Get paid to walk!

Today I have walked almost 10,000 steps today at my own pace and made money while doing it. Those 10,000 steps, or almost five miles of movement, were collected while insourcing domestic household chores.

Pedometer steps for the day

The Step to Dollars Experiment

These steps were accumulated solely while doing household chores; this morning I ran five loads of laundry washing over 100 items of clothing instead of sending them to the dry cleaner. And I made lunch instead of eating out. And then I cleaned the house instead of hiring a cleaning service. After that I raked the leaves in the yard on this crisp Washington DC day instead of hiring a lawn service. Finally, I made  a simple home improvement and other odds and ends (got the mail and so forth).

The Numbers

Let’s take a look at the domestic insourcing numbers for the day.

Activity Insourcing cost Outsourcing cost
Laundry $6 (electricity and water, amortized equipment) $500 ($5 a piece)
Lunch $3 (materials) $15 (take out, gas)
Lawn $.01 (cost of rake amortized) $25
Deep cleaning $5 (cost of materials and equipment amortized) $75
Home improvement $0 $112 (online estimate)
Gym membership $0 $60
Blood pressure medications $0 $100 (monthly cost, some of which insurance covers – but someone still pays for it)
Totals $14.01 $887

So I avoided $872 in expenses. And that means I avoided having to earn $1177 dollars before taxes and deductions. And all of this took only 9560 steps as reported on my trusty low cost Ozo fitness pedometer ($100 less than a fitbit for those wondering).

Did I actually get paid?

Using these numbers we can calculate that my pay rate was 12 cents per step ($1177/9650 steps). And all this wandering around took about five hours so my hourly pay rate was $235 an hour.

And while I didn’t actually get a check for doing the work I didn’t have to earn that money either. Once you understand how much of your labor is taxed, calculating the un-taxable work of insourcing the numbers are eye opening. All these things needed to happen – by me or someone I hired.

But wait there is more.

In addition to getting paid, I also got more than the recommended amount of moderate exercise in for the week. And apparently, walking can reduce mortality rates by 20% (although presumably not forever). *And* walking regularly reduces depression rates. That seems priceless to me. Still, we can measure it and mental illness can reduce income by up to $16,000 a year.

And form of mental illness can be somewhat alleviated by hauling laundry up and down some stairs once a week instead of sitting on the computer or watching the big game.

Fear not you can still do this Saturday morning and still watch the Nationals in the world series. Not on cable of course!

Go Nat! And Go You!

Get up and grab a rake or straighten up the living room before the big game. Every little bit helps conserve big funds for that next tuition bill and might even raise your income back at the office. Get paid to walk!

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