’t put a dent in our budget but I’ll admit that it was hard for us to do because we are so used to doing everything on our own. Accounting for every dollar coming in and out and being tight with our money is something we are proud about doing so giving it up sometimes is not easy if it’s something you know you can do. We didn’t budget this in but considered it as home maintenance which we have as a projected expense.

What I learned from this is that sometimes you have to just back up and evaluate situations and do what’s right even if that means you have to use money in the budget for such services.

Have you ever had to break down and hire help for something you knew you could do but didn’t have time to do?


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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles

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