Friday, April 29, 2011

Gas Prices Put the Crunch on My Cleaning Business~Worried~

Afternoon everyone...I hope that this day finds you enjoying some Sunshine in your life!

The Picture above is my Good Friend Rich's house on Kelley's Island I have been cleaning this house now for 9 years even before Rich bought it. In fact this is the second house cleaning job I had on the Island. Monday night Jason called and ask if I was available to clean it Sunday and I said yea sure... I need the money..
Today I am sitting at my desk looking at my cleaning schedule and finding that I may be forced to make some major changes in both my schedule and my charges per house. My primitive Creations is my hobby turned business and it does very well for istself providing me a nice income for 6 months out of the year with clear signs of doing well year round. It has grown years for about 5 years but it isn't enough to substain my debits year round yet. Which is much of the reason why I still clean houses on the Island the other six month out of the year. Of course the perks of cleaning are my Boating and all my dear Boater and Island Friends.

Why you ask am I sharing all of this... I guess I am sorta thinking out loud and venting my worries.

Funny how one simple thing like the price of gas can change peoples lives in such a dramatic way. We all drive and fill up our gas tanks it is just the American way it is as much a part of our lives as eating dinner every night.
That is until we find that it now cost double to fill up the gas tank.
That one simple change makes the difference in everything in our lives. We may or may not notice it right away and even think we can adjust to the added expense by cutting back someplace else wo it all averages out.
Sadly it doesn't work like that... because the sky rocketing gas prices affect every aspect of our lives.
Let me paint a picture for you that affects just me one day out of my life. I will start by saying that at this particular time money is more then tight this is tax time and slow time for Ebay so money is not really avaiable for me especially the added expense of filling up a 20 gallon gas tank.
Remember I told Jason I would Clean Cozy Corner Sunday.. was tickeled I would make about $50 after gas and food and $50 bucks extra sounded pretty good to me.
then I went to the gas station and gas prices had gone from $3.69 a gallon to $4.30 a gallon.
So to fill up a 20 gallon gas tank it cost me close to $83 dollars.
I make $100 to clean that house and well you do the math... I would have made $17.00 that is of course if i don't eat anything while I am there.
I had to call Jason last night and tell him I simply could not justify driving 200 miles round trip, take the ferry across to make make $17 dollars.. could he find anyone else to clean Sunday. Imust have appologized 2 times for not being able to clean. This is my business and if I can't make my jobs then I will lose them.
Thank God it is Early Season and it was no problem finding someone who would clean for me...That will not be the case during full season...and worst of all I really don't like others cleaning my regulars they just do the job I would do and when I do return its like I have to do double time cleaning the areas they just forget to clean..

when I hung up I sat here wondering how much the gas prices are going to have on our summer rentals and will people be able to come to the Islands. How many will be forced to cancel there vacations because that one simple thing... rising cost of gas will affect there lives and where they must cut corners to make up the added expense.
With soring gas prices, we have soring Food prices to cover the cost of gas to grow them, process them and finally deliver them, then to keep them fresh in the stores.. Every one of those things are affected by the soring gas prices and it will afect every aspect of each and everyones lives...
Boaters will not be able to afford gas for there boats. Fishermen who rent our rentals will not be able to afford gas to go fishing for 7 days they are on the Island & they can't afford the added cost of eating out on the Island because gas prices forced the resurants to raise prices.... so they canel.
Then to top all of that off we have so many people who have lost jobs so those people might canel.
To go even a step further past working on the Island my EBay business suffers because the money customers spent on my Decor now goes in the gas tank and to pay for the added expenes of gas prices soring and forcing prices up on everything in our lives...

Not such a good picture I paint... and it has me really worried what my future holds for my two businesses..

Do I raise my cleaning cost? Is it practical? Will it force my customers to hire someone else? Possibly possibly not but do I take that chance by raising my charges to meet my needs? I don't know but I do know it is somthing I must think hard about and make a decesion soon.

Of course as I sit and ponder the cost of running the cleaning business I to must consider the cost of running the My Primitive Creations Ebay Business.. All of the same things affect that business as well. Raising prices on my gatherings suddenly puts many buyers out of my price range... Yet everything that makes up My creations from buying supplies to create them and ship them has risen x 2, Ebay fees have risen droping my profits to near nothing in just the pat 6 months all affected by added expenses of gas and job losses..

Wow...all that written down is even more scary then when it is just in my head and I really don't know just how to balance it all out without making things worse...Each day I pray that God will give me the right solutions to my situations. He has seen me threw many things I know he will see me threw this as well but in the mean time the bills keep coming. the sxpenes keep adding up and I'm not sure where I will stand form one day to the next.

I know that all of the same things affect each of you somehow too... what do you do when the crunch hits you.. would love to hear..

For now I am going to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and finish my flowerbeds...since the sun is shinning.
I'm going to try not to think about all of this while I soak up the sun and watch my flowerbeds come to life ..
Maybe after clearing my head a while I will see things in a different light.... so until we meet again have a wonderful day...
Hopefully your day is filled with warm Sunshine and happy moments!!



  1. We live in a tourist area and know what you speak of. I bet others are raising their prices - as long as you can stay competetive, you may have to raise like everyone else. Very hard situation, but it will get better as the season goes on - hang in there! ~*~Lisa

  2. Gas here in my part of Canada is $1.35 a litre which is $5.10 a gallon. YIKES!!! It sure makes me rethink every trip I make in the car. If it is not necessary, it is not happening. I am sorry you are feeling the pinch. It would not be unreasonable to raise your prices for cleaning. Is it possible to get a smaller more economical vehicle?? Also, have you thought about selling on Etsy? I believe it is free to list. That would save you some money.

    You are right to trust in God. He will provide for your needs and will direct your steps.

  3. Maybe change to an acceptable hourly rate?
    It is hard for everyone but you have talent and a service that people need. You have to try to keep your head above water--not a pun! People will pay or there will be other people. You should have offered your friend another price....He may have surprised you....

  4. Tonya, I'm so sorry you are being so much affected by this, but it's true, it just snowballs and one thing leads to another, our government doesn't do much to help out the small business owner, but yet you have to make a living:( I hope you find a solution soon dear friend and can keep both going for you ((HUGS))

  5. Tonya,
    Hang in there, just remember as you raise your prices most likely those rentals have went up as well and alot of people just dont give up on things they have done habitually! So Im praying it all breaks free for all of us soon . Gas here hit $4.19 today I almost cried , how is anyone making min wage ever gonna aford to go to work let alone pay childcare etc.. Be more efficient for everyone to live on welfare and stay home that way those of us who work ourselves silly can pay for every one lol Who Knows but all I can say is Keep the Faith , keep praying! Keep your chin up . hugs
    lil raggedy angie

  6. Tonya,
    I think you aren't alone. Everything is going up, you are right, I think people really have to stop and think about what they choose to spend on. It IS hard, but also know that our God is a big God, and nothing is too hard for him! We REALLY have to trust him, he will provide. Seek him and he will show you the path he has laid out. We all SHOULD be doing this every day.

  7. You have painted the picture in truth. I believe your thought to pray about it is the right place to start. After each trip to the store each week I see the added need to plant more food bearing plants. Just like every one else I end up paying more for the same items each week or pay the normal budget amount & leave with less on my list. Watching the news dose not help but just adds more worry. I have gotten to the point I don't want the kids to leave home. I really fear how they would make it on their own. Better for them to stay & help me & I help them. I really hope you get your answer fast. Prayer & Blessings!

  8. we've been seeing the signs for the last two years...dug up part of the backyard lawn and put a large garden in...all our trees are fruit trees, we put in berry bushes also and are thinking about chickens..this is in town too....I also hang out my wash to save energy. and we cut out cable TV..have an antenna and watch DVDs only.
    Last year we canned/ froze quarts and jars of good food which we've enjoyed. I am looking forward to doing it again this fall.
    God will and does provide..both our sons now have work too..
    Our business works on driving so that hasn't changed but we drive the family car now not the van as it eats gas...inflation will get worse before it gets better, believe me.....Have is scary, I know but God is in control....He will lead you....He did it for us and He can do it for you...

  9. I am worrying right here next to you too! My hubby is on disability and I work a part time job (3.75 hours a day)for minimum wage. Right now we are flooded in and I have not been able to get to work for a week. If I could, I would have to drive the long way around which would be almost an hour round trip every day.

    I try to cut back on everything. Make my own laundry and dish soap. No eating out. No unnecessary trips into town (when we can get into town). As soon as the grown dries up enough to till... I plan on a garden to help through the summer and hopefully can a little of it for winter.

    Unfortunately... I think its going to get worse before it starts getting better. Sending prayers.

    Debbie K

  10. Thanks everyone for sharing there thoughts. It can be so depressings sometimes but knowing that we have each other and can vent and share our prayers it seems to lighten the load..

    Hugs and Blessings to you all..

  11. I believe people will still do some things they normally do even with the high price of gas. We still need a vacation! And the cottages still need to be cleaned or people won't come back. I think it's o.k. to raise your prices to meet your needs. You can always lower them later and say your having a end of season sale.
    Good Luck to you and hope everything works out.
    Prim Blessings

  12. Tonya,
    It truly has become a scary world with all that is going on. We are putting a garden in this year for the first time and we have cut back on trips out. Like many of the comments I believe you should increase your price to recoup your expenses. Some people will do stay-cations but many will still do the things they love. Most have budget for it already this year. God always provides a way for those who believe in Him. He will guide you in your decissions.
    I think it's neat you have a pet blue jay.

    Stay positive and strong my prim friend.


I'm so Blessed that you stopped by & shared your thoughts with me today! Reading your comments always makes me Smile!