When Melbourne wedding photographer Michael Briggs and his florist wife Kelly get home from a long day at work, the last thing they want to do is get stuck into the cleaning.
With little time to stay on top of mundane chores like mopping and vacuuming the couple, who run a photography business and florist and gift shop Red Earth Flowers, has been forking out about $50 a week for a cleaner for the past two years.
“We’re working long hours, Kelly in particular often does 14-16 hours a day,” Michael said. “The hours it would take us can just be better spent on our businesses.”
Kelly and Michael Briggs, who run a floristry and photography businesses, say they couldn’t go back to not having a cleaner.
“It’s a big relief to not have to do anything when I get home,” said Kelly, who noted that two of their friends were now using the same cleaner.
The couple are not alone, with a recent survey of more than 4000 customers of ServiceSeeking.com.au, an online marketplace that offers quotes on everything from accounting to furniture removal, finding that Generation Y are less likely to roll up their sleeves and do house work than their Baby Boomers.
The survey completed by a fairly even crosssection of generations, found that 35 per cent of Gen Y respondents preferred to hire help, in comparison to just 25 per cent of Baby Boomers and 27 per cent of Generation X.
While Kelly and Michael still do light house work they leave the heavy lifting to a professional, and have recently outsourced their gardening as well
“Our lawn mower broke and I was like screw it, I’m not buying a new one,” Michael said. “A guy across the road from us mows lawns, so it was just easier to pay him.”
And it’s not just Generation Y giving up on gardening, 33 per cent of Baby Boomers said they hired someone to do their gardening on a regular basis, in comparison to 24 per cent of Gen X and 20 per cent of Gen Y respondents.
ServiceSeeking.com.au chief executive Jeremy Levitt says the survey is reflective of today’s busy lifestyle and the fact many people are so time poor they need to outsource everyday services.
“Gone are the days when only the rich had a cleaner. It’s so commonplace these days that we have more than 11,800 cleaning businesses registered on our site who quoted on 4588 new cleaning jobs in the last month alone.”
Those living in NSW are the least likely to scrub their own kitchens with 30 per cent outsourcing their cleaning, while Victorians are the least likely to do gardening, with 27 per cent of people opting to get someone to tend to their yard.
While 4 per cent of respondents spend at least $400 a month on their hired help, 49 per cent spend just $50 a month.
High performance coach Chris Nedelkos, who has had a cleaner for about four years, said the $100 he spends on cleaning each month is money well spent.
“I hate cleaning, I always have,” he said. “Cleaning my two-bedroom apartment was just taking me a long time, I’d rather get someone in that doesn’t cost too much.
“(My friends) think I’m wasting money, but I think they’re wasting their time. They spend hours doing it…I’d rather have more time to do fun things that enrich my life.”
It’s the same for Tamworth teacher Helen Herdegen who is kept busy on week nights with sport and would rather be free to enjoy her weekends.
“I found it so exhausting to always clean when I got home and always felt like the house was a bit dirty, even though it wasn’t that bad,” she said.
“We decided to get one as ‘a trial’ as John (her husband) was pushing because ‘we were earning good money’ so we can afford to…I have never looked back since.”
While the survey found that earning capacity had an impact on services used, almost 20 per cent of respondents with a salary of less than $75,000 still employed a cleaner or gardener (22 per cent).
If the salary increased to $75,000-$125,000, the likelihood of having a cleaner rose to 32 per cent, with a jump to 39 per cent if the salary was up to $200,000 and 43 per cent for those earning more than $200,000.
And it seems a mortgage isn’t getting in the way of affording a cleaner, with the survey finding that 28 per cent of home owners were employing a cleaner versus 23 per cent of renters.
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Written and syndicated by
– Baxton Media.
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