In recent years, my husband and I have started paying for convenience. Back in the days when we were both in grad school, scraping by with the help of student loans, we did a lot of penny pinching.
Now, though, we’re willing to pay for things that are important to us, and one of those things is convenience.
Are You Willing to Pay for Convenience?
Ultimately, it comes down to priorities. My son and I went on a road trip recently, and one of the decisions I made was to stay at the Grand Canyon Ranch for the West Rim portion of our journey.
The cost of the Grand Canyon Ranch was more than we would pay by staying in Kingman, AZ or Las Vegas, NV. However, by staying far away, I would’ve had to alter our plans in terms of driving and timing. Plus, after enjoying time at Grand Canyon West, I knew I wouldn’t want to drive more than an hour to reach either of those locations.
I decided to pay the extra money to stay just a few miles down the road. The convenience factor was a huge deal to me. That same convenience factor is why we often pay $50 more for plane tickets that leave at more desirable times, and why we pay $1.50 to buy movie tickets online. I’ve also been know to — gasp — buy shampoo and household cleaners at the grocery store, rather than taking the time to go somewhere else and save a couple bucks on the items.
To my family, the time and hassle saved is worth the money.
Would You Rather Have the Money or the Time?
At times, it comes down to the classic consideration of time vs. money. In many cases, the time spent finding the absolute cheapest price, plus the hassles associated with jumping through hoops to make it happen, just aren’t worth it to me. It would take another half hour of my time (or more) to drive to another store, look for what I need, and then pay for it — all to save $4 or $5. In hourly terms, that’s like working for $10 an hour.
My time is worth more than $10 an hour. So, I pay for the convenience of picking up needed items when I’m at the grocery store. Unless I’m planning a major shopping trip to pick up several non-grocery items, the extra stop isn’t worth the trouble to me.
While it’s true that you can’t always afford to pay for convenience, or you might not want to, the values of time and money are still worth exploring in your life.
Think about the people who stand in line for hours on end, just to get a free chicken sandwich that would’ve cost $3.99 or $5.99 or whatever on another day. Is two hours in line worth saving a few bucks? What could they have been doing with that time instead?
Consider your priorities. No, you shouldn’t always pay for convenience. It might not make sense for your situation. But before you completely dismiss the idea, consider what pinching every penny might be costing you in time.
Do you pay for convenience? In what situations?