Do you ever just feel like you never have enough time? There’s not enough hours in the day to get everything you need done. Important things get put off and you always wonder where the time has gone.
Dividing your days between earning a living, keeping your home clean, showing your children enough attention, putting dinner on the table, and pursuing your own hobbies ad passions, life seems to get ahead of us.
In this world we now live in, there’s so much drive to work longer hours to be successful, that we often compromise our personal well-being by juggling too much and not allowing ourselves enough free time. Feelings of time stress can contribute to increased anxiety, reduced happiness, and insomnia- which we can all relate to with having children, a job, and a home.
While saving money and living within your means is very important, there’s still one thing you shouldn’t feel guilty spending money on. It’s something that I believe improves my emotional well-being, makes me a better mom, and allows me to give more to my family.
There was a study done by the National Academy of Sciences which showed that there’s one thing we can buy that will promote lasting happiness.
The study showed that working adults reported greater happiness after buying time – that is, spending money on a time-saving purchase rather than on a material purchase.
Now, you’re probably thinking, you can’t really buy time. It’s not a tangible object. Or is it?
There are actually many different ways to buy time. It comes in the form of paying for services that can do things for us or paying for conveniences, inevitably contributing to us having more time for ourselves.
When we buy more time for ourselves, it makes us happier because we can use that extra time to do things that we really enjoy. Decide what things are more important to you that would make a better use of your time. For example, if you got just an extra 20 minutes a day, would it make you happier to use that extra time to relax on the couch with your husband, play with your children, catch up on a good book or tv show, knit a blanket, play your piano, go for a run, etc. Just by spending a little extra money, we can get our lives back and have more time for ourselves.
Here are some ways that you can buy yourself more time to spend with your family, relaxing, or doing things you really love, instead of the mundane everyday tasks that waste our precious time.
This post may contain affiliate links for which I would receive a small commission on your purchase, at no extra cost to you.
House Cleaning Services
Cleaning is definitely not on my list of things I enjoy. The most cleaning I can get done is just tidying up after my toddler leaving her toys all over and cleaning up after dinner. After those things that need to get done every day, I never have time to actually dust or scrub toilets. That is when I hire someone to clean the house so I have those hours back to myself.
Meal Delivery Services
These have been a life saver! There are a few options out there and trust me, I’ve tried them all! How it works is: every week you pick out the meals you’d like to have, they send you all the ingredients you need in pre-measured out little bags, a recipe and step by step instructions with pictures. It’s SO convenient and all the meals are healthy, have great flavor, and let you try new things that you may normally not think to make.
All of these services are great in their own unique ways. Try them all! Hint: You can sign up for the promotional price and cancel it after that. Then try a different service with their promotional price and decide which one you like best to continue.
The best ones I have tried are:
Hello Fresh – Save $60 using this link when you sign up
They all offer a variety of meal options that you can choose from, carefully selected healthy ingredients, and easy to follow instructions. No planning or shopping required at all! It’s worth it to at least try it out with the promotional pricing.
Grocery Delivery Services
Grocery delivery has been such a blessing when I don’t have time to go to the grocery store. I’m the type of person that, regardless what type of store I’m in, I have to take my time and browse and always get more than I came for. So, a quick trip to the grocery store to get a couple ingredients for tonight’s dinner always takes at least an hour. Having my groceries delivered to me has been amazing.
Depending on your location there are many grocery delivery services out there, so check out the availability of these programs offered to you. Most of them also have free trials for a few weeks or a month so you can try it out with free delivery to see if you like it.
Shipt with Target – This program (through Target) is my favorite because it offers SAME DAY shipping. So you can get pretty much anything available at your local Target, within a couple hours of placing your order! I have placed an order for groceries and miscellaneous Target items at 3pm before I left work and it was delivered to me before I even started making dinner at 6pm! Although Target doesn’t have the largest selection of grocery items, but it’s always enough for the little things I need.
Ready Made Meals & Take Out
If you still can’t give up going to do your own food shopping, the grocery stores now have already cut veggies, measured out ingredients, and even already cooked, fresh meals by their deli counter. My local ShopRite has delicious, healthy, precooked meals that I just have to reheat. Therefore, no mess, no clean up, and more time for myself. We try to limit take out to only 2 times a week, but always use a coupon to make the purchase more affordable too.
Going to the higher priced/ closer grocery store
Before I had kids, I used to be the person who would go to 3 different grocery stores (all within 1 mile) in a week to get the best deal. I knew what stores had cheaper produce vs. frozen foods vs. cold cuts and would usually make different shopping trips just to save a few bucks. I began to realize how much time I was wasting and once I had a baby, I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. If I barely had enough time to cook dinner, why would I spend time going to different stores. I began to just go to one and it saved myself so much time and stress.
Taking the toll roads
Since we live over an hour a way from work, family & friends, we drive long distances on a daily basis. We would almost always take the non-toll roads if we weren’t in a rush, but now I realized how much time that wastes. On my way home from work, taking toll roads shaves about 15-20 minutes off my evening commute!
Moving closer to work
This one isn’t so easy or practical to do for everyone, but it is something that could save you a lot of time. My husband and I both commute over an hour to our jobs each way! Those are 2 hours of our day that we won’t get back. We both are aware that if we moved closer to our jobs, we’d be saving a ton of time, but that comes with a cost. TBD if that happens in the future.
If you’re like me, you could get lost in any store just browsing around and shopping for endless things. I find myself only going to stores when I know I have a coupon or to not pay to get something shipped to me. When we shop online, we may pay additional fees for shipping or not be able to use the same promotions, but it’s so much more convenient and saves us a ton of time! Amazon Prime is such a great service, but the fact that I can get free shipping on virtually any item makes me not want to pay shipping charges ever. So if I find an item I want from Macys, I’d typically be more inclined to go to the store to pick it up instead of paying for shipping. If I need to pay for shipping for the convenience of not having to take a trip to another store, I now will.
Buying something already made instead of DIY
Often times I see something I want to buy and think to myself, I could just make that for so much cheaper! But is it really worth my time to get the supplies and make it when I could just spend a little bit more and have it already done? Unless you’re a DIY hobbyist and it’s something you really enjoy, spend the extra few bucks and enjoy the finished product without the hassle of making it yourself.
So next time you’re spending a little extra money on take out dinners or interstate tolls, think about what this extra time can by you. Now with all that extra time, think of how you can make the best use out of it. I would love an extra 30 minutes to just relax on the couch with some ice cream and snuggling with my babies! How would you spend that extra time?