Outsource Your Life And Win Back Some Time

Money can't buy time...or can it?

What is your time worth? No matter how much money you make or what your lifestyle is, we find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day.

Sure we have different ideas of what is affordable, but how much would you spend to buy back more time in your busy day?

We explored a few services, designed to save you time and stress by throwing money at the problem.

But is it worth it? I decided to outsource my life for a week and see how much my extra time I could buy and how much it would cost me.

Image: Getty
Uber

After a long cold rainy day at work, I decided to splurge on an Uber.

The ride sharing app cost me $33.42 for a journey that took me 22 minutes.

My usual public transport journey, which includes catching the light rail and transferring to a train, would have cost me $6.45 and taken me 1 hour and 15  minutes door to door.

Image: Getty

Time Saved:  53 minutes

Extra Cost:  $26.97

Was It Worth It? Absolutely. Although I couldn't afford to splurge on this every day, the extra cash I spent was worth not shivering on a train platform waiting for my connection and then squishing into an overcrowded tin can.

Marley Spoon

This service provides meal kits delivered to your door. I chose the vegetarian box that provides three meals for two people for a cost of $69.90, which includes delivery.

The delivery boxes are insulated and designed to keep products fresh and chilled for a few hours.

All the meals come with a recipe card and smaller 'staple' items such as salt, oil or vinegar are sometimes required. You can see the meals up to four weeks in advance and can swap them around. You can also pause your delivery and there is no cancellation or joining fee.

The meals were quite simple to prepare and took roughly 20-30 minutes to prepare each night. I enjoyed them for the most part and found the portion sizes to be substantial.

Image: Getty

Time Saved: 45 minutes grocery shopping and the priceless answer to the never ending question “what's for dinner?”

Extra Cost:  $25 (approx)

Was It Worth It? It's hard to tell how much each box is worth as the contents vary each week. I did find all the ingredients to be good quality. It was a treat not having to decide what to eat for dinner and I always had leftovers for the next day. It is a great alternative to takeaway, it's healthier and creating a new meal from scratch gives you that satisfied 'grown up' feeling in the easiest way possible.

Hey You

This app is my favourite time saving service. For a tiny fee of around 20-50 cents extra per item, you are able to pre order your coffee and food from a variety of cafes.

The idea is that you won't have to queue up during the morning rush at the local cafe by pre-ordering your items a few minutes in advance. When your order is ready, you will get an alert so you can just swoop in, grab your order and be on your way.

I like to order mine as I step off the train. My credit card details are pre-loaded so no cash exchanges hands. By the time I have walked to the cafe, my order is ready and waiting for me on the counter. The only negative is the jealous looks you might get from people stuck in line waiting for their morning hit of java.

Image: Getty

Time Saved: 10 minutes

Extra Cost: 20 cents (approx)

Is It Worth It? YES YES YES! Not only does this app allow me to save a few precious minutes in the morning but best of all -- no human interaction until after my first sip of glorious caffeine.

Airtasker

This app is basically a temp agency for everything and anything you are willing to pay someone else to do. You post the task you want somebody to complete and the amount you are willing to pay someone to do it. Registered users will bid on the task and you choose who you think is best suited and agree on a final price.

Users have ratings and some even specialise in skills such as 'Ikea furniture assembler'.

Airtasker provides insurance and charges a variable service fee of between four and 20 percent of the assigned task price.

I used Airtasker to arrange someone to pick up a gift I had ordered from a boutique store that I couldn't get to in time. I offered $15 for somebody to pick up the gift and deliver it to my work, after a few offers i settled on a tasker who was willing to do it for $20.

Image: Getty

Time Saved: One hour

Extra Cost: $20

Is It Worth It? This saved me a lot of stress when i was on a deadline. In this case it was absolutely worth it. I can imagine each experience using this app being different based on the task you need done but it was a great time saver and i felt confident with all the features this app provides that the job would get done.

In Home Vet

My annual trip to the vet is usually a stressful event, not only for me but for my fur baby as well.

The minute my cat spots the dreaded cat carrier, she vanishes. When I finally catch her, the car ride to the vet is filled with desperate howls and by the time we arrive at the vet, my cat is so worked up she looks like a feral stray and I'm covered in scratches.

An in home vet can come to where your pet is the most comfortable and complete most basic procedures such as check-ups, vaccinations and dental cleanings.

The cost of an annual check-up and vaccinations was the same as i usually pay at the vet, I just paid an extra call out fee.

Image: Getty

Time Saved: Two Hours

Extra Cost: $99

Is It Worth It? If you have a pet at home who gets spooked by trips to the vet, I recommend giving this a shot. The whole process was simple and felt more personalised and less rushed than our usual vet visit.

Home Cleaning Service

I called a few local cleaning services and the standard price for a two hour basic clean was about $85.

Different cleaning services each had different definitions of a 'basic service' but most seem to cover vacuuming, wiping down the bathroom, kitchen, dusting and changing sheets in their most affordable packages.

What was accomplished by my hired cleaner would have easily taken me three or more hours but the cleaner worked at lightning speed and strangely, she didn't stop for a wine break like i usually do when cleaning.

Image: Getty

Time Saved: Three hours

Extra Cost: $85

Is It Worth It? I wish I could afford this luxury every week. Coming back from a lazy Sunday brunch to a spotless home was worth every cent and even though I could have easily done the job myself, there is nothing better than walking in to find your bed made, the bathroom sparkling and not a speck of dust to be found.

How much was my time worth?

During the week I spent an extra amount of $256.17 and I managed to save seven hours and 48 minutes.

When you consider that's almost a full work day, I think it was worth every cent.

READ MORE: Modern Parents Looking For More 'Me Time' Than Previous Generations

Contact the author: ncarroll@networkten.com.au