There is zero point in spending time to earn and save money if you don’t get a good return on your time invested. When I first got serious about being frugal, I scoured the internet to see what worked for other people. Some of those methods were valuable. Others, listed below, were a big fat waste of my time.
Survey Sites – I guess that the internet is chock full o’ 30-something white women wanting to earn a few pennies completing surveys, because about 90% of my time spent on survey sites is getting halfway through a survey only to find out that the survey has already been filled for my demographic. Then, once I finally get to complete a survey, my reward is the equivalent to $1.30 for 27 minutes worth of work. And then I can’t even cash that out until I earn $10 from surveys, but I can never earn that much because I’m kicked out of 90% of surveys. I’m making less than minimum wage when I could be spending that time stuffing my hand in between couch cushions. It would take less time and I’d make more money.
Couponing – I am a big fan of buying generic anything except for when it comes to toilet paper and paper towels, but HEY, I thought one Sunday morning, HOW FUN WOULD IT BE TO COUPON TODAY! So I get my Sunday paper, pull out all the coupon inserts, and clip away. That took me a good hour or so. Then I try to compare prices online to see where I can get the best deals with my coupons and that takes another good hour or so. I went shopping, and I wound up spending $38 on $58 worth of goods, which is nice, but I think I would have spent the same amount of money just going generic instead of spending all that time clip clip clipping.
Making my own cleaning supplies – Y’all, pinterest is chock full o’ recipes for making your own laundry soap, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, what have you. And everyone will tell you OH I SAVED SO MUCH MONEY! AND THESE RECIPES ARE SO GOOD FOR YOU! But when I saw that one of these “cheap,” easy recipes for laundry soap involved buying stuff on Amazon and grating a bar of soap into a big bucket, I decided to go with the 22 pound bag of Foca laundry soap from Sam’s instead and assume that having a cleaning product that wasn’t “pure” wouldn’t make me grow an extra arm.
Shopping at multiple stores for the best deals – I could drive myself crazy doing comparison shopping for the best price, but with the time involved driving across town or scouring another website just to save a few cents, have I really made the best use of my time? My rule of thumb is that I will price compare and go shopping at two different stores (usually they wind up being Walmart and Dollar Tree), but then I have to stop. Anything beyond that and I’m just wasting time that I could be spending enjoying life.
I’m sure a lot of these things work for many people, or else they wouldn’t be raving about it online, but time is valuable, y’all. Better to snuggle with your dog for an hour than spend that hour saving 50 cents.