It’s not cheap running a household.
Big ticket expenses always seem to pop up. You pay for one thinking, okay we can recover from that by cutting down the next few months, but that never happens. Sure enough, the following month you’re faced with some other unexpected cost or fee you didn’t anticipate.
The thing is, there are some necessary household expenses I loathe paying for while others, some of which are costly, I’m more than happy to pay for.
Here are my lists of household expenses I resent and like paying.
10 household expenses I resent paying for
Unless your roof is leaking, sagging or growing vegetation, you don’t notice a new roof. Of course, it offers a lot of value and is important, but it’s a huge expense that nobody notices. Your life is no different – no convenience factor. Your house doesn’t look any better. It’s just one of those huge expenses that’s necessary but seems a waste of money.
Plumbing is like a new roof – you don’t notice it yet it’s very important. Of course, if your toilet is overflowing, you’re happy to pay to stop it, but for big plumbing infrastructure jobs, the cost is high while the discernable benefits are negligible. Nobody likes paying big bucks for plumbing – all of which goes totally unnoticed.
Window cleaning is one of those big jobs most people can do on their own, but seldom get around to it. Enter window cleaning services. Eventually, windows get so dirty you break down and hire a service. However, while the service is doing their thing, you’re thinking how much will this cost… I really should have done it myself.” Any time you’re repeatedly thinking “I could do this myself” it’s not a fun expense.
I know, I know – taxes are important. Municipalities need money to operate. I get that, but that doesn’t mean I like paying property taxes. Fortunately, where we live, property taxes aren’t exorbitant like some places. It’s reasonable… although property values have gone up a lot which means so too have the taxes which are based on property values.
Property taxes are a hidden tax you never think about but adds up. These days it seems everything is taxed extensively, which is at the heart of my beef with yet another tax to pay.
Can you believe we had a landline telephone up until 1 year ago. My wife and I have had cell phones for years, yet continued paying for a landline. One day we realized what a waste of $35 per month it was. The reason we did have it is our cell phones didn’t work all that well in our previous house… but that was 3 year prior. We blindly paid the $35 per month for years totally unnecessarily.
The thing I don’t like about buying new appliances is they aren’t really much better than previous versions. Sure, there are smart appliances and new models might have a some advantages, but for the money, they don’t really offer anything more than previous appliances. For example, recently our fridge died. Other than no longer working, we were perfectly happy with that fridge. Our new fridge isn’t much better except that it works.
In other words, if new appliances offered all the new features that new tech gadgets seem to offer each year, buying a new appliance could be exciting… but it’s not the case and so appliances make my “resentment” list.
I loathe, absolutely loathe paying banking fees of any kind. They aren’t high, but the idea of paying so that banks can use our money to make money rubs me the wrong way. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I like my accountants very much. They’re super helpful, capable and friendly. It’s not them that bothers me. It’s the tax code that is so ridiculously complicated that we need to hire accountants in the first place. It drives me nuts. There has to be a better way. Basically, we have to pay money in order to figure out how much money we owe.
Actually, I don’t mind buying batteries. What bothers me is that a lot of toys requiring batteries don’t come with batteries. Talk about a potential child meltdown. They open a battery-powered toy they’ve waited all year to get only to find out they can’t use it because batteries are not included. This is why I always buy a pack of batteries at the cashier when in a store. I’m paranoid of running out of them. When you need them, you need them.
10 household expenses I have no problem paying for
What is about some expenses, even if costly, that I don’t mind about them?
It’s easy. They usually either entertain me and my family and/or offer a convenience factor. I’m happy to pay for entertainment and convenience. One exception is electrical – that’s an expense I’m happy to pay dearly for because it’s a safety issue. Faulty electrical work can have catastrophic consequences so I don’t ever skimp on those costs.
When our second son was an infant (our first son was 3), we splurged for grocery delivery for a couple of years. I was working and crazy sleep schedules made it easier to pay the $8 delivery fee to have the lion’s share of groceries delivered weekly. This was a huge convenience service for us that helped tremendously.
Interestingly, once our second son turned 2, he enjoyed grocery stores so it became an outing. That was the end of grocery delivery… but it’s a great service I’m happy to pay for when needed.
Who can begrudge paying for heat? Not me. I especially appreciate it after skiing or being out in the cold for any length of time. I’m also grateful we have such easy access to heat in our homes. Of course, there is a limit to how much we can pay and are cognizant of that, but so far, it’s a manageable amount.
Likewise, air conditioners and accompanying costs are worth every dollar. Our house faces south. Our kids’ bedrooms face south upstairs. Those rooms become ovens. They’d never sleep well without AC. I’m more than happy to drop a few hundred for good air conditioning units for a few rooms in the house to keep us cool and sleeping well during the 3 to 6 weeks of heat we get each summer.
Let’s put it this way. The cost per hour of entertainment we get from internet and Netflix is ridiculously good. I bet you can say the same. We watch about 1 to 2 hours of Netflix per day and use the internet for all kinds of things. When all that usage is added up, the entertainment cost per hour simply cannot be beat.
Since our kids are getting a bit older (7 and 3) we started getting rid of a lot of junk that was piling up in our house. We spent a weekend cleaning house – old, useless, broken furniture and other junk created a huge disposal pile in our garage. My wife called JustJunk.com who came same day, loaded it all up in 20 minutes and were gone. It was a brilliant service that cost less than $200. It would have been a huge hassle for use to dispose of it all on our own. They even took a massive pile of cardboard boxes that had been piling up saving me 2 hours from cutting it up for recycling.
I don’t mind mowing the lawn. What I mind is that it has to be done weekly. I’m not good with stringent schedules. If left to me, I’d get around to it every 3 weeks, meanwhile, our lawn would turn into a meadow.
Lawncare services have commercial-grade equipment and mow our lawn in minutes… that would take me nearly an hour to do. For us, with young kids that require much of our time, lawncare services are a huge convenience.
You might think paying for electrical repairs and services is like plumbing so how can it be in my “like” list? It comes down to the risk factor. Faulty plumbing may ruin a part of the house (which can be repaired) but electrical problems can burn down the house risking our lives. That means I’m more than happy to pay for any electrical work that needs doing to ensure our house is safe.
When I used to buy music CDs I thought wouldn’t it be cool if there was some way to be able to pick any song you want at any time and listen to it on some kind of device. I’m serious, I actually thought that.
Fast forward 20 years and that capability is possible with music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. We subscribe to both (long story) and love it. For less than the price of a CD, our entire family can listen to pretty much any song any time as much as we want. It’s brilliant.
I’m a big believer in insurance. I’m a minority in this respect. Many people only buy insurance that the law requires them to have such as auto insurance. I see it differently. I see it as paying a relatively small fee to avoid catastrophic losses. The premiums won’t bankrupt me, but a big loss could have disastrous financial consequences on me and my family. For that reason, I usually get the most coverage I can and am happy to do so.
I like electricity to heat. Frankly, I’m amazed how inexpensive electricity is given all the benefits and how much we use it. It even powers cars now. You learn really quickly just how much you value electricity when the power goes out for the night.