This Is the 1 Luxury I Refuse to Give Up in 2022

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  • This year, I'm pledging to cut back on certain non-essential expenses, like takeout.
  • But there's one indulgence I refuse to deprive myself of.

There's one non-essential expense in my budget I won't compromise on.

The start of a new year is a popular time to make resolutions, and for many Americans, a common resolution is to spend less. That's something my family has certainly discussed. Though we added a nice amount of money to our savings account last year, we've also acknowledged we could've done better had we spent a little more judiciously. My husband and I recently sat down to talk about the expenses we would and wouldn't cut.

We instantly agreed we probably spend too much money on takeout and should scale back a little -- not just for the sake of our wallets, but for the sake of our health since, let's face it, takeout isn't always the most nutritious. We also agreed that while we won't be canceling our various streaming services for the winter, since that's when we're likely to be stuck at home, we'd look at canceling some in the spring, when we don't need as much indoor entertainment.

But there's one expense in my budget I wasn't even willing to talk about giving up. It's a luxury that not only makes my life easier, but actually helps me earn more money.

I won't give up my house cleaner

Having three school-aged kids means I'm constantly vacuuming my kitchen, wiping down countertops, and picking up messes. But all of the hard core cleaning that needs to get done around here is reserved for my house cleaner.

The woman who cleans my home comes every two weeks, and she spends roughly six hours scrubbing our tubs and showers, washing our floors, dusting those hard-to-reach corners, and tackling a host of other tasks my house sorely needs. Since it takes her six hours to do the work and she's efficient at what she does, by my estimates, it would take me and my husband eight hours, or four hours each, to do that work instead.

And that's not time I want to give up -- especially not for an unpleasant task like cleaning. My house cleaner is worth every penny -- and so I'd be willing to cut all of my other luxuries before taking on that job myself.

Now you may be thinking, "Man, this woman is spoiled. Four hours of cleaning every two weeks isn't such a big deal." And on the one hand, it's not.

On the other hand, I have a pretty jam-packed schedule that often leaves me with little downtime. I work full-time -- sometimes well more than 40 hours a week -- and I have a household to maintain. I also do laundry almost every other day and spend hours each week cooking and shopping for food.

During busy periods at work or in life, I sometimes don't have four spare hours every two weeks to tackle cleaning. And because that service fits into my budget right now, I see no reason to give it up.

Furthermore, as a self-employed writer, the less time I spend at my desk, the less I earn. If, instead of cleaning my home for four hours, I sit and work instead, I can easily make up the money my house cleaner costs me. Financially speaking, keeping her on makes sense.

It's all about priorities

Saving money is important to me, and I'm willing to make some sacrifices to boost my cash reserves. But I'm not willing to give up a reasonable luxury I can afford to save a few extra hundred dollars a month.

If you're hoping to boost your savings and need to cut back on non-essential spending to make that happen, think about the things that are most important to you and set priorities. You may have to cut back in certain spending categories to meet your goals. But if there's one specific thing that means a lot to you or makes your life easier, do what you can to avoid having to give it up.

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