Should I buy a Roomba? Time Versus Money

I am faced with an internal dilemma.

I hate dirt and dust with a fiery burning passion. Nothing bothers me more then walking through my house only to have my socks become covered in crumbs, dirt, and worst of all, pet hair.

Unfortunately this hate is matched with my extreme dislike of vacuuming and sweeping. And with a household of two cats, a dog, and two sloppy humans, there is no shortage of dirt, pet fur, and kitty litter.

Now enters the Roomba. A device that promises clean floors with no work, that would wrangle up those evil dust bunnies and give me my floors back. The model I am most interested in is the iRobot Roomba 650, the most affordable model, specifically designed for pets.

You might be asking, why haven’t you bought this yet? Why haven’t you partaken in its promises of blissful cleanliness and a life free of cat fur rugs? I am stopped by the price tag, a whopping $325 for this little piece of heaven.

That is a lot, and it’s not that we can’t afford it, I just don’t know that I can handle the 1600% price increase from our current vacuum that was purchased for $20 bucks at a Target black friday sale.

As I get older, and as my time becomes more valuable, I often struggle with my frugality. As a naturally frugal person, I always have a voice in the back of my head saying… “SAVE THOSE KETCHUP PACKETS” or “SOCKS WITH HOLES ARE FINE.”

But I digress.

There is an entire side of the internet dedicated to people’s love of their personal robotic vacuums. People even go as far as to name them. Do I have enough love in my heart to fully embrace a new member of my family? Or am I over thinking this?

So I did what any other self respecting person who wants to justify a large purchase, I did some math.

First, the lifespan of the Roomba is typically 3-5 years. For this experiment, I am going to run this hypothetical roomba 5 days a week, while I am at work.

Over the course of 3 years there are 156 weeks, which breaks down to about 780 workdays.

Each day, it would spend about an hour and a half vacuuming. Over its life this vacuum gives me around 1,170 hours of dirt sucking.

Ultimately that breaks down to between $.17 to $.28 cents an hour depending on the life of the unit.

Damn.

Granted, I need to take this math with a grain of salt. For instance, I’ll have to eventually buy some replacement parts that will add around $20 a year. And there will be some additional time spent emptying the dust bin. But these minor things don’t take away from the time savings with a Roomba.

Knowing that my hourly rate as a web designer/developer starts at $75, this seems like no brainer. I think I am almost ready to embrace the robot overlords and welcome a Roomba into my life.

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