- A financial planner says money is a tool to help you live the life you want.
- One way to make the most of it is to spend on time-saving services, like hiring a tax accountant or a housekeeper.
- If you calculate what your time is worth, you might even save money overall.
As a financial planner, I like to think I’m pretty responsible when it comes to managing my finances. I make sure to never spend more than I earn, track all my expenses in a detailed spreadsheet, and avoid impulse buying whenever possible.
But just because I consider myself financially responsible doesn’t mean I skimp on everything.
I want to make smart decisions with my money and reduce unnecessary purchases when you can. However, I also believe that money is a tool that gives you the freedom to be able to do what you want, when you want.
I think tools or services that can save you time are almost always worth it.
4 services I’m happy to pay for
Much of our day is spent on “life management” – those daily tasks like grocery shopping, cleaning, or paying bills. Some of these actions can be done without hiring someone (like paying your bills on autopay), and some you usually can’t pass on to someone else (like going to the dentist for a checkup). ).
But for everything else, time-saving services can be used to shave a little more time out of your day or whittle down your endless to-do list.
Here are all the services I currently use:
- Shopping delivery: I could spend hours browsing a grocery store — so instead, I just fill my cart online and pay to have it delivered. Not only do I save time (and the annoyance of having to carry my heavy grocery bags home); I also believe that I save money! Shopping in person often leads me to impulse purchases, like that bag of candy in the queue.
- Laundry service: Once a week, I have a service that picks up my laundry and returns it that day, washed and folded. Laundry is one of my least favorite chores, and my apartment in New York doesn’t have laundry detergent, which means I’d have to take it to a laundromat and stay there while I wash it myself.
- Accounting: I’ve used some kind of software every time I filed my taxes, but last year I hired an accountant and I’m never going back. I just sent my documents and they took care of the rest.
- Apartment cleaner: I hire housekeepers to do a deep cleaning of my apartment about once a month – not only do I save time I would have spent cleaning, but they do a much better job than I ever could .
Time saved can be money saved
Another reason I pay for time-saving services? I think you have to spend money to make money. I am regularly self-employed, which means that 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 spend on my business, which will earn me the money spent, and more.
One way I’ve been able to really rationalize this is to determine the value of my time. For example, let’s say I charge $100 an hour for my freelance work and it takes me two hours to clean my house. By hiring cleaners that cost $100, I actually save money, since I will save $200 of my time.
Saving time with certain services also means avoiding the emotional stress and headaches associated with this chore.
For example, I think hiring movers is always worth the money spent. This removes much of the headache and stress associated with moving, and makes the overall move much more enjoyable. I get more life satisfaction and overall happiness from avoiding tasks I need to do but don’t want to do – and I’m more than willing to pay for it. It has helped me avoid burnout or general stress about everything I have to do.
We only have a limited number of hours in the day – and I would like to spend as much time as possible enjoying it.