Does Paying for Convenience Pay Off?

My Post (2) copyThe older I get the more I value my time. Not only how I am spending my time, but how I choose not to spend my time. There are lots of things I would outsource to professionals if it means not having to do them myself. Unfortunately, the money tree in my backyard hasn’t started blooming dollars bills yet, so until then, I will have to pick and choose which services I utilize out of convenience. When we talk about paying for convenience, we are talking about services you could do yourself, but instead pay someone else to do – out of convenience.

In the busy world we live in today, there are TONS of services offered that provide convenience for a fee. Some of the common ones that come to mind are housekeeping services, yard maintenance or food delivery services, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. But there are so many more ways this concept can be applied. When you buy pre-cut fruit at the grocery store instead of buying whole fruit and slicing yourself, you are paying for the convenience of not having to chop that fruit. 

Paying for convenience is completely fine, and if it gives you the time to do what you want with your life, then I’m all for it – as long as it fits in your budget. If you haven’t planned for it, this can be one way to kill your budget in a hurry. Delivery services in particular is something that people often don’t budget for, but can add up quickly. 

Some services are easy to budget for. I want to get my car vacuumed once a month, I want my house cleaned every other week and my lawn mowed once a week. I’ve even seen services like tailoring turned into a convenience service where the tailor will come to you. If you really hate dragging all your clothes to the tailor, or you have a job that keeps you occupied during the tailor’s business hours, then this might be a good option for you, just make sure to pop it in your budget, convenience fees included. 

Not everything is so easy to plan for, and that’s where things can go wrong. Think about the last time you ordered takeout, and decided to have it delivered. How much extra was the delivery fee? Some places will charge a flat delivery rate, which could be $5, $10 or even $15 dollars, regardless of what you order. Third party delivery services will charge a number of fees which can make it hard to see the real cost, but it can vary depending on a number of factors. In either case, you could end up paying a lot more for that meal than you planned.

Try and think about the ways you pay for convenience in your life and check whether you have them factored into your budget. If you do, that’s great! If you don’t, it’s time to add them, which might mean reevaluating some things. If it’s important to you, then find room in the budget for it. If it’s not, then maybe it makes sense to find the time in your schedule to do the task yourself.