On a day when valuation is in the news (ahem, Facebook), let’s look at a new analysis of the economic worth of what we used to call “keeping house.”


“The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted by his or her family members. However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace,” The Mint editors concluded.

They also add the obvious disclaimer, “Homemakers, in general, contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks and no amount of money can fill those needs.”

The analysis is especially interesting because in many households, some of the responsibilities are outsourced and others shared. By comparing different house duties to industry standards, the report provides a better understanding of which chores are considered to be the most financially valuable.

It also provides plenty of of fodder for debate. See for yourself which duties seem over- or under-valued):

Excerpts from the Mint analysis:

Private Chef: The American Personal Chef Association reports that its personal chefs make $200 to $500 a day. Grocery shopping is another chore that needs to be factored in. … Grocery delivery services charge a delivery fee of $5 to $10. Total cost for services: $1,005 per five-day work week times 52 weeks = $52,260 per year.

House Cleaner: Professional maids or house cleaning service providers will charge by the hour, number of rooms or square footage of the home…. Total cost for services: $118 per week times 52 Weeks = $6,136 per year.

“Child Care: The International Nanny Association’s 2011 survey found that nannies make $600 to $950 per week in gross wages, on average. Total cost for services: $600 a week plus perks/benefits times 52 Weeks = $31,200 per year.

Driver: Companies like Red Cap, which provides personal drivers that use the client’s own car as the means of transportation, offer a glimpse into the cost of this homemaker task. An elite membership which includes 365 days of unlimited, round-trip service is $1,000 a year plus 33 cents to $2.03 per minute. Total cost for services: $1,000 per year plus [(estimated miles driven 8,000 miles at 50 miles per hour) times 60 minutes per hour times $0.33 per minute] = $4,168 total per year.

Laundry Service: Professional laundry services charge by the pound…. Total cost for services: $0.90 per pound times 4 pounds of clothes per day times 5 days per week times 52 weeks = $936 total per year.”

Lawn Maintenance: This could include things such as mowing, debris removal, edging and trimming the lawn. These services cost about $30 a week, on average. Total cost for services: $30 per week for 52 weeks = $1,560 total per year.”

The Bottom Line: Total for a year of all services is: $52,260 + $6,137 + $31,200 + $4,168 + $936 + $1,560 = $96,261 per year.”

What do you think? Did Mint under- or over-value some duties? How much would you be willing to pay/do you pay for these services?

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