Since turning over a new financial leaf a couple of years ago, I am always looking for ways to save or earn money. However, there are some things that I just can’t bring myself to do even if it could put some more coin in my wallet. I’d like your opinion on whether I’m wasteful or smart. Let me know if I’m crazy to refuse to save money in these ways. .
Waiting in Line For Gas
In our town, the Kroger chain grocery store is always the cheapest place to buy gas. I shop there, so I usually have a discount on top of the pump price because of my customer points. That being said, there is always a line at the pump if you try to buy gas at the end of the work day. I try to go in the morning, but sometimes I can’t make it. I refuse to park my car behind someone pumping gas. I always choose the person has to go write a check at the window. Instead, I pay 3-5 cents more per gallon down the street, where there is never a line. Approximate cost per year: $10 Wasteful or Smart?
Since buying a rental property last year, we’ve been enjoying some extra income each month. We could have 10% more if we managed the property ourselves instead of using a property manager. Why don’t we do that? We’re lazy. The property manager does a quarterly inspection, and we just got our spring report. We needed to replace a broken window pane, tighten the dishwasher mounting, fix some cabinet handles, and figure out why the tenants have a sheet across the kitchen doorway (what?). It was so easy to just let the property manager go in and fix this stuff instead of finding a time when we might coordinate with the tenants to get it done. I hate being bothered with nit picky, little things. Approximate cost per year: $1080 Wasteful or Smart?
Shopping at Wal Mart
As I’ve mentioned before, one downside to living in a small town is the lack of stores. We have Wal Mart, a couple of chain grocery stores, and some dollar stores. Wal Mart is usually the best price on household products unless I can find the things we use on sale. While I often stock up when things are on sale, if I need something and it’s not discounted, I’ll pay more to buy it at the grocery instead of Wal Mart. I maybe go there every couple of months if I absolutely can’t find an item anywhere else, but I get in and out quickly. I have been using the pharmacy there because it’s cheaper, but I’m thinking about switching because I just can’t stand the lines and the apathy every time I go in. Heaven forbid I ask an associate for help.
To demonstrate the apathy, I remember a time when my daughter was pretty little and just learning to talk. We were in the line and someone had dropped a jar of peanuts, which broke and spilled all over the aisle floor. My daughter kept pointing and screaming, “Mess, Mess,“ which was one of her favorite words. It was really hard to get the cart through the smashed peanuts, and I told the clerk when we got up to the checkout. His response was to shrug his shoulders and give me a blank stare. I know you get what you pay for, but seriously, give the employees enough something to take a little pride and ownership in their jobs. Approximate cost per year: No idea, maybe $200? Anyway, Wasteful or Smart?
Getting a Maid
Before you think I’ve spit in the eye of all things practical, I have not hired a maid, nor have I ever had one. I’ve always thought it a waste of money for something I could do myself, even though I despise cleaning my house. I have to clean once a week, which takes maybe two hours on average. I also thought that when I switched to part time work, I would not hate my chores so much, but I think it makes them worse.
When I worked all the time, I came home exhausted and in a bad mood anyway, so why not knock out the house cleaning at the end of the day? Now, on my days off, I seem to find a ton of things I need to do. With a blog, you could spend all of your free time doing one more thing, as the list of never ending tasks doesn’t get shorter. I’ve also found myself doing things I never had time for like redecorating my daughter’s room, setting up spreadsheets for our various income streams, and cooking more at home.
I know the rule of thumb is that if you can make more money with your time than you would pay someone to do your housework, then it’s a good deal. Honestly, I don’t know if I could make more money. I think a housekeeper would cost around $200/month. I might be able to put that time into my blog and increase income. I haven’t pursued staff writing, and I don’t know that anyone would pay me to write, but I could certainly knock out several posts in the time I spend cleaning my house. Even if I didn’t try to earn money, I could go for a bike ride, read a book, or something else that would benefit me physically or mentally. Approximate annual cost for a maid: $2400. I am determined not to let our lifestyle inflate since ending our student loan payments, but is having a maid wasteful or smart?
Remember, personal finance is personal, so what works for me might seem ghastly to you. I do feel you readers would point me in the right direction if you thought I was drifting. I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on whether I’m being wasteful or smart in the ways I refuse to save money.
Do you have things you refuse to do to save money? Should I suck it up and quit whining about housework?