Awhile back, Gretchen Rubin, projector of all things happy, listed 8 tips for how money can buy happiness. The entire list is a worthy read, but I wanted to emphasize number two and her suggestion that couples should use money to:

End marital conflict. If you’re constantly arguing about the unkempt lawn, or the moldering laundry, see if you can throw some money at the problem. Can you hire the teenager down the street to clean out the garage?

Better yet, can you hire a cleaning service to clean the entire house? You betcha. In an effort to save money a couple of years ago, we canceled our cleaners. Of course, this experiment lasted about 2 minutes before we started bickering about who was going to clean the toilets that weekend. We just couldn’t make what should be a simple act of frugality work.

I remember when I wrote about it, My Open Wallet left this comment, “I think for a couple, housekeeping can be an issue that is worth resolving via outside help– either a cleaning lady or a therapist!”

Truer words were never spoken. No therapy required. But since then, we’ve spent $160 each month to have the service show up twice. If I had my druthers, we’d spend the money for weekly visits, but Jeanine is convinced that we should be able to “spot-clean” on the off weeks. Um, yeah… that’s not happening.

A cleaning service is one “affordable luxury” that I’ve always felt was well deserved. I work hard at my job, one that requires quite a bit of travel and the last thing I want to do on my weekend is clean the house. Toss a baby into the mix and whammy… a spotless backsplash in the kitchen isn’t a priority on Saturday mornings.

In the book, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich writes about her then-current employer, the Merry Maids franchise owner and how he “learned to capitalize on housework-related spats by making follow-up calls on Saturdays between 9:00 and 11:00 AM – which is prime time for arguing over the fact that the house is a mess.”

I hear ya! Anne Gibbons, the cartoonist, illustrates it best for me, “Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I.” A cleaning service is money well spent. And in our household it does lead to happiness!

What about your money and marital bliss? Comments welcomed below.

Photo credit: stock.xchng.