Have you ever dreamed of having your own personal assistant? Someone to do all the tasks and errands that bog you down. Well, they’re not just for millionaires and celebrities anymore. Anybody can hire one, thanks to new companies that are popping up that let you hire a “virtual assistant” who’ll do a wide range of tasks for you – all for the cost of about a restaurant meal.

Here’s how it works: You simply log onto a virtual assistant site, like Elance.com, oDesk.com or Zirtual.com. You can handpick an assistant, or one is assigned to you. Most assistants are college students, parents who want to work from home, and older people who are semi-retired. They could live halfway across the world – or in your same town!

You email them instructions for what you want done, like research new cellphone plans or schedule a doctor's appointment. When the assistant completes the task, they email you an update. The cost? About $8 an hour. Experts say that a lot of businesses have been using virtual assistants for a long time. But today, the trend is quickly becoming popular with average Joes!

For example, we read about one California couple that hired a virtual assistant to help organize their move into a new house. The virtual assistant hired movers, arranged for the utilities to be turned off in the old house and turned on in the new house, and scheduled home repairs. We also read about a new business owner who hired a virtual assistant to help him weed through the hundreds of emails he receives every day, schedule meetings and order birthday presents for friends and family.