Time v. Money

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I only shop at Target.  There’s a good reason.  Besides anything not at Target isn’t worth buying.

Life is all about balance.  Give and take.  Work and play.  Time and money.

This time last year I was all about the Benjamins.  Because I didn’t have many of them.  So if there was something I could do/make myself, I did.  Because I had time to spare, but not so much money.

Now as a full-time working mom, my perspective is a little different.  Because time is scarce, folks.

But it’s not like I’m rolling around naked in a pile of green. 

So how do you find the balance between time and money?

The answer is going to be a little different for everyone.  For me, I like to look at it mathematically.  Because I’m kinda a math geek.

First you have to determine how much your time is worth, which can be a little tricky.

According to my rough calculations, you’ll end up paying a childcare provider about $10/hour.  But I haven’t found anyone that will clean my house for less than $20/hour.  (What does that say about our priorities?) 

I don’t think it’s really fair to count the million other things that we do around the house because everyone has to do those things like pay bills, cook meals, and wash laundry.  Even though not everyone may do it particularly well.  But let’s not get too geeky and just split the difference and say my time is worth $15/hour.

So, for me to put forth the necessary effort to save some cash, it has to save me at least what my time is worth. 

For example, clipping coupons for 15 minutes has to save me at least $3.75.  Which most of the time it doesn’t.  So I don’t clip coupons very often.

But making laundry soap only takes about 10 active minutes and it saves me at least $5 per month.  That’s a $2.50 profit.

However, running to three stores every week to get the best deals?  That can take hours with a toddler in tow, so that better save me a ton of cash.  Especially once you add in the pain and suffering surcharge.

Oh, I didn’t mention that?  There are some chores I absolutely detest doing and I am totally willing to pay an upcharge to avoid said chore.  Which is why I am assuming you have to pay someone so much to clean your toilet.  Ew.

But that goes both ways.  If there is something that I enjoy doing, like cooking from scratch, it is worth the time and energy.  Even if it doesn’t save me a dime.

So that would be why I only shop at Target.  Because while I’d love to save $10 by buying my husband’s work khakis at Dollar General, it’s not worth the three separate trips to the store to actually find a pair that is sized correctly.

How do you decide which money saving measures are worth the effort?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

5 Responses to Time v. Money

  1. um, I actually suck at budgeting…
    but I totally agree with you about the time thing…I can’t go to a million different stores in a week…I try to stock up what’s on sale and use coupons, though I suck at couponing..

  2. Kelly says:

    I’m a big Target shopper as well – I love that they have a grocery section with a good selection of meats – veggies – and fruit… I do clip coupons and use them at Target from the Sunday paper and I use my Target card and save 5% off my purchase – I pay the bill each month and I avoid any fees… I also like to eat out – I purchase the Entertainment book each year – the free stuff alone saves me almost the purchase price -it’s definitely a great coupon book – you just have to remember you have it…lol
    I’ve Become My Mother

    • Jen says:

      That’s what happens to us. We always forget the coupon book at home.

      And our Target is finally getting food! I’m excited to see the what the prices will be like. I doubt it will change my grocery routine, but it will be a nice alternative to have on occasion.

  3. […] Productivity:  The Grocery Game and  Time v Money […]

  4. […] to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!I am all about saving money.  But when you’re busy, sometimes you have to draw the line at what you are willing to do to save a buck.  So here’s a list of seven things you can do in 15 minutes (or less) that will save you $15 […]