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Almost 16 million people hire help for household tasks, but this kind of convenience spending can rack-up quickly.

Household chores - Putting a price on convenience

Takeaways, microwave meals and shop bought sandwiches. We all know we should give these things a miss and save a few pounds, but the reason we buy them is because they’re convenient.

But it’s not just food where we are taking the easy route – it’s around the home as well.

Almost 16 million people hire help for household tasks, according to research by Direct Line.

No, we haven’t all become the Lords and Ladies of Downton Abbey, but we are sampling some of the lifestyle by outsourcing day-to-day housework like ironing, laundry and cooking.

The problem is this kind of convenience spending can rack-up quickly. Cleaning at £23.52 a week totals £1,223.04 a year, or a little over 19 weeks’ worth of childcare.

Do-it-yourself and save

There are a lot of jobs around the home we just don’t like doing, but the reality is you can end up spending a lot of money for things that would only take you a few minutes.

Doing the laundry isn’t a chore we look forward to, but it does only take a minute to turn on the washing machine.

You can probably think of 100 things you would rather do than ironing, but you can do it while watching the TV.

Food shopping hardly gets the pulse rating, but getting someone else to do it for you adds pounds to what is already a hefty monthly bill.

But sometimes it’s unavoidable

Try as you will, there are some costs which you just can’t get around.

If you’re working, then childcare is a necessity and while the ground floor is fine, you might not want to climb the stepladder to clean the windows.

And yes, while you think you’re a dab hand with the paintbrush, when it comes to tiling or plumbing you are better off leaving it to professional decorators.

We all understand the appeal of convenience, but understanding the difference between something that’s convenient and what’s necessary can really help you save in the long run.

Perhaps you don’t have the greenest fingers, but there are lots of ways to make your garden low maintenance and is a great way to get you (and the kids) off the sofa and into the fresh air.

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