Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time is Money

"Time is money."--I've been thinking about this statement a lot in the last couple days. Analyzing it and thinking it over and coming to some of my own conclusions about this simple, but profound and full of meaning statement. So, here I'll share with you a few of the thoughts I've been pondering.

Typically this is a statement meant to be used as a reason for not spending a lot of time to do something, even something that may save money, because as the sentence implies, time is as or more valuable then money. Which I don't disagree with necessarily. I've used it within that context before too. There are times when running an extra errand or spending too much time doing something that only has potential to save a few dollars, may not be the best use of times in those situations. Yet, I kind of feel that it's become part of our culture's way of justifying foolish spending, in the name of convenience. In that case, I disagree completely! here's where I've been taking this a different direction....what if we think about it from the perspective that spending some time "working" will equal money, whether it be through savings or an actual dollar(s) in your pocket. Okay, follow me for a few minutes...

Being a stay at home mom I obviously don't make a pay check, but I don't think that means I shouldn't have a responsibility to contribute to the family's financial situation. So for me it looks different then for working moms or working women. Since I don't make an "income", but I still want to make a difference in our budget, I work through savings. I'm not going to a job all day, which "frees up" some time (not that I'm sitting around doing nothing, but my schedule has some flexibility) for me in the day, and if I can use some of that time to do things that will save us money, I consider that a dollar I've earned. I guess the bottom line is that if I can spend some time doing something at home that will help us be better stewards of the income my husband brings home, I'm contributing by stretching his paycheck by not over-spending. 

So, a few easy examples of things I've done that have taken time (more so then the more "convenient" route), but have saved us a significant amount of money are: 
*Homemade baby food
*Getting children's items/clothes or household items at Garage Sales or Craigslist
*Making the soaps I posted about on here
*Clipped or printed coupons
*Taken time to look at unit prices and done price & product comparisons while shopping for household items or groceries
*Gardening and Canning
*Done research for free or inexpensive outings for our family
*Waited for things to go on clearance
*Gone to multiple locations to get the best price on items we needed (this is one of those situations where sometimes it isn't worth the running around, but it they are close enough to each other and the values are great, then it can be worth it)
*Mended, created, fixed or "face-lifted" items in order to not spend the money replacing them.
*Had garage sales and sold things on craigslist

So, time really IS money! Money in my pocket, money I've earned and contributed by not spending it foolishly. Money I'm able to use toward things that will better my family's financial situation. A little extra time spent can equal a WHOLE LOT of money, especially over time! :) What ideas do you have? How have you spent some time in order to save money? I love hearing your ideas too!

By the way, the garage sale update--the total was just about $150. It doesn't sound like a lot, but considering we didn't really have a ton of great items for sale, it's people paying us to get rid of stuff we don't want! :) So, in that case, it's a good chunk of cash AND it's 6 times our minimum payment on our smallest loan, which means we're that much closer to paying that one off. Exciting isn't it? 

AND...that doesn't include the nearly $200 worth of items listed on Craigslist and another $300-$400 worth of items were going to be listing on Ebay and/or Craiglist. Not only are we paying of debt we're freeing up a whole lot of space in our garage!! Woohoo!!


  1. Yay! Good job guys!
    And thanks for the encouragement/different way of looking at being a stay at home mom. Love that perspective! By the way, how are the soaps working out for you? I made dish detergent a few months ago but it didn't seem like it cleaned very well; in fact, we had to put the dishes through again or hand-wash them quite a few times. So maybe I need a new recipe??

  2. The only thing I remember from hs economics was that everything we do takes time away from something else. It makes sense whether if is our time or something else we could be doing. It's a cause and effect relationship so we really have to ask ourselves if what we are doing currently is worth what is lost.
    I save money by couponing, couponing, and couponing lately. And as far as recreation: groupon and livingsocial have helped a lot find good deals.
    What I could really use help with is buying groceries and knowing prices better. I buy cheap and don't spend a ton now, but I know I could do better. I think I need to slow down in the store and look at prices longer.

  3. @Sarah- I JUST ran out of dish soap yesterday, so today will be the first time I try the new soap. I'll let you know what I think. I've been using the laundry soap for while and for the most part it works well, but I'm still having some trouble with getting all the kids spots out. My mom suggested that I might need to clean the wash machine out, so I'm going to try that too. I got mine off of the Tipnut site I posted on here, so you can see what the differences are b/w our recipes.
    @Jessie-Yes, that makes sense and I get where the statement come from and I think it could be used in a lot of different contexts, like motivation to not waste time b/c you'd also be wasting money while doing nothing! ;) I like the way you posed the question, "is what I'm doing currently worth what is lost?" I think I'm going to use that as a way to evaluate my choices in several areas. Good thoughts!
    Also, I've been seeing the groupon thing, but I haven't tried it. I think I'll check it out. I've never heard of livingsocial, I'll have to look at that one too. Groceries is something I've had to work at learning how to shop better. I'm not great at using coupons b/c I haven't invested the time into figuring out how to make them work the best way (double coupon day, multiple coupons for the same item, using it when the items are already on sale, etc)--maybe that'll be part of our money makeover plan! :) Have you looked at unit prices (it's usually printed in a red orange box in the upper left corner, tells you how many cents the item costs/gram, oz, etc.) while shopping? Once I learned that trick, I usually go by that number unless it's just not good food! ;) We've also found local farmers that will sell natural meat in bulk-so it's a big upfront cost, but in the end it saves us a LOT by freezing it. For our money makeover I'm trying to reduce our grocery budget from $300/mo to $265/mo. We'll see how that goes! If you find any good tips feel me in!!

    Umm....I think you girls might have just started another couple blog posts! ;)

  4. Our daycare is farmers and I'm looking into buying one of their cows but we need a standing freezer...

  5. Chelsea, I completely agree with the "time is money" theory--When we bought our house last fall, we furnished almost the entire thing through Craigs List and E-Bay because Erik's flexible schedule allowed him to put the time into it (it's VERY time consuming!). We love our house, saved SO much money, AND made less impact on the environment by not buying new stuff to crowd it with. :)


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