Money-Wasting Time-Savers

Conveniently Money-Wasting out of Convenience to Save Time

Think of your time as $24 a day.  But you can’t put your money in a bank (or a credit union if you’ve abandoned ship after feeling betrayed by $5 debit card fees!).  You get a $1 for each hour, and as that hour expires so does your $1 disappear.   Where will you invest your $1 a day?  The place where it brings the greatest return-whether that be financially, relationship, or into living a longer, healthy life?

With this reasoning in mind, we could temporarily agree that time is money.  Oddly enough, in order to save time, we spend money.  But do we sometimes do this hastily?  Without warrant?  Do we blow through cash like someone blows through McDonald’s–merely out of convenience?

Let’s talk about what areas we can improve in so we don’t blow money, or time, or life!

Fast Food

You certainly can feed a small army at KFC and Taco Bell for the right price.  And it is convenient.  If you fed a family of four three fast food meals a week you will quickly spend $75 or more. But if you stick to some chicken, fish, beef, veggies and another side you can cook this food in advance-cutting out multiple trips to the McNugget shop-and easily save at least a third on what you would spend.

Restaurants

I know when you’re tired and have nothing planned going to a steakhouse or getting a salad at your medium-end restaurant sounds nice and easy.  But is it really saving you time with the wait?  Negative.  And it’s definitely not going to save you in the pants (your wallet I mean).

Now for a big ticket item: Buying a Car

You might like pricey cars. We all have place for them in our hearts, right? You might like a sub-$25,000 car.  I like those as well.  But, as much as you can control, never buy whatever price range car you like, at the time you most need it.  Short of your car exploding in a Michael Bay film, you should be able to project when you NEED to sell your car.  Try to sell it a bit earlier before it goes ‘kaput’.

There are a couple ideal times of the year to buy a car-the best being the end of the model year. When I was 20 I loved Mustangs.  I didn’t like my grandma’s white, 1992 Mercury Topaz with the red interior. I hated being seen by young ladies in that car. I felt like they were looking at a criminal.  I couldn’t hide my shame-but I tempered it for months until the end of the model year.

I waited until Memorial Day weekend then struck with vengeance. The new Mustangs were filling lots and Ford really couldn’t afford to have the previous year’s brand new models on the lot.  I got a $21,500 car for $16,800.  $3000 factory rebate, $1,000 really rebate, and talked them down another $700.

Money-wasting: Paying too much for insurance

Have you researched other insurance companies lately?  If not, a company that may have once had higher rates may have dropped and you could be saving a lot of money for an extra date night each month if you did a little shopping around.

Once again, you may be saving time out of convenience, but if time is money you can save some time by doing some insurance research.

Not understanding your medical insurance

This is a pretty in depth subject.  While I was in college I worked for an HMO and talked to endless patients who didn’t understand what they were paying for.  It’s complicated.  But you don’t need a doctorate to understand how you can save.  Speak to your insurance provider and ask if they have a Patient Advocate that can help navigate the intricacies and nuances of your insurance and finances.

Paying fees for being late

Some people have a habit of paying a late fee here or there each month or quarter.  These may not seem like much but by the end of the year you may have raked up a few hundred dollars in late fees.  Paying to be late when we have the opportunity to be on time!  Make sure to sign up every bill account you can with autopay.  If that’s not an option, see if you bank has an autopay transaction system where the money can be wired-or even a check mailed (usually for a small fee).

Time is life and how you spend your time is how you spend your life. It may be nice to save some time out of convenience, but how much money did you have to earn to buy that convenience?

What are your thoughts on money-wasting time-savers? Are there any personal ones you’ve been able to get rid of? See you in the comments below!

About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.

Comments

  1. I can’t count how many times I’ve paid parking fees because I didn’t do a little research, either online or through friends, on how to find free or cheaper parking before heading out.

    • Todd Mayfield says

      John I fully agree. I rarely think ahead concerning your point! There’s usually parking up to 50% cheaper within 1/5 of a mile. Taking the extra research time, or at least drive time, certainly helps in that regard.

  2. My big one was car insurance! I didn’t realize how much I could save by just calling up a few companies for quotes. With one phone call I was able to save over $500 within a 6-month period. I was blown away. Todd, check out moneysavingpro.com, we have some other great ways to save money.

    • Hey Sabrina! I’m checking you guys out right now!

      Yep, you know what’s really bad? I just realized that I have been paying for an old gym membership since I moved from Texas. It has nearly the same name as my current gym–and I HAD called to cancel twice. Those swindlers were still charging me!!

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