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Saving Time Won’t Save You Money

Last week, I asked you guys whether I was being cheap or being frugal by putting off the purchase of a new power adapter for my laptop. I got a variety of answers, but a lot of common opinions kept popping up. Notably, several people told me that buying a new adapter would save me time, and thus make me more productive, which would save me/earn me more money.

No offense guys, but… WRONG.

Saving time does not save you money. Extra time on your hands only saves/earns you money if that time is well spent. I’m a huge procrastinator and a master at finding distractions, so five extra minutes in my day doesn’t mean five more minutes of work – it means five minutes of mindlessly checking Facebook.

That isn’t to say that saving time can’t save you money – just that it probably won’t. Unless you have some sort of productivity system in place, that extra time will just get lumped into the rest of your day, and you probably won’t see any difference at all.

The same goes for money. Frugality, without some sort of greater plan for your money, won’t get you very far. Sure, you might save $1.10 by going to this gas station instead of that one, but unless you have some idea of what to do with that extra $1.10, it doesn’t really matter. The more money people have, the more they tend to spend. Have you ever noticed that money problems tend to follow people, even if they get a raise or a higher-paying job?

Money doesn’t solve money problems, a change in behavior does. More time doesn’t solve time management problems… a change in behavior does. Once you have a plan for your time and money, then you can worry on trying to find more of each to accelerate that plan.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some quality procrastinating to do!

5 responses to “Saving Time Won’t Save You Money”

  1. Traciatim

    In respect to the laptop adapter only, by not replacing it you’ll be sorry the day that you actually do need your laptop and can’t use it because the adapter won’t charge anymore since it’s been wiggled in to breaking permanently.

    Call replacing it your ‘risk mitigation strategy’. Since it’s probably just that the wire is old and only makes contact in a certain position, at some point it will probably catch at a certain angle and then the wires inside will never touch again.

  2. Connie Carpenter Macko

    Yup – makes sense to me! (just substitute GoogleReader for FaceBook and I’m right there with ya!) But what is the long term plan you decided on? Enquiring minds want to know!

  3. Aileen

    Hi, Stephanie! Just discovered your blog today, have very much enjoyed reading through it! Keep on being frugal, you’ll be richer (and have more fun!) than most.

  4. Tom

    Awesome point in changing your behavior. People just become so comfortable with their daily lifestyles, they don’t strive to make more money, they just find stupid small ways that save them $10-20. I don’t think anyone really puts a pricetag on their time and efforts.

    If people got up, took action, and made more money with their hobbies, etic, they wouldn’t have to worry about saving!

  5. Kristina

    Im not too sure if i agree with you – im kinda in the middle. I think it cost money to save time.