5 Ways I Bought Back My Time
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Sometime last year I became fascinated with the idea of buying back my time. When you think about it, people do all sorts of things all the time to not just save money but to save time.
If you were to put a dollar amount on how much your time is worth in your personal life, what would it be?
Is it worth it to you to clean your house for two hours every weekend or to pay someone $50 every other week to come in and do a few things? Is it worth it for you to cook every night? Or is it a better option to order in or have meals made for you?
I started evaluating these types of things in my own life and decided not only how to spend my time, but how I could spend my money to buy back my time. This isn’t a new concept but it’s a smart one if you ask me.
After reflecting on the past two years, I realized that there are many ways I’ve bought back my time. Here are a few examples, along with my own personal reasoning.
5 Ways I Bought Back My Time
1. I bought a Roomba.
As much as I like living in a clean home, I rarely find myself prioritizing cleaning these days. It really just falls to the wayside. Instead of beating myself up about it, though, I aimed to find another solution.
I finally caved and bought my home a Roomba last Prime Day. We snagged, what in my opinion is a great deal, and paid only about $200 for it. I went for the basic model because I don’t have pets or heavy traffic and we also don’t wear shoes in our home.
We run the Roomba every other day or so and I’ve been so happy to have a clean floor that I don’t have to get the big vacuum out to clean!
2. I signed up for Freshly.
My husband and I collectively realized this past year that we don’t like to spend hours everyday cooking. Every now and then it’s fun to make a recipe but truthfully we are simpletons when it comes to our meals.
We’ve tried a few other meal subscriptions before like Plated — which we still do order on occasion. But realistically I know those meal subscriptions aren’t for us. They’re fun to mix it up but they also don’t solve the problem of eliminating spending 30-60 minutes a night cooking.
So instead I looked into pre-made meal delivery services and that’s when I found Freshly.
All of your meals come to you ready-made and just need to be heated and eaten! It’s truly a game-changer for us. We pay $107 for 12 meals per week, making each entree just under 9 bucks.
They have several different plan options to choose from and switch their meals out seasonally. Everything is also gluten-free, which I know is a plus for many.
They also have a variety of options including high protein, low carb (which made it super easy to adjust my meals after I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes), vegetarian, paleo, and meals less than 500 calories.
3. I got Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check.
I try to travel internationally at least once per year, sometimes it’s more and occasionally less but because travel is something I am passionate about, it’s something I prioritize.
Through the Chase Reserve card, they offer reimbursement for Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check. It was one of the major pulls for me to get the card in the first place. Having Global Entry, which “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States” through a kiosk, makes coming back into the U.S. a breeze.
Having Pre-Check, even for domestic flights, saves so much time at the airport every time I travel. The card also gives you a Priority Pass which lets you into select lounges around the world for free. It was especially useful when my flight was cancelled and then delayed 28 hours traveling home from New Zealand in 2017. The shower access and free food made it more bearable!
I do want to note that the Chase Reserve card has a $450/year fee but you are also given $300 back in a travel credit each year as well as other benefits, like Global Entry and Priority Pass for example. Michelle talks more about the perks of the card here.
4. I use a credit monitoring service.
This was an accidental buy-back-my-time moment as I was granted credit monitoring due to a data breach at my university.
While I still check my credit report once a year for errors, I don’t feel the need to keep a close eye on every single credit card and account I have because I receive a summary each month with noted changes. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m protected.
When my plan runs out, this is something I’ll be renewing with my own dollars. Instead of spending my time each month reviewing every account, I can see it all in one place.
5. I outsourced business tasks and hired a CPA.
As a business owner, this was something I was always scared to do because it’s hard to hand over the reigns on something you created.
But at the end of the day, when you look at how you are spending your time, it’s not always spent most efficiently in the backend tasks of business. While many of the things I outsourced were small, this year I’m hoping to outsource more things so that I can focus on the growth aspects.
Outsourcing tasks works for your personal life too. For example, my husband and I hired a CPA this year for the first time. As our family and finances are growing, it’s important to us that our financial life is in order. Plus, it comes with audit protection, which again gives us peace of mind! And I don’t have to spend my time filing taxes, which is a major plus.
So there we have five ways I bought back my time. I’m curious — if you could buy back your time, what would be the first thing you would do?