Life in 2020 is all about convenience, but living the easy life could be at the detriment of your budget. If you’re looking for ways to cut out needless spending, check out this list. It shines an unforgiving spotlight on three everyday decisions that save time but waste money.
1. Hailing a Ride Sharing App
When you can’t drive, ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft make your life a whole lot easier. All you have to do is tap in your address, and your very own driver will come to pick you up.
But this one-touch convenience comes at a price that’s easy to overlook. They’re hooked up to your credit card, so the money comes out of your account automatically at a speed that leaves no time for second thoughts.
Before you know it, you can spend a lot more than you bargained for. The average person who uses apps like Uber and Lyft spends roughly $4,000 a year on these services!
Wouldn’t that $4,000 be better used as saving in an emergency fund or paying off your line of credit? Both these credit-healthy tips may add positive credit history to your report, so the answer is a big yes! For more good management tips, check out this guide to help build your credit history in 5 steps.
Next time you think about hailing a ride, think about alternative ways to get home. Walking or cycling is free, and taking public transit is a fraction of the cost — and it may be a tax credit for next year.
2. Clicking on Overnight Shipping
Today’s shopping experience is all about convenience. You open a tab, toggle the size of your next pair of sneakers, and pay for it in minutes — all from your spot on the couch.
Having to wait weeks for your package to arrive is a serious kink in the plan, so it makes sense to splurge on expedited shipping that gets your haul in your hands by the next day.
Doing this once or twice in an emergency may not make much of a difference to your finances. But if next-day shipping is your go-to every time you shop online, you could be hemorrhaging unnecessary cash.
Some companies add rush fees, or, like Amazon, offer expedited shipping rates for “free” as part of their annual membership package. But when Amazon Prime costs $99, and the rush deliveries could cost upwards to $100 per shipment, it saves to be patient.
3) Ordering a Meal-in-a-Box
Meal kit delivery options like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated come as a boon to the overworked and hungry. Your subscription gets you a regular supply of recipes and the ingredients you need to make them, delivered right to your door just in time for dinner.
They’re easy, and they take out all the stress of meal planning, prepping, and even cooking.
But for every minute you save in the kitchen, you lose cash in your budget. Convenience packs on dollars to the cost of each meal. While it’s better than sitting down at a restaurant, these kits are three-times as expensive as cooking from scratch.
Convenience vs Saving
At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide if these services are worth their convenience.
If you have the cash, you may value your time more than what they cost. But if you’re living on a tight budget, it’s a good idea to review how often you splurge on these services. Cutting convenience may end up cutting costs, too.