Living life as a bachelor, I rarely vacuumed more than once about every other week. I was never very tidy (my family can attest to that), lived in a small apartment, didn’t have pets, and like to think I did a decent job of keeping crumbs off the floor. However, with a toddler who leaves a trail of destruction in the house and a dog that sheds endlessly, my life has been rearranged. Reluctantly, I heeded the excellent advice of my loving wife who proposed purchasing a time saving robo vacuum.
We named him R2 and he did not disappoint.
Questioning the status quo
Until my wife approached me, I hadn’t considered the idea of a time saving robo vacuum. I had this notion of a robo vacuum as an expensive novelty that I hadn’t reconsidered in years. However, in those years a few things have changed.
- I no longer lived in a small two bedroom house or apartment like I had over the past four years. Instead, my family is living in a four bedroom townhouse with a little over twice the space. This is a welcome change with a rambunctious toddler; it also means that there’s a lot more floor space to take care of.
- We have a rambunctious toddler. Less than a year ago she ate limited solid food and had limited opportunities to make a mess. Now she’s growing rapidly and thus eating constantly. Unfortunately we don’t yet understand how to keep rooms tidy. And if we don’t keep the house clean then my daughter will eat just about anything that falls to the floor. For this reason alone, we need to vacuum daily.
- Our family has disposable income. Back in college I had decent cash flow for a college kid thanks to the GI Bill’s generous housing allowance and an internship, but there’s no chance that I would have considered spending the money on a vacuum.
- Robo vacuums have improved from bumbling idiots to helpful sidekicks. Formerly I recall a time when a friend demonstrated their new vacuum. They excitedly turned on their new machine. Instead of traveling towards the debris on the ground, the robo vacuum veered towards their kitchen table and trapped itself beneath its legs. At that point I had no interest in robo vacuums but i caught wind of rumors. A few years later I heard rumors of improved pathfinding which sounded promising. Unfortunately the price tag was many hundreds of dollars. Now, budget robo vacuums do not cost hundreds of dollars; well reviewed models are available for under $200.
I’m not alone in these changes either.
Millennials are growing up
Millennials were born between the early 1980s to the late 90s which puts us between roughly 25-40 years old. For any of us not pulling a Van Wilder, we’ve likely at least a few years into our adult lives. Many are even in their 30s or *gasp* approaching middle age. The notion of millennials as a group of young 20 somethings eating avocado toast, delaying marriage, and blowing our money on rent is quickly becoming an outdated stereotype. This means a few things have changed in our lives
With all the talk over the last decade about avocado toast you’d think that hardly any Millennials would be buying houses. At the very least you might suspect that finish a close third behind Boomers and Gen X. Instead, the National Association of REALTORS latest report states that Millennials represent 43% of all homebuyers. Millennial home buyers could be purchasing homes to for a number of reasons including raising a family like myself. One thing that is certain is that they’ll have more house to clean.
Millennials have also been widely reported as the most educated generation in US history, a factor that has lead to higher incomes. While incomes would have been low through college, they’re likely to have increased as individuals establish themselves in their career and grow their skills. Earnings typically don’t peak until later decades like someone’s 40s or 50s.
With a highly educated demographic, it doesn’t come as a surprise to find out that the typical Millennial home buyer also has a six figure income. With that kind of purchasing power, a $180 vacuum purchase looks more attractive. Even without much income it’s still possible to get a vacuum for under $100 or even for free by taking advantage of credit card sign up bonuses or checking account bonuses. Worried about the impact to your credit score? See if your financial institution has a score calculator that lets you run hypothetical scenarios like opening a new line of credit to see the impact. You might be surprised by the result.
Time is money
With a six figure income, a person’s time is worth roughly $50/hour. At that rate, a robo vacuum pays for itself once it has saved you four hours of time that you would have otherwise spent cleaning. If we assume that it takes a half hour to vacuum a house and we vacuum only once a week, then the payback period isn’t measured in years but rather a single month!
Men, if you doubt the amount of time spent cleaning then check out this info from the BLS. Setting aside the household time spent preparing and cleaning up from meals as well as time spent outside on lawns and gardens, men spend 22 minutes and women 50 minutes per day on housework. If even 5% of an average adult’s time spent on housework time is saved using a robo vacuum, then the vacuum will have paid for itself in less than a year. Heck, maybe it can even reduce the housework gap between men and women.
There is no sense in spending hours of time each year vacuuming when you can press a button and have a robot do the same work for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself or hiring professional help. Vacuuming is not a chore your parents dole out or some badge of honor. How you clean your floors is irrelevant to your guests and I’ve never regretted the time back its given me.
My only regret is not purchasing a robo vacuum sooner.
Bottom line: A time saving robo vacuum is a must have for parents with young children or pets, especially as their living space increases. I Don’t know how I lived without it.Log in or Register to save this content for later.