£19,300 to do the household chores?

Many mums feel overworked and underpaid, and a new survey has found just how much we are underpaid by.

The average British family spends 56 hours every week doing household chores, according to the results of a survey conducted by Cornhill Direct Insurance. And the cost of that work, if we were paid at market rates to do it, amounts to an average of £19,300 per family, per year.

According to the survey, our most hated chore is ironing with four in ten saying that this is the job they dislike the most, but perhaps surprisingly, as a nation we prefer vacuuming to gardening. And fuelling the age old argument about who does the most around the house, 74% of the women reckon they alone contributed most to the household tasks but only 48% of their male partners agreed.

Commenting on the survey, personal finance expert Jasmine Birtles, “There is a huge hidden economy out there that is largely unacknowledged. Every time someone does the washing up, helps out a family member with a bit of babysitting, or picks up someone’s dirty socks from the bathroom floor – they’re contributing to their family’s household economy. If we didn’t do it we’d have to pay someone else to and by placing a monetary value on the work it’s possible to demonstrate more clearly how much work we all do for our families for free.”

The survey of 1000 families was carried out to mark the launch of a new e-book from Cornhill Direct which provides financial advice on how to manage the family budget. And using official wage data from the Office for National Statistics, it’s been possible to prove just how much all that free hard work is actually worth. Families with kids have the greatest load, carrying out an average of 73 hours of household tasks per week; that’s over 65% of waking hours spent on domestic jobs with an equivalent salary of £25,000 per year.

So that you can work out who is the most valuable member of your family, Cornhill Direct has created a household economy calculator. Cornhill Direct’s online marketing controller, Marie Doherty explains how it works, “We thought it would be fun to help people calculate the true value of all the domestic jobs they do. If you need some ammunition to get some other family members to pull their weight or if you just want to see how much all your hard work is worth, the calculator will reveal all.”

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