The key, in
the case of hiring out the errands, is to be in a certain income bracket. It may
not make sense to pay someone $39 an hour when you clearly can't afford it, but
that doesn't mean your time doesn't have a dollar value.
It's easy to look at the world as a balance
sheet of expenses, says Rosemary Senjem, a business development
consultant in Minnesota. She says people need to learn to look at
their energy as a resource just as finite as their bank account.
When people look at the list of
things they have to do, whether is it setting up a business or planning the weekend,
they tend to only see parts that are highlighted by money. Senjem, owner of Hand
Spun Digital Inc., says she works with entrepreneurs to help them assign values
to tasks based on the toll it takes on their energy, not just the dollar drain.
"The sorting and purging process is very important,"
she says. "We get confused because we think money is the only measure."
Mancini lives in southern Washington, but regularly crosses into the sales-tax-free
state of Oregon to buy clothing or to make a big monthly trip to Costco. Because
she lives close to the border and works in Portland, Ore., the trip is short,
but sometimes so are the savings.
"I guess sometimes it's
a trade-off of gas for sales tax," she says.
get "twisted up about it" and go to 15 different stores to be sure she
is getting the best deal possible. Her husband, Jim Moody, says he just doesn't
understand it. He heads straight for the place he knows will have the part, shoes
or food he is looking for and doesn't look back.
50 cents more or 50 cents less, I am not going to get in my car and go all over,"
Mancini is willing to invest the time, but if she
is busy with work or if a gift-giving event comes up, she often falls back on
what is most convenient.
The best time savings comes in the
form of heading to stores she knows will have the best deals. Nordstrom Rack and
Ross Dress for Less are her stores of choice.
I don't have to go hunting for a bargain. I know it's a good deal," she says.
payoff of shopping
The caveats about bargain shopping don't apply to
everyone: Some people enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
says there are bargain hunters that love getting a deal and don't mind the time
involved. "It's a kind of leisure activity," she says.
is one of those people. She enjoys estate sales and talking with friends about
the bargains she found. "That's trophy hunting," she says.
most people, though, time spent hunting the aisles with clipped coupons and four
newspaper advertisements is time that could be spent elsewhere.
the overall scheme of life," Hamersky says. "What's better? To spend
time with your family or do something you really enjoy doing -- or to save two
Hamersky shares her best tips:
shops that are close to home with short lines.
- Call around instead of
driving around, especially for a very specific item.
- Keep an eye out
all year for gifts, so there is no urgency when birthdays and events come around.
the Internet as a starting point to research what something should cost. Then
when the item turns up, you know if it is a good deal.
- Keep two lists
on the refrigerator: one for the grocery store and one for the discounter your
family uses most. When supplies run low, make a note on the list. Go shopping
when a few things are on the list and the timing is convenient.
shop with a list to keep from getting distracted.