When most people think of "spending money," they imagine a shopping spree at the mall. But some of the biggest budget leaks are simply the result of being pressed for time.
When people are rushed or hurried, they tend to spend more money than they would otherwise. Here are a few ways that being rushed can trigger extra spending.
Grabbing convenience food
You are rushing out the door on your way to work and don't have time to eat breakfast at home. What do you do? You'll either pop into Starbucks for a coffee and a muffin, or you'll skip breakfast entirely and feel ravenous by lunchtime, at which point you'll order an extra-large meal.
Spend an extra 10 minutes in the morning eating breakfast, making your own tea or coffee, and packing a lunch. Also keep a stash of nonperishable snacks, such as granola bars or nuts, in your purse or car.
Choosing expensive transport
If you have an abundance of time to get to the airport, you might decide to take a bus or the train. But if you are in a hurry, you might have to leave your car at the expensive airport parking lot.
In your day-to-day life, hailing a cab will help you reach your destination relatively fast. But riding the subway or bus is a cheaper (but more time-consuming) alternative.
Shopping at the closest store
If you are pressed for time, you will duck into the nearest store to pick up a few items that you need. But if you are leisurely running errands, you can travel the extra mile or two to a discount store that sells the same items at a lower price.
The same is true with groceries. If you have more time on your hands, you can head to the local farmer's market or a discount warehouse store.
Paying for services
You are so time-crunched that you can't find the hours in the day to perform household tasks yourself, so you hire someone to clean the inside of your car or mow the lawn. This will obviously cost you hundreds of dollars more than doing it yourself.
Paula Pant blogs at AffordAnything.com about creating wealth and living life on your own terms. She's traveled to nearly 30 countries, owns five rental units and works for herself. Follow Paula on Twitter @AffordAnything.