3 TIME MANAGEMENT HABITS THAT ARE COSTING YOU MONEY
As that old adage goes: Time is money. Wise words indeed, and they have never been more accurate. We are expected to juggle several roles seamlessly. We need to be productive individuals with busy careers, be loving spouses, and needless to say, responsible parents to our young families. We are also required to do all this while maintaining our sanity.
Soon after the birth of my daughter, friends started asking me when I was planning to return to work. I was already overwhelmed with taking care of my new bundle of joy that was generating me an endless supply of chores and worry. The last thing on my mind was returning to work. However, while babies are as cute as a button, I was starting to miss adult conversation. Babies are also expensive. I returned to work when my daughter was eight months old, and thus, my life transitioned from being a whirlwind into a fully-fledged hurricane storm. I started looking at ways to save up on time and found that these three habits were not only costing me time, but also money.
1. Carrying household chores on a when-required basis
I was doing laundry when it needed doing, washing the floors when the dirt got noticeable, and clearing out stuff when I could not see the tabletop anymore. Worst of all, my husband and I were planning our dinner in the morning, or even later in the day. We often found ourselves missing a key ingredient while cooking in the evening, which made it necessary for us to go out and buy from the more expensive corner convenience store that stays open later in the evening. Sometimes, we gave up on cooking a meal completely and bought takeout dinners, which not only cost more but were also less healthy.
Weekly meal plans
Start by making weekly meal plans, which will help you prepare a weekly shopping list with all the ingredients you need for making seven meals. Find an hour or two during the week where you prepare the food: peel and chop vegetables, sort cuts of meat into individual plastic bags by meal, hard-boil eggs, boil potatoes, and so on. Sort each meal into plastic containers, but make sure that uncooked meat never comes into contact with other food, and deep-freeze your prepped meals. Every morning, all you need to do is take out the day’s container from the freezer and place it in your refrigerator until it’s ready to be cooked.
Find ways to reimagine your adult meal into a child-friendly one. For example, purée your chunky vegetable soup to a consistency that a one-year-old would approve of. Or put aside some of your mashed potatoes, fill in some shape molds on a tray and give them a quick grill in the oven. This way, you won’t have to prepare different meals for adults and children, which is time-consuming. You will also save on the extra expenses that need to be factored in when making many small meals.
Household chores timetable
Make a timetable for the household chores that need to be done, and be clear who needs to do what. So you could iron the clothes on a Tuesday, and your husband could dust the surfaces on a Thursday. This way you will also be on top of things, leaving you time to carry out other activities.
Saving up on electricity bills
Check if your electricity company offers any reduced tariffs, usually at night and during weekends. Do your laundry during those hours to take full advantage of their favorable and economical rates.
2. Allowing distractions to interrupt your work
Our world offers a myriad of distractions, which can make you take twice as long to complete a task. We can’t afford to have our time wasted in this way. Completed tasks make way for others which may be more profitable. A few ways to manage your time more cost-effectively include:
Limiting time on social media
A good percentage of internet-time is actually spent on social media. Turn off notifications for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, to help you use your time more productively, especially if you use your laptop to work. Set aside a fixed period where you will allow yourself to check your accounts for new updates.
Turning on silent mode
Do not let your mobile phone interrupt you with message and email tones, causing you to turn your attention from the job at hand. Instead, promise yourself that you will check your phone at the end, or a half hour into the task.
Utilizing children’s naps
Thankfully, young children need regular naps throughout the day. Seize the opportunity and carry out an essential piece of work that requires quiet in the house, and your full attention. You may decide to do your meal prep at this hour, or work on that important assignment that your employer needs by the end of the week.
Do not let your tasks compete for attention with each other. Make a to-do list and prioritize items. Then set aside enough time for each job. This way, you’ll be satisfied that each job is completed and does not take longer than necessary.
3. Doing your shopping at the mall
Rather, make maximum use of technology. We all have a firm, and almost constant, digital existence on the internet through our phones, laptops, and e-appliances, but sometimes we forget that we can make the network work for us by saving us time and money.
Leave your shopping sprees for pleasure only. You do not have to hit the shops to get a phone charger after the cat chewed on your old one, or struggle with a decisively bored child at the supermarket while shopping for your weekly stash of food. You can easily buy your electronics, grocery shopping, and some essential clothing needs online. It takes only a few minutes, and you’ll find your parcels ready behind your door within a few days.
Comparing prices online
You’ll find that you’ll be able to see costs for items on the store’s webpage, helping you compare prices. You’ll also be able to find online information about companies’ fees for offered services. Moreover, feel free to contact them by email to gain information that you require on a product. This will save you time on having to go round offices and stores to get quotations.
We’ve often been told that there’s an app for everything, and it’s true. You can now do your banking, pay your bills, book cinema tickets and hire a taxi through an app. Some apps even offer you discounts if you use their services, making them thoroughly cost-effective time management tools.
By following these tips, you won’t end up rich or suddenly find yourself twiddling your thumbs with too much time on your hands. However, they will help you squeeze in more precious time, leaving you with a little extra in your pocket.
The bad thing is time flies. The good thing is you’re the pilot.
Do you have any other time management tips? Tell us about it! We would love to hear what successes and what challenges you’ve faced. Comment Below.