Have you ever considered the cost ‘always being in a rush’? When we rush, we feel stressed; we look for short cuts and in turn ways to retrieve the so called ‘wasted time’.
This process often comes with a price tag; a hair dryer that will stop you waiting for your hair to dry naturally, pre-cut bread to save you slicing it yourself, single serve food items and more.
This so called ‘life rush’ is what is impeding your ability to save money. It is what makes you feel overwhelmed and inevitably leads to over spending and lack of general fulfillment.
There is actually something nice about slowing your life down. It makes you re-evaluate what was previously ‘annoying’ and consider whether you really need to spend money to make that annoying thing ‘go away’.
Now with this in mind, I want to share six actionable tips for those wanting to slow down their life and begin saving money in the process.
Ways to slow down and save money:
These tricks are designed to slow you down, reduce your drastic spending and help you to re-evaluate the ways to save money that work best for you by simple learning to ‘take it easy’.
Stop trying to do the grocery shopping in a rush
Why is grocery shopping seen as such a chore these days? Why do we look to ‘get in and get out’ so quickly? While it isn’t lying on a beach having a holiday, it isn’t exactly tiresome work compared to many other things out there.
Rushing in the supermarket causes us to grab items, think with our stomachs, impulse buy, forget items and generally not focus on the number one rule of money saving – that is focusing on the cost/budget. If we forget items, we are likely to return to the shops later to repurchase (costing us money) or worse yet, opt for takeaway as we are missing the bits we need to make it ourselves.
Instead, try and slow down. Enjoy planning your meals ahead of time, thinking about how you are going to eat healthily while sticking to your budget. See the weekly grocery shop not as a rushed chore, but as a chance to feed yourself, your family and your wellbeing. Assuming you take an hour or two to shop, think about all the time you will allow yourself to evaluate prices, search for the best deal and generally buy things that are going to help you drive your dollar further.
If you need to fix something, ‘do it once, do it well’
You can view home maintenance as one of two things; a pain in the backside that you hate or a chance to repair your investment (or for renters, protect your deposit). If your house needs a repair made to it, aim to do it well.
Take time out of your weekend to sit down for an hour or two and properly repair the issue. If you rush and do a bad job, you are only sacrificing more time later on to deal with it + lowering the value of your investment.
To me, there is nothing worse than doing something once, only to have to revisit the same task weeks later because you decided to cut corners.
Doing this will help your save money. It will also save you time, which to me can be just as important.
Stop rushing your chores, it doesn’t save money
Ok, now you are really going to think I’ve gone mad. Though cleaning your house shouldn’t be seen as a chore to rush.
When you rush, you do a poor job. This could mean spot cleaning by stashing away odds and ends in places that aren’t their real home. I do this often, resulting in lost paperwork and the inability to find things when I need them. This is wasted time and in turn wasted money.
We also look to find a ‘quick fix’ solution to our cleaning needs. Things like ‘Robot Vacuum cleaners’ that do the vacuuming for us when we are out (but come with a $1K price tag) along with designer cleaning agents made specifically to get rid of mold in the shower (ummm, last I heard, bleach is all that is needed?).
Slowing down and actually taking the time to do the so called ‘hard work’ will result in saving money and you will be surprised to realise that the work you dreaded, it really isn’t much different regardless of how fast, rushed or well-equipped you are with designer cleaning agents.
Slow the daily expenses; think before paying
How often do you behave like a zombie and hand over $3.50 for your morning coffee without even thinking about it? Do you then go on to spend $15 for lunch; on a sandwich or hot meal you know is probably not even good for you? We do this because we are often in a rush to ‘get to work’ or ‘get back to work’.
Slow down, think about every dollar you hand over and perhaps consider writing a little note to yourself inside your wallet or purse; ‘I am about to spend money’.
This will make you think about your purchase. It won’t stop you buying stuff, but it will ‘re-engage the brain’ as my dad says.
Stop rushing the daily cooking
If we see the daily cooking as a chore, that we must rush to get done, we will end up eating food that is quick to prepare which means two things; expensive and often bad for us.
Take the time to plan meals, cook them and enjoy them. Rushing to eat has severe consequences for health and finances, so it’s best not to cut corners.
Stop chasing big returns on your investments; no one gets rich over night
We are all in such a mad rush to make money on our investments; we get impatient and make irrational decisions. Slow down and start to view investing as a long term strategy.
Simply saving money into a high interest bank account or term deposit can be a great way to start putting aside a small amount of money. Watching it grow, slowly over time, brings a great sense of satisfaction.
Losing the money in a risky investment that promises potential high returns however is not as satisfying.
The time is money argument
I am a big believer in not wasting time. Time is money and all that. Though slowing down can get us out of our ‘zombie’ state when it comes to money and reassess what is truly important.
I suggest giving it a try. Look to implement a positive attitude that sees things not as chores that must be rushed, but as ways to save money when done properly.
Do you agree?