Wake up, go to work, come home, cook, clean, and go to bed. Rinse and repeat five days a week. Sound familiar? Most of us frequently feel like we are spending our lives running on a hamster wheel. We just can’t seem to catch our breath. What would you give to have an extra hour or two every day? Are you willing to spend money to save time?
As you strive for financial success, you may find yourself scrutinizing every item on your spending report. This way, you are able to invest as much money as possible, retire early, and have more time.
Here’s what I’m proposing: If your goal is to retire early and have more free time, dial it back just a little. Spend a little money and save a lot of time. Not only can you enjoy life, spend time with your family, and take it slow, but you can also reach Financial Independence in a reasonable amount of time.
7 Ways to Spend Money to Save Time
Before I jump into seven ways to trade money for time, I want to say that I don’t use all of these methods. However, I have a general idea of the costs of each method and will share my experiences.
1. Grocery Delivery / Pick Up
Most people spend between one and two hours per week grocery shopping. Furthermore, getting yourself ready to go out and driving to the store take additional time.
The majority of grocery stores offer delivery whether it’s through the store or some other service like Instacart. Additionally, some stores offer grocery pick up for no charge at all.
For some time, Gina and I used Walmart Pick Up to save time. Recently we have transitioned to Aldi and shopping in store to lower our grocery budget. Thanks to the suggestions of multiple friends, we are now considering using Instacart to have Aldi groceries delivered in order to get the best prices and save time.
For $14.99/mo and an optional tip for your driver, you can have Aldi groceries delivered. It should be noted that some items will be marked up slightly when ordering online. We recently input an entire receipt from Aldi onto Instacart and found that the online order was about $4.00 more expensive.
Interested in trying Instacart? Use this link to save $10 on your first order! Instacart $10 Off
2. Hire a Cleaning Service
The cost of a cleaning service varies greatly depending on the size of the house and frequency of cleaning. We spend $80 to have our 3 bedroom 2 bathroom townhome cleaned.
Having your home cleaned once a month will not keep you from cleaning entirely. However, it offers you the ability to leave the time consuming tasks for your cleaning service.
You may not be able to find a large company that charges $80 per cleaning, but there are plenty of small businesses available if you ask around in your local Facebook groups.
3. Lawn Care Service
Prices will vary again depending on the size of your lawn and how frequently you need it mowed. For a reasonable fee, you can have your lawn mowed every two weeks. You can save some money and hire a neighborhood kid as well.
Gina and I have lawn care covered by our homeowners’ association, so this one doesn’t apply to us just yet.
4. Amazon Prime / Shop Online
This is almost a no brainer. Amazon Prime costs $119/year and will save you dozens of trips to the store. Additionally, your $119 will likely be returned in the form of shipping and handling savings.
If you make more than one trip per week to the store for anything besides groceries, go sign up for Amazon Prime. You won’t regret it as you will save loads of time for a minimal price.B
5. Purchase a Robot Vacuum
Best. Purchase. Ever. We have a husky that resembles a fur-producing factory. Prior to purchasing our ECOVACS DEEBOT we were vacuuming at least twice a week. For around $200, we may vacuum once a month… if we feel like it.
By combining the DEEBOT and our cleaning service, we have saved countless hours. This has allowed us to spend so much more time with our son, which is absolutely priceless.
6. Purchase an Instant Pot
The Instant Pot comes heavily recommended in the Choose FI community. Meal prepping a week’s worth of meals has never been faster. For around $70 you can cook just about anything in a fraction of the time that it would take on the stove or in the oven.
It takes Gina less than two hours to meal-prep lunch and dinner for the entire week. While she does use our oven and stove, her primary appliance is the Instant Pot.
7. Install a Home Gym
The price of a home gym varies drastically based on the equipment you purchase. If you don’t frequent your local gym, this may not be a big time saver for you. However, if you have an expensive gym membership and drive to and from your gym daily, this could save you both time and money.
For around $1,500, Gina and I purchased all of the necessary equipment for a home gym, so that we don’t have to step foot in a gym again unless we want to. This saves us drive time, locker room time, AND allows us to spend time with our son while we work out at home.
Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE) is all about the time. You’ll hear me say that over and over. I’m confident that if you spend money to save time, your retirement timeline will barely change. On the other hand, you will undoubtedly have more time and life satisfaction as you continue your journey for FIRE.
How do you save time and avoid the hamster wheel of life? Suggestions are welcome in the comments below, on the Four Walls of FIRE Facebook page, or via the mailbag!