We're not just too posh to parent - we need staff for everything

Sarah Coles
Smiling woman putting leaves garden cleaning gardening housework bucket
Smiling woman putting leaves garden cleaning gardening housework bucket

The Too Posh to Parent programme had viewers up in arms. How can people possibly need to pay someone to teach their child to use the toilet or play with Lego? Yet at the same time, the rest of us have been slowly building up a small army of domestic staff. We are paying people do more around the home than we have for years.

A new study by Direct Line Select Premier Insurance found that almost third of us get someone in to help out around the house. Window cleaning is the job we're most likely to outsource - with almost a fifth of people getting a professional in for the job. This is followed by gardening and decorating - both at 8%, and cleaning at 7%.

It's hardly surprising: with almost 3.5 million of us working 48 hours a week, few people want to spend every second of their time off scrubbing the skirting boards or hacking back the shrubbery.

However, we're paying a small fortune for this help. Unsurprisingly those who hire someone to help with childcare spend the most - at £63.26 a week. However, a number of other jobs are far more expensive than you might think.

Getting help with food shopping costs £44.51 a week, dog walking costs £32.75 a week, cooking £30.50 a week, decorating £27.03 a week and ironing 27.01 a week. Cleaning the house comes in at £23.52 a week.

Those who buy in every one of the top ten most common types of household help will end up paying more than £1,200 a month for it. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the areas with the highest incomes are those where people are most likely to be able to afford the help.

London residents are the most likely to source additional home help (43%) compared to people in the East Midlands and South West where people are least likely to pay for help (both 23%).

Can you make cash?

While for a large number of people, household help is a massive drain on their income, for others it can be a great way to earn some extra cash. For those who are looking for an extra income, or are planning some work in retirement, the demand for household help is an enormous opportunity.

If, for example, you have gardening skills, almost one in ten people are looking for your help. If you're a dab hand in the kitchen, 3% of the population would love you to come and make tea for them and their family, and if you're prepared to go around the supermarket for someone else, apparently 4% of people could use your services.

You don't particularly need enormous skills either to make some cash. The study showed that people spend as much each week on ironing as they do on decorating, and more on getting someone to do their food shopping than cooking the food when they get it home.

But what do you think? Are you spending a small fortune on help, or could this be your money-spinning future? Let us know in the comments.