Sunday, January 13, 2008

The price of convenience

While making the spinach dip for a party I was hosting, i realized there is always a price to pay for convenience and people don't mind paying that price without any hesitation. Take the example of dips - the ingredients for the dip are available in the same grocery store which sells ready made dips, you can make them quickly and easily and making them is way more cheaper...still people buy ready made dips.

Don't get me wrong, at times, it make sense to pay for "convenience service or things". Say, a one off buy from vending machine when you really really need it bill. So what exactly is "convenience service or things"? Things or services for which you willing to pay extra money when there exists similar alternatives at par or with negligible effort on your part.

The "convenience service or things" in my life that i can think of are

Eating out: I feel this would make it to the top of most people's list. Take outs, eating from fast food, from restaurants are definitely convenience for us. By learning quick to make recipes, we plan to cut down (if possible eliminate) "convenience eat out". However, I must add that we do sometimes go out different restaurants to taste their cooking and we plan to continue doing that on a monthly basis.

Buying groceries from the same store: We used to buy groceries from the nearest shop while there are shops within 5 minutes drive where things are cheaper and of better quality. Buying groceries from multiple shops was something i learned from my ex-roommate. My roommate who would scour about three neighboring grocery stores to buy the things because each store offers saving on some things but not all the things. Until then, I never realized how much I was paying for the convenience of buying everything from the same store.

Borrowing books/dvds from the library instead of from say blockbuster would be another. Though i must add, borrowing from library means a lot more of a wait time for dvds/book (especially for items in demand). But is there a need for watch that particular movie or read that particular book at that very moment or can it wait?

Driving to work: We are not always so sensible about our choices though. This is a big red flag for me. I could take the bus to work, the bus pass is paid for by employer, the bus stops right in front of my apt/work and the trip is only about 10 minutes. But i still prefer the convenience of my own car. I am sure we have all given into the temptation of taking the easy way out in various points in our life.

I am sure there are more convenience things/services that could be reduced or eliminated. Many people (including me) find it hard to find a way on cutting back on expenses without dampening their lifestyle. I am sure reducing the price we pay for the convenience of things will help a long way in maintaining the lifestyle at lower cost. a win win situation indeed.

1 comment:

moneychallenge said...

I pay for a gym membership because it's more convenient for me to exercise indoors in this snowy area than to run around outdoors. It's more convenient for me to hop on a machine than to chop wood and carry water.

I drive my own car to work even though my roommate works at the same place! It's more convenient for me to do that because our schedules are a bit different.

I certainly could sacrifice some convenience and save a few bucks (and in the case of carpooling, even the environment).