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!