We’re all busy. None of us really want to cook tonight, and sometimes we really dont even want to go through a drive through. Not when we have the ability to have a hot delicious pizza delivered to our door in under 30 minutes.
But convenience comes at a price and sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it really isn’t.
Here are some common convenience costs and how to avoid them them:
- Atm fees- 1$ to 3$ dollars to withdraw money that’s yours. Absolutely not. Avoid ATM fees by keeping cash on you, strictly going through your bank, and utilizing cash back at stores.
- Delivery fees- I probably haven’t said it already but, I AM A BUSY PERSON. However I refuse to pay 5 dollars plus a tip for something that wouldve taken me five minutes to pick up. While im at it. Fast food in general is a waste of money. Most of it has minimal nutritional value. Avoid splurging on munchies by keeping snacks in your car and pre-packing and freezing your meals.
- Outsourcing your chores- Whether it be cleaning or lawn mowing, paying someone to do thing you could be doing is a waste of money. Just don’t fall for it.
- Convienience stores- I get it literally every night, “Why is this so much more expensive than (wherever)”. Because, your paying for the convenience of being able to buy milk at 3am. We get our milk the same price of everyone. Avoid the extra by simply planning ahead. Don’t write lists, keep them on your phone. You ALWAYS have your phone.
- Paper towels- Laundry sucks, I get it. Rags are just as effective and if you know how to thread a needle, you won’t really even need to buy them.
- Coffee- I dont without coffee. Really anything. I don’t anything without it. But the cheapest cup of coffee I’ve bought was 24 oz. for $1.83. Which is 56(ish) dollars a month that I really shouldn’t be spending, soooo… I bring a cup (or two) of pre-brewed coffee to work with me, load of on their free sugar and cream and on the off chance I need more, get the refill discount, which is almost free with the employee discount.
- Check, debit, and sometimes cash fee’s- Why am I charged more for trying to pay my bills? That doesn’t even… Whatever. My Insurance charges $5 for using a debit card!!!! That’s insane! You’re charging me extra for paying!! The first time they told me that I always brought cash, and because I’ve also been chrged extra for paying with cash, I always keep cash, checks, debit, and credit cards on me.
- Overdraft fee’s- I only add this one because forgetting bills is so incredibly convienient. Did you know Americans spend billions of dollars a year in overdraft things? I’ll pass. Set up Auto-pay, set reminders, staple your bills to your clothes, whatever you do, don’t be a statistic.
- Laws?- Okay, so not really the laws themselves, but what you pay for breaking them. Speeding because you’re late will cost you more than that ten minutes you missed of work.
- Bottled water- Never understood why people bother with bottled water. I bought a filtered water bottle 3 years ago that tastes just as good as fiji.
- Health food stores- So there are some instances where this may be the only option to get what you need, But if you’re just looking for organic produce, You’re better off shopping at the famers market. Plus you can actually ask questions about your products from those who grew it.
- Gym memberships- Unless you’re as strong and thin as you can possibly get at home- it’s a waste. I understand the appeal, but really, I still regret signing my contract. I love my gym but I know I can get the same exercise at home.
My problem with convenience is that it can come at such a high cost. You think, “Well I work so much, I don’t have time for this”, when in reality, you could be spending less time working if you’d spend less time spending.
I’m up to month four and though it still gets chaotic, I’m starting to find balance again.
Here’s pretty much how it went:
- Month 1: Totally excited, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I was soooo enthusiastic about everything, yet terrified I was biting off more than I could chew. Along with multiple breakdowns, I was consistenly late for my old job for about a week straight.
- Month 2: Why am I terrible at everything? When is the last time I showered? What is food? These are the questions I asked myself as I stared at my clock, counting down the minutes until I had to be back at work. Wait, where am I supposed to be at 3???
- Month 3: My savings look sooo pretty! Some normalcy has returned and I can actually see my family again.
- Month 4: I am literally superwoman.
My life pretty much HAS to revolve around efficiency and budgeting at this point. I feel invincible, really. So here’s some awesome tips on how to skip SOME of the misery i put myself through.
- Pre-packing meals. My family literally hates me for how much I talk about this, but I feel like any busy person who isn’t doing this is missing out.
- Eat healthy, not boring. Salads are the easiest of the pre-packed meals to make. But after about four weeks straight, you’ll skip one and begin a week long McDonalds binge. But eating healthy will make everything so much easier on your body. Protein and complex carbs. Also, coffee is not a food group.
- Coffee? Kinda… So I have a high caffeine tolerance, but recently I have realized it can still catch up to you. Missing out on sleep for a quick wake-me-up is sooo not worth it. So my rule for myself is, drink away at the first job, but halfway through second shift: STOP.
- Exercise is something I hear a lot, but I think it only really applies if you have a desk job. Though standing in one place is pretty exhausting for me. So get your blood pumping but don’t go overboard if you’re already on your feet all day.
- Don’t fall into convienience costs. This can deter all of your effort to save money, pay off debt, whatever else your doing working two jobs. This includes fast food. The dollar menu tricks you into thinking it’s a bargain (It’s not), Shopping at expensive stores because they’re closer. I work at a Gas station & Wholefoods. I literally cannot afford to shop at these places. Delivery fee’s. You can drive to the store in three minutes and save yourself 3$ plus a tip. Your not that tired.
- Scheduling. It will be more likely that your oldest job is willing to work with schedule changes. So make sure they NEVER overlap. I had the same 2 days off for teo months and I prefer it to the way it is now. Yes its easier to schedule extra things, but I had a great system of bill day/ see people day and my day of catching up on sleep and destressing.
- Remeber: even if you feel like it, you are not superwoman. You were 5 minutes late: chill, it’s okay. And jumping into something you don’t know is hard. Let yourself relax.
- Keep your jobs seperate. I still answer the phones with the wrong place of business and adk people if they want a receipt at the bakery. I dont have a register at the bakery. Promise not to stress about one job while you’re at the other, and promise not to stress about either while you’re at home.
- ×2 401k!!! Try to match it with your companies limit, but at least do something!! You’re literally throwing away money not doing it.
In short take advantage of your situation and stay positive. Happiness can be found anywhere in anything and you have to make the most of it.
I’ve been called a pack rat since I was a little kid. I hate throwing things away that I know can be of use. But what I hate more is seeing people throw away thing I know I can use.
I learned the art of curb shopping from my grandmother. She lives in a beautiful trendy home, and she will proudly tell you about all of the furniture she found on the side of the road and at yard sales. I introduced her to the facebook buy, sell, and trade groups. She loved them. I don’t know how often she buys from them, but i helped her clear out an entire garage.
Anyways…. I wanted to write this because, today whilst cleaning my new car I notice a stack of boxed neatly piled by the vacuums. I tried so hard not to be interested. With the new roommate and a baby in a studio, I REALLY have no space to save anymore.
But while I was driving past them I noticed they said glass. Shit. I love glass things.
So I pulled over to check them out. Bro…
Last week I decided my next big project would be candles. I love them but decided I couldn’t afford them anymore.
Look at those beauties. Perfect size and everything. 78- 8 oz. Mason jars. Do you even know how much mason jars are these days? It was a sign fo sho.
Okay so even if its weird to say I love digging through shit.
My first job was at an thrift store that frequently bought unpaid storage units and sold their contents. It was thrilling. They’d pile boxes in and I got to dig through them and clean things and decide where they went in the store. I love hoppers!
But enough rambling for one day here are some awesome tips on dumpster diving:
- Apartments are sooooo easy. Most of the time if people decide to throw something out they know is usuable they wont event throw it in. They’ll leave it next to it. I’ve found so much awesome furniture at my complex already. Even if it’s not something you need, take it, paint/fix it, and sell that shit.
- Carefully consider anything fabricated. Bed bugs are rampant. Especially if it looks new, and too nice to throw away. Look under cushions, and look closely.
- Gas stations and carwashes. People always clean out their cars here and they throw out some cool stuff. I once found a full trash bag full of shoes, most being my size.
- Avoid restraunts like the plaugue. Because maggots are gross.
- Highways? Ok so not the safest thing to do, but I’ve found amazing shit before. Two tubs of shoes (I have a lot of shoes) A lot of moving people lose like a box or two and decide its not worth going back for.
- Small town alleys are the best. Okmulgee and Henryetta taught me this. Lots of privacy and lots of not so gross trashcans to sift through.
- Wear clothes you dont care about and maybe even gloves. For obvious reasons. Trash juice is the hardest thing to get out of clothes.
- Remember it’s “technicality” trespassing. Most people wont care if you don’t make a mess, but if they ask you to leave, it’d be wise to do so..
- Don’t brag that you found your “new” ugg boots in the trash. People get super judgey….
- Craigslist and free fb pages are the best. People just tell you where to find stuff.
- It’s better to go alone. Besides your friend’s weird looks, the more people, the more attention gets drawn to you. Unless its a superheavy haul, go solo.
Curb shopping and dumpster diving are awesome ways to get things you didnt know you needed. Its kind of like a treasure hunt though. Sometimes you find boots, sometime you find dead bodies.. Or old tires or something…
I’m a do-er. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. I know I dont want a basic life so I know I have to live a non-basic lifestyle. I work roughly 80 hours a week and spend most of my free time thinking of ways to make, or save more money.
80 hours a week. Lets talk about that. There’s 168 hours in one week. 80 hours spent at work, about 46 hours are spent sleeping (absolutely no wiggle room there) about 9 hours a week spent getting ready for work, a 15 mintue drive to, from, and home daily so lets say roughly 4 hours hours driving a week. I’m left with 31 hours a week to pay bills, go shopping, see my family, clean(ish), and trying to live somewhere in between all that mess.
Wow. It sounds super depressing when you put it like that.
The thing is I love working. Even if I hate my jobs sometimes, I’ve always been passionate about doing a good job and making do with what I have.
Having two jobs is like having twin 2 year olds constanly screaming at you for attention. One is always crying and the other one is always jealous of you taking care of the crying baby.
It was a major lifestyle adjustment but in the 4 months since I’ve picked up my second job, I’ve learned sooooo much. Here’s why i literally kill myself working two jobs:
- 2 separate 401k plans. If you aren’t taking advantage of your 401k, you’re insane and missing out on a lot of money. In my experience, companiesw will usually match up to 7%. Which is awesome, but what if you could get 14% without really missing out on anything? Most people would say they can’t afford to start saving up for retirement right now, but honestly, you cant afford not too.
- Extra job security. I recently heard a rumor that one of my jobs is planning on selling a few of our stores throughout the states. They assured us no jobs were in jeopardy but i know how that game goes. No chances for this gal.
- More opportunities. While i consider my overnight job my main job (40+ hours guaranteed) The workload at the bakery is getting insane. They’ve only had one cake decorator for about a year now. While she insists she has it totally under control, I think i can upsell enough cakes to change her mind. Cake decorating, being one of my favorite hobbies, the second they bring up hiring in someone else i swoon.
- It might encourage your initial employer to consider your worth to the company. I’ve been pressuring my boss to move me back to management for some time now. Drop a few hints about how much everyone loves you at your new job, they’ll start to sweat.
- More experiences. Not only do i have great customer service experience. In the past year alone I’ve acquired baking, desert finishing, and retail experience. That will look pretty bitchin on my next resume.
- New networking opportunities. If you’re anything like me, which you probably aren’t, because I’m a fucking alien, you probably have a hard time connecting with people. Trying to be an entrepreneurial introver is the worst. But after 4 months Im totally comfortable at my new jobs and I made friends with this awesome chick who offered to make my sisters business card in exchange for some macarons. Working at a bakery is the shit.
- More money (duh) I mean, yeah, no better way to put it.
See, it’s not awful, Im not totally miserable, though i am perpetually exhausted. It’s making me stronger, it’s making me tougher, and in some super weird way, I think its making me happier.
4 weeks straight, Going on five. Missed easter. Missed my roomates birthday. Missed my nephews first hair cut. Missed 90% of everything else going on in the world.
But its all gonna be worth it. 14% of my monthly income goes straight into my retirement. 250$ a month into my investment portfolio. 50$ to my savings. 100$ to live off of. The rest goes to paying off my legal fees and pulling myself out of debt.
Some people would say I dont really have a life. But I disagree. Ive got two decent jobs for an uneducated 21 yr. old, a sick little studio apartment, and a bitchin brand new 2017 ford focus. I’ve got everything I need and I’m in the process of aquiring everything I want. I want to work for myself, and I want to get bloody rich doing it. I have ample skill in all things creative and theres not a medium that comes to mind that I havent worked with or studied.
Yeah, yeah, I know, money isnt everything. But financial security? Professional freedom? Sleeping in once a week? Cant think of anything I deserve more…
Im 21, of course I want to have fun. No, I didn’t want to work until 7am on my 21st birthday then go back in at 4pm with the world’s most excruciating hangover. But I will do whatever it takes to live the kind of life I deserve. 80 hours a week? No problem. 6 hours of sleep max? Easy peasy. Spending the rest of my free time working on my extra side hustles? That one actually sounds like fun…