AEE 808: Should You Spend Money to Save Time?

What is one task that you hate more than others?

Do you hate cleaning, grocery shopping, maybe lawn work?

Do you ever consider hiring someone to do these things?

Do you think in general people would be happier spending money to save time or spending money on stuff such clothes or a new car?

Today we’re talking about how to be happy. Everyone wants to know how to be happy!

 

We found a great and short article in the NY times called Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests

The writers of the article cited some research wih a group of Canadians.

Half of the group was given $40 to spend on time-saving purchases like getting a house cleaner and the others bought items with the money like fancy wine or fancy clothes.

Can you guess what the results were?

Spending money to save time reduced time-related stress. The first group was less stressed out.

But interestingly, even though we know it reduces stress and probably makes you happier, it’s not done as commonly as you would think.

They did a survey of 800 Dutch millionaires and only just over 50% spent money to save time.

 

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Our “DIY” culture:

“DIY” is an acronym that means do it yourself.  

In the US the article suggests that the reason people don’t spend money to save time more might go back to our Protestant work ethic.

We value being busy. To learn more about this check out Episode 290.

 

It’s about personal philosophy:

In my opinion, it kind of depends on your philosophy towards money.

Is money something that buys you time and experiences?

Is it something that allows you to make investments?

Or do you think of it more as something to be saved, held onto, for later?

Everyone forms their own ideas about money as kids.

But now a lot of companies are cropping up to cater to people who are willing to spend money to save time.

That’s why we’re seeing sites like Task Rabbit take off with the peer to peer economy and online marketplaces.

 

A reading recommendation:

If you want to experiment with spending money to save time there is one good place to start.

If you work on your own or even if you work in a company and you have a lot of autonomy check out The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.

By now it’s a little bit dated, but he does talk about how to outsource not only your work tasks but also your life tasks. The book will get you into the right mindset to get started.

 

What do you guys think? Would you rather spend money to save time or save your money to buy things?

Let us know in the comments below.

Tell us your philosophy and tell us what messages your own culture sends you.

Let’s discuss! This is a great topic.

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  • I’d rather save my money to buy happiness with “DIY” culture. My personal philosophy towards money is making investments for the future benefit. 10 years from now, it will not matter what my life was. The sort of house I lived on, or the kind of car I drove. But my world may become different because I did everything myself, I worked on my own. And that makes me feel really proud.

  • Arlete Veiga

    I think “how we spend our money” is a cultural issue. I live in Brasil, and here is very common to have a cleaner or even a maid. I prefer spending my money to buy me time or experiences than to buy fancy clothes/bags. The DYI culture is not so common here. We usually pay someone to fix things in our houses, to have our nails done, to adjust clothes etc. My personal idea about money is: save a little for later, and spend a little to buy experiences/time.

    P.S. I loved this episode, discussing an article.