Editor’s note: Hey, kids! We’re handing the spotlight to my good friend Miranda for today’s post. Check out her site for more about people struggling with the broken concept of work-life balance. – Joe
The best money savings tips are the ones that save you money. Clearly.
But since time is money, a tip that saves you both, is like a double expresso.Sort of like an “uber savings” tip.
As a full time working professional, a mom to one, stepmother to three, framing my life in terms of achieving balance is absolutely NOT useful. I’m not a trapeze artist balancing work and life, on a wire, ready to be free falling, with a mere puff of wind.
I started to think about work and life in a more integrated way, and finding the complementarity in the things I do.
Here’s how this works:
Suppose I want to spend an hour exercising, and an hour catching up with a friend, and I have a toddler to take care of. Instead of scheduling an hour at the gym, and then another hour at Starbucks with said friend, and then having to find a sitter to take care of the toddler, while at the gym and maybe at Starbucks too, I find another solution.
I take the jogging stroller, put my son in it, and meet my friend for a jog around the block. I save time driving to and from the gym. I save money by not having a gym membership. I save money by not hiring a sitter. And as much as I like those double lattes at Starbucks, I save money there too. And since we’re running, theoretically, I don’t need the caffeine jolt to get going.
Here are a few others:
1. Walk two miles to work. Save money and time by not having to go to the gym. Save money on gas and on parking. Oh, and lower the carbon footprint, too.
2. Double up dinner recipes and freeze. Save time since I don’t have to do get all the ingredients out and cook again. Pack my lunch for the next day and save money by not hitting the cafeteria. And maybe get a second dinner from the freezer on a night when the Little League baseball game goes into extra innings after a rain delay.
3. When I buy groceries, I use my debit card to get weekly cash and buy a book of stamps at the same time, I save money on those naughty little ATM fees, and save time by not having to go to the post office.You get the idea.Some people will say, “isn’t this just multitasking?” I say no. I say it is finding out how these small, and sometimes, not so small, ways of saving money and time and can be complements of each other. It opens up a new dimension beyond just saving and beyond just work life balance.
What techniques do you use to save time? Let’s share some more money-saving ideas in the comments.
Miranda Daniloff is a wife, mother to one and stepmother to three, university senior manager, a daughter, sister and sister-in law, friend, creative writer, former radio and television producer, who loves to read, run and cook. She started beyondworklifebalance.com to find a better way to integrate work and life. The idea of balance just stressed her out.
Photos: Strollers, Sergie Melki; Miranda, Martha Stewart
Author: Average Joe
A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.