Time vs Money Redux

Saving money is a good thing

Saving time is a good thing.

Somewhere in between, there has to be a balance.  It’s possible to spend far too much time to save very little money.

For example, on September 30th, I left for the Financial Blogger’s Conference.  Thinking I’d be frugal and save a little money, I told my GPS to avoid the toll roads.  According to Google maps, the cheap route should have added 20 minutes to my trip.  Coming into Illinois from Wisconsin on the toll roads, it’s easy to spend that much time waiting to pay the toll, since I don’t own an Illinois magic toll-paying box.

Unfortunately, the little smart-a** suction-cupped to my windshield sent mebthrough every construction zone between Wisconsin  and Schaumberg, Illinois.

That sucks.

I went through a series of little towns with speed limits that randomly changed from block to block.   Road construction had half of the roads down to just one lane.  All told, I saved $3.40, judging by the tolls heading home, but the horrible detour cost me well over an hour and a half of time.

I saved $3.40, but lost 90 minutes.  That’s not a good return on investment.

Just a month ago, I was ripping into my mother-in-law for wasting half an hour to save 75 cents.  Then I have to go and demonstrate how horrible I am at making that save time vs money judgement.

I need to work on that.

What’s the most time you’ve spent to save a small amount of money?

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    1. An interesting thought: how much did you lose due to lower mileage in the GPS route? Don’t tell your mother in law I asked!

    2. I can’t think of a specific example right now but I do know that we definitely have wasted time to save money. Time to me is money and the more I can maximize it the better. I have been working on trying to balance frugality and time better too.

    3. I make these types of mistakes often. 🙂

      I do have the little Illinois magic toll paying box, but I have lived here for 11 years, and we only got one last year! 10 years I paid double the toll! How stupid is that?

    4. Haha! We have done that before, not take the toll roads, never again!

      I do this when I try to make something rather then buy it. Most the time it pays off but sometimes there’s a project I want to bang my head on the wall about.

    5. I was in a similar situation recently. I drove from Iowa to Kansas, and the tolls cost $8.40 total on the way down. I decided on the way back to skip the tolls and take the road less travelled. It was a pleasant drive, but I’m sure i did not save that $8.40 since I had to spend more on gas. Even so, I preferred the drive back just so I didn’t have to deal with the tolls and had more options for lunch.

    6. Get one of the Illinois magic toll-paying box… its well worth it. I make a couple of trips a year down to Illinois and resisted until I found out how easy it was to get and use.

    7. I’ve gone out of my way before to avoid a toll road only to get stuck in traffic. Sometimes it’s really not worth it. lol

    8. Ouch. I don’t think I really try to save money in that way, so I’m not sure. I do try to avoid toll roads though — but only because I often get on them and mess up and have to go back and forth many times. Not fun when you pay over and over again!

    9. The time vs money conversation is a common one at our house, and it’s why we sold one house after living in it only 18 months and bought a second one that cost $60k more. It meant money was tighter, but it also changed our work commute from 100 miles a day (50 each way) to 30 miles a day. And yes, time was definitely the right choice.


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