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Why millennials shouldn’t feel guilty about hiring a cleaner

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Susan Devaney
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According to a recent study, millennials in London are spending more money on cleaners than saving for a house deposit. But there’s no shame in it. 

Millennials don’t have a reputation as a hard-working generation. If recent headlines were to be believed, not only are we ‘lazy’, but the reason we can’t get on the property ladder is because we’re spending all of our hard earned cash on… avocados and sandwiches.

Now, our money habits are being scrutinised once again. According to a recent study by the app Airtasker, 16% of under 35s hire a cleaner in London, compared to 9% of people in older age groups. Basically, we can’t get on the property ladder because that’s how we’re choosing to fritter away our money.

Of course, Airtasker, an outsourcing company for everyday tasks (such as cleaners), found the study to be fairly positive.

“If you’re time poor, getting a cleaner isn’t unnecessarily indulgent. It’s an efficient way to make the most of your own time, which can then be used elsewhere to work towards achieving professional and personal goals,” Lucas London, Airtasker’s general manager told the Evening Standard.

However, they also found Londoners to be the laziest people in the UK, and the capital city to be the most “time-poor” part of the country.

They concluded: “Attitudes towards outsourcing everyday tasks are changing and it’s no longer considered ‘lazy’ to streamline your lifestyle to make the most of your time”.

But millennials are entitled to hire cleaners. In 2018 we shouldn’t feel any social guilt about doing so. I should know: I’ve never lived in a house share without one. And millennials are not alone, as one in three households across the UK now hire domestic help, too.  

Having a cleaner when you have several housemates is a financial savvy idea

It makes perfect sense. We work longer days than previous generations and our European counterparts, spending an average of 42 hours in the office per week. We’re a generation who drink and smoke less than our predecessors, and we’re hell-bent on devising a way to strike a better work-life balance than our parents ever did. Doesn’t hiring a cleaner help us achieve that goal?

Still feel guilty? Imagine the number of arguments that would inevitably ensue about who’s turn it is to clean without domestic help. As a generation who are either living at home longer, living with siblings to get on the property ladder or flat sharing with friends, a cleaner benefits our relationships in more ways than one.

But when we really get down to it, hiring a cleaner is providing someone with an income – or in some cases a second income when you’re living off a zero-hours contract.

“I clean a school which takes a lot of time and energy - with just one person doing everything,” Kirsty*, a 25-year-old woman living in Essex, tells Stylist.co.uk.

“My other job is outsourced to me from a company in the nearest town. I do the work from home and felt like I needed something else. I get just over £9 an hour for three hours work a day for the cleaning, my other job is equivalent to that of a zero-hours contract so there’s no guarantee with it.”

Statistics show that people on zero-hours contracts are more likely to be young, part-time, women, or people full-time education.

Kirsty* took on the second job to increase her savings and learn new skills. 

“I wanted to learn to drive and afford a car as well as save up to buy a house with my boyfriend. We live two hours apart at the moment and want to close the gap between us soon,” she says.

According to recent research, the average UK salary is currently around £27,600 (£34,473 in London) and the average house deposit has been estimated at around £33,000 (or £106,577 in London).

“I’ve managed to save a couple of thousand pounds from this job, however most of the money has gone on driving lessons and subsequently a car,” Kirsty says, proving she’s a millenial who certainly isn’t frittering away her hard-earned money.

Go on, hire a cleaner. And don’t think twice about it.

Images: Getty / Unsplash 

*Names have been changed in this article to protect anonymity. 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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