- A financial planner says money is a tool to help you live the life you want.
- One way to get the most out of it is to spend on services that save time, like hiring a tax accountant or a house cleaner.
- If you calculate the value of your time, you may save money overall.
As a financial planner, I like to think that I am fully responsible when it comes to managing my finances. I make sure I never spend more than I earn, keep track of all my expenses in a detailed spreadsheet, and avoid impulsive purchases as much as possible.
But just because I consider myself financially responsible doesn’t mean I skimp on everything.
I make smart decisions with my money and cut back on unnecessary purchases when I can. However, I also believe that money is a tool that gives you the freedom to be able to do whatever you want whenever you want.
I think the tools or services that can save you time are almost always worth the money.
4 services I’m happy to pay for
We spend much of our day doing “life management” – those everyday tasks like grocery shopping, cleaning, or paying bills. Some of these can be done without someone appointing you (like setting your bills to autopay), and others you usually can’t pass on to someone else (like going to the dentist for a check-up).
But for everything else, time-saving services can be used to reclaim some extra time in your day or reduce your never-ending to-do list.
Here are all the services I am currently using:
- Grocery delivery: I could spend hours browsing at a grocery store – so instead I simply fill up my online cart and pay for delivery. Not only do I save time (and the annoyance of having to carry heavy bags of groceries home); I also think I’m saving some money! Grocery shopping in person often leads to impulsive purchases for me, like the bag of candy in the checkout line.
- Laundry service: Once a week, I have a service bring my laundry and come back that day, washed and folded. Laundry is one of my least favorite chores and my NYC apartment doesn’t have a laundry, which means I have to bring it to the laundry and stay there while I wash it myself.
- accountant: I’ve used some sort of software every time I file my taxes, but last year I hired an accountant and I’m never going back. I simply submitted my documents and they did the rest.
- Apartment cleaner: I hire house cleaners to do a deeper cleaning of my apartment once a month – not only do I save time that I would have spent cleaning, but they do a much better job than I could.
Time saved can be money earned
Another reason to pay for time-saving services? I think you have to spend money to make money. I work freelance regularly, which means the more I work, the more money I can earn. Paying for services that save me time and effort means I’ll have more time to put into my work, earn the money I spend, and then some of it.
One of the ways I was able to really justify it was by knowing the value of my time. For example, let’s say I get paid $100 an hour for my freelance work, and it takes two hours to clean my house. By hiring cleaners that cost $100, I’m actually saving money, because I’m going to save $200 worth of my time.
Saving time with certain services also means avoiding the stress and headaches of doing this chore.
For example, I think hiring movers is always worth the money spent. It eliminates a lot of headaches and stress from movement, and makes general movement more enjoyable. I have more life satisfaction and general happiness while avoiding the tasks I need to do but don’t want to do – and I’m more than willing to pay for them. It helped me avoid exhaustion or general stress about everything I needed to do.
We only have so many hours in the day – and I would like to spend as much time as possible enjoying it.