Trying to Save Money? Concentrate on Time

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.

 

How did I discover “uber savings”?  I write a blog called beyondworklifebalance.com

 

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.

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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.

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4.14.12Miranda1143x4WEBMiranda 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
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Author: Average Joe

A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.

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15 Comments

  1. LOVE this! So often my friend time ends up being playdates…and I’M OKAY WITH THAT. Because it’s the stage of life I’m at and I can’t do it all. I need to start picking up stamps at the grocery store. It seems like I’m always out and then always have to go through the headache of putting the stroller together to get to the post office…when they’re open. Which is a huge pain.
    femmefrugality recently posted..Secrets to City LivingMy Profile

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    • Femmefrugality, you totally get it! No-one can do it all, so we have to pick and choose what’s most important. It makes me happy when I can find ways to multipurpose things I already do in ways that add a new dimension to both. Friend time ending being playdates sounds is a great way to have your friends part of your parenthood world.
      Miranda recently posted..Personal Branding and the Real YouMy Profile

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  2. I love this concept, Miranda, and try to implement it in my own life as well. I think the ultimate way of saving time and money is through dividend income. Getting to the point where you can live off of investment income is a long journey, though, but I think thinking in terms of how we can make efficient use of our time and money is a great starting point in reaching a lifestyle that suits the endless demands on both of them.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Everything I Want My Kids To Know About MoneyMy Profile

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    • Great that you are committed to teaching your kids early about saving both time and money. Dividend income is a great goal – although makes me think about Monopoly games and drawing one of those chance cards!

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  3. Great! Important to consider that money-saving activities may not be as effective as you think before you factor in time commitment.

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  4. My favorite way to save time is by biking to work, it actually takes the same or less time than the subway and it’s great exercise. I save on a gym membership and a subway pass!

    I recently did a post looking at the data from the American Time Use Survey, you’d be amazed at where the average person spends their time!!! Lots of room for improvement!

    http://wp.me/p3uHq6-2x
    GamingYourFinances recently posted..Frugal Personality TypesMy Profile

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  5. I have this post-it in front of my computer with the quote, Time is Money. Reminds me everyday to value my time. Way to go with the multitasking. No matter how small as long as it saves you time and money is a good saving method.
    KC @ genxfinance recently posted..Maximum 401k Contribution for 2013My Profile

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  6. Saving money is like dieting. The new infomercial looks so good. So easy. Mentally it works. But if a person focuses on the diet or putting every cent in savings – usually the stimulus dies before the target is reached.

    Looking at savings as a way to live and balance life is much more reasonable. Putting extra payments on high interest debt and paying them down one step at a time really adds up in the long run.

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  7. Great tips! I use many of these tips to save money and time in my own life! I love meeting up with my co-workers to bike to work, great exercise! Who needs a gym when you can bike to work everyday?

    Post a Reply

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