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February 27, 2022

Time to outsource your life?

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

The offshore shift of skilled workers has long been portrayed as the killer of good-paying North American jobs. 

But that’s not stopping any number of individuals from turning to a vast talent pool in India and elsewhere for jobs ranging from web design to math tutoring. Thing is, they're also outsourcing some surprisingly small tasks, including booking hotel rooms, finding a plumber and looking for lost luggage. 

Companies like GetFriday, Brickwork, and YourManInIndia seem to have hordes of people looking to do just about anything you can think of – as long as it’s legal. Bangalore-based TutorVista, for instance, provides unlimited online tutoring for $100 a month.

Language and cultural barriers can be a challenge, of course. If you’re looking for a deal but would still like to keep things closer to home, firms like Guru and CrowdSPRING offer workers both here and abroad.

Crowdsourcing sites like these allow you to post a project or task online so several people may bid for the work, often offering samples of what they’ve done before. You hire, supervise as necessary, and settle up only when satisfied. Guru, for instance, offers an escrow service in which you deposit the fee, where it’s held until the work is completed and you sign off on it.

If handing off chunks of to-do list scut work makes sense to you, it’s hard to argue with the pricing. Concierge service GetFriday offers pay-as-you-go and monthly plans, in increments of 10 or 15 minutes. The monthly plans start at $120 a month for 10 hours and volume pricing drops that down to as low as $8 an hour.

I wonder if they do garages?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...