Advising people how to spend their money is never an easy conversation, but I happen to be typing this from an airplane so bear with me…
One thing I will always INVEST (I use that word very intentionally) my money in are things that save me TIME.
Why? Because time is a finite resource and it goes by reeeeeeeeally fast (maybe you’ve noticed?).
This morning I flew out of the Denver airport. Signs for both North and South security said the lines were 20 minutes long. Thankfully, I invested in TSA Precheck a couple years ago and I was in security line for less than 5 minutes.
Yes, I don’t love the airport (I haven’t met many people who do), but when I signed up for TSA PreCheck, it was more because I knew it would save me TIME.
The first question I’d ask you: What’s your time worth? In other words, how do you value your time, per hour? $25? $50? $100? $500?
Got the answer? Good. Now consider:
Cost of TSA PreCheck: $85
TSA line: 5 min
Regular line: 20 min
Let’s say you take 2 roundtrips per year, or 4 flights per year…
Time savings = 15 mins per flight; or 1 hr total for the year.
Now, TSA PreCheck lasts 5 years so you’re actually not taking 4 flights; you’re taking 20 flights, which means you’re saving 5 hours total.
Assuming your time is more valuable than $17 per hour it makes sense, doesn’t it?
And what will I do with that extra 5 hours? I’m not sure…
Spend it with my girlfriend and her son? Walk the dog? Run a little longer? Sleep? Work? Listen to people talk about sports?
It doesn’t matter. But one thing is certain–I will not be spending it at the airport because I don’t ENJOY the airport.
For the record, I have no stock in TSA PreCheck and it really has nothing to do with this service in general.
It has to do with investing LESS time doing the things you DON’T enjoy and MORE time doing the things you DO enjoy.
Sometimes, a small financial investment allows you to do this. A few more examples:
- Meal delivery service
- Outsourcing non-essential tasks of your business
- Apps that make you more efficient & effective
- Dog walker
- Divided laundry hamper to separate lights / darks
- House cleaning service
- Car wash
The list can be endless.
And speaking of car washing–my girlfriend loves to wash and clean her own car. Good for her! I hate it 🙂 I’d MUCH rather pay someone $15-$20 to do it and save an hour of my day. That being said, I’ve never used a meal delivery service because I actually enjoy cooking. There’s something relaxing and therapeutic about it.
And that’s the point.
Time is precious and you never get it back. Invest it wisely. Invest it in things you ENJOY.