You’ll never save money if you won’t get your hands dirty

Over the years, I’ve noticed a strong correlation between people who are always complaining about being broke, and people who refuse to get their hands dirty. I don’t think it’s a coincidence either, and here’s why…

get your hands dirty save money

Recently, a friend of a friend said to me, “Don’t you hate it when you have to let your cleaner go? It’s just so….awkward…isn’t it?”

Obviously this was someone who didn’t know me that well. I just sort of, well, stared back at them, trying to think of something non-sarcastic to say. For the record, I did play nice and made a non-committal shrug, because some people who are that out of touch might need a little help to come down from the clouds rather than deserving a brutal reality check.

Anyway. I’ve never had to let a cleaner go because I’ve never felt the need to hire one in the first place. I live in a small place and clean up after myself as I go, so there isn’t that much to do. If I had surplus in my budget, I’d prefer to be spending it somewhere else.

Before you think I’m suggesting that everyone should get into cleaning for hours on end every week and really enjoy it, I’d better say that I’m not a great fan of chores and cleaning while I’m doing them, but it’s nice to get them out of the way. Doesn’t take that long either.

Obviously if you’re working 18-hour days or have limited mobility then something has to give, and having a cleaner makes sense in those scenarios (as long as you’re paying them a fair wage). However, if you’re on an average or low income, it’s a luxury most of us cannot afford – especially if it’s part of a larger picture of not getting your hands dirty, where money leaks out of your budget in multiple places.

Another classic example is people who refuse to cook. If you won’t get your mitts into some basic food preparation, you’ll be at the mercy of overpriced takeaways and rip-off ready meals. If you’re less confident in the kitchen, there are loads of great books around now that will help you learn, so get stuck into it – it’s easier than you think. However, that’s not really what I mean. Over the years I’ve met quite a few people who are so entitled in their own minds that they simply think they’re too important to prepare any food, however simple, and a significant number of them are up to their ears in debt at the same time.

Coincidence? I think not.

Some other examples where not getting your hands dirty can cost you a fortune:

  • Basic painting and decorating
  • Simple home repairs
  • Gardening (especially in small gardens)
  • Basic clothes maintenance

There’s always a tipping point where a job becomes so extensive or complex that it’s worth getting a professional person in to do it (plastering, tree surgery, building large Hadron colliders etc etc). But a bit of Polyfilla-ing, weeding, or sewing the occasional loose thread back in is something nearly everyone can do in a short space of time. It might not be a barrel of laughs, but most people can assemble their own flat-pack furniture too.

And don’t even get me started on the person I recently overheard braying about “getting a little man in to fix something.” Patronising much? Oh, and I have it on good authority that Mr Snobby is broke. Doesn’t surprise me at all.

If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can always wear gloves. What do you think?

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  1. Good post Penny. Sometimes we do better exchanging “dirty hands” kind of jobs. I have said before, and I stick to it, I have a brown thumb, and can’t seem to grow weeds if I tried. But, I have gardening friends that don’t know how, or are not interested in canning, and we can swap skills/effort.

  2. Hi Sam, a skills swap is good too. As long as everyone’s getting their hands dirty 😉

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