You throw some clothes in the washer, some dishes in the dish washer, and a meal in the microwave. While everything is going, you check your email and see that your mom sent a question about a computer problem.
Quickly, you answer her question, get your meal, eat it, and while the clothes and dish washer are operating, you get in your car and drive to the mall.
For many people, the above outlines a typical day for them, and it’s an extremely efficient use of time, but does this create spending inefficiencies?
Ordinarily, all of those tasks would have taken an entire day! There would have been absolutely no time to go shopping, but because of the freed up time, we now have the opportunity to spend money we wouldn’t have.
Additionally, some of those tasks would have cost far more money, but because of technological innovations and business they are now dirt cheap.
This efficiency has left us with a surplus of money, and time compared to how things used to be done.
Living More Efficiently
In this daily scenario, how we choose to live will dictate if our efficiency is a blessing or a burden. It’s interesting to think that you might be financially better off washing your clothes & dishes by hand, making your meal from scratch, and calling your mom back to answer her question and deviate into other conversations.
Of course, you don’t have to go to that extent. What would be better is the ability to recognize when you have available free time, and what you are doing during it.
A great tool to use is Mint.com, which allows you to easily see where your money is going. Try pulling a report for the year that shows all the stores you’ve spent your money at. It can be a real eye opener.
Are You Efficient or Inefficient?
How do you handle your available time compared to how things used to be done? Do you think you spend a lot more money as a result of having extra time, or do you think you handle your finances during your available time efficiently?
I know some people who spend every free moment on activities such as shopping, clubbing, bar hopping, partying, etc, and they all have one thing in common: they are flat broke, under numerous payments, and they always complain about how they don’t make enough money.
Do you find yourself in similar situations? If you are efficient, What tips might you offer to people in this situation?