As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

In-Home Photography Studio and Hiring a Maid Service

This article was written by in Frugality. 10 comments.

I’ve rearranged my dining room to function as a small photography studio. I haven’t had much time, but this metamorphosis should give me more opportunities to practice photography. Since this might involve people visiting my home, I finally stopped procrastinating and called a maid service. Upon some recommendations, I found a local office of They will be sending over a four-person team tomorrow, which also forces me to organize my living space a little bit more today.

The service is a little more expensive than I expected. After tomorrow, though, I’ll have a good indication of whether it will be worthwhile to have a regular cleaning schedule.

Part of the reason for my procrastination is the idea that I should be able to clean the apartment myself, but in reality, I just don’t do it well enough. I have no problem calling in the professionals — and paying for it — as long as they perform better than I would, save me time, and have an affordable service.

Here are some interesting articles I’ve enjoyed recently.

Four Expenses You Must Negotiate. This list by Miranda Marquit includes medical bills. This is one type of negotiation I have not tried — mostly because almost all of my medical bills are simply handled by my insurance company and I have had very few out-of-pocket expenses. The Health Care Blue Book allows people to search for the average price of any medical procedure in the local area, which might be able to help with negotiation the same way the Kelley Blue Book can often aid with car price negotiation.

Will Mac OS X Lion Kill Quicken 2007? Nickel points out that the newest version of the Apple computer operating system will prevent Mac users from running Quicken 2007, the last full version of Quicken for Mac. Quicken Essentials for Mac was released more recently, but the software is missing many features that many Quicken users have come to rely upon. Nickel is looking for replacement software to avoid working around the problem using Parallels, but I think he’ll be disappointed. Without Microsoft Money being developed, there is no serious alternative for those who use the deepest features of Quicken.

How Much Should You Spend on Self-Improvement? J.D. asks his readers this question. Self-improvement is an important piece of living a satisfied life. It is valuable to evaluate yourself and decide what needs to be changed to be the “ideal you.” I think most of self-improvement is based on gimmicky motivational programs. I will spend money for classes to improve my skills, like in photography, but I will not spend money for seminars to improve my sense of self or my productivity.

Here are some carnivals Consumerism Commentary participated in recently: Carnival of Personal Finance #297, Carnival of Personal Finance #298, Festival of Stocks Carnival of Money Stories #94, Totally Money Blog Carnival, Festival of Frugality, and Tax Carnival #82.

Updated January 9, 2018 and originally published March 7, 2011.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

I tend to negotiate on everything! Recently, I paid my portion of some dental work over two months. Some people would include a gym membership as self improvement. I think it a question of perceived value!

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 4hendricks

I need to read the Health Care Blue Book – thanks! We have horrible health insurance, thankfully we are healthy! All preventative care the insurance company must pay in full for.

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Anonymous

Thanks for mentioning the carnival!

Reply to this comment

avatar 4 Ceecee

There are a few companies out there that will negotiate your hospital bills for you and take a percentage of the $ they save you. Don’t have names but I have read about this several times.

Reply to this comment

avatar 5 Anonymous

Are there internet deals for maid services near you? I’d look into that more if you don’t like

Reply to this comment

avatar 6 Cejay

I work a 10 to 12 hour shift at work and with the fact that I have a 45 minute commute, I know not a lot, I have very little time to prepare meals and clean the house. My husband has suggested, strongly at times, that I get a house cleaner for one or two days a week. I flat out refuse since I am not working these long hours so that I can pay someone else to do a job I should. I will struggle through it somehow.

Reply to this comment

avatar 7 skylog

i don’t know how i feel about a maid service. i suppose b//c i am not really in a position to have/use one, it is hard for me to know how i feel. for starters, as others have stated, i would rather not pay someone for something i can/should be doing myself. now, getting past that fact, i am very particular about how things are cleaned, how i do things, and i simply do not know if i would be comfortable with someone other than myslef taking care of my cleaning needs.lastly, i am just not a huge fan of having “random” people in my home.

Reply to this comment

avatar 8 tigernicole86

A lot of the maid services out there are worth it. I’ve found that often, a one person crew is often pretty effective for what you pay. But as you said, you’ll have to figure out if the price is worth it once you’ve tried it.

Reply to this comment

avatar 9 gotr31

I think quality in maid service varies widely. The home we are in was “professionally cleaned” before we moved in and I had to clean grout and tile again because they didn’t do a very good job.

Reply to this comment

avatar 10 4hendricks

I hope your house keeper is working out for you – after returning from a trip with huge amounts of laundry, and the need to return to work immediately – I need to break down and hire help.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.