Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frugal Principle #4: Time

Related to the concept of planning is the concept of time. It always amazes me how much the old adage is true, "time is money"! I've often found that time can be substituted for money and vice versa in many different instances. Whether to use your money or your time is a personal choice based on what is more important to you in a specific instance.

For instance, for the past six months I have been trying to substantially reduce our grocery bill. One of the main strategies that I've using to save money is to make a lot more of our food from scratch: everything from sandwich bread to waffles to snack mixes. Sometimes I feel like I spend all my time cooking, but it is worth it to me at this point in my life. Since I am a SAHM, I have the time do this, and it is a good activity to do with my daughter. If I were a working mom, my time at home might be more important than the money spent, and I might have more money to spend on prepared products. It's all about trade-offs.

Other ways that we've chosen to use our time instead of our money include: cutting our own grass, having a small garden, cutting my husband's hair, taking the longer way instead of the toll road (usually), and performing simple car maintenance. In some of these instances I'd much rather spend the time; for example, I really enjoy gardening. In other instances, I really wouldn't mind spending the money instead, but I make the sacrifice since we're trying to save everything we can right now. (e.g. When we have more money, I am buying the pre-washed bagged salad. I hate washing lettuce!)

I don't have much time this morning, but I hope that I've gotten you thinking about where you'd like to save time and where you'd like to save money!

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