budget living

When is it worth it to pay for the convenience?

It seems like we’re always on the go these days and multi-tasking at every chance we get. So it’s sometimes easier to pay an extra fee to make our lives a little easier. But some fees can be excessive and unnecessary. They can be one of those “I don’t know where my money is going” charges that knocks your budget completely off balance over time.

But that extra fee can be worth it if it saves us valuable time. Especially if you’re always on the go. So when is it worth it and when is it not? Let’s take a look at some of the conveniences that are worth paying for. Some may surprise you.

Worth Paying For

Professional Services

While it’s great to look for ways to save money by doing things yourself, there are some things you’re better off hiring a professional for. If you’re not a handyman, doing home repairs can cost you more than hiring someone else. If you don’t understand how to invest and don’t have the time to seriously learn what you’re doing, hiring a professional can help you build your portfolio. And when it comes to car repairs, it’s best to trust someone who’s professionally trained.

Cellphone Plan

Getting the best rate on your cell service is definitely a high priority. After all, your cellphone bill can be one of your largest monthly expenses. But if you’re constantly on the go and you do work related tasks on your phone, a plan with enough data to cover your needs is well worth it. If you run out of data, you’ll either pay a significantly higher fee for additional service or you won’t be able to use your phone without internet until it replenishes. Take a look at how much data you are currently using on a monthly basis and make sure you have enough to cover your needs. Of course, if you’re paying for too much, this is a good area to make some cuts.

Ready-Made Meals

Depending on your situation, paying a little extra for a ready-made meal instead of shopping and cooking yourself can be worth it. Especially if you never have enough time. Just make sure you’re making healthy choices or you’ll pay for it in the long-run. If you’re hitting a drive-thru, choose a salad or a grilled sandwich. Many grocery stores offer a wide variety of healthy prepared foods as well as quick meals you can make yourself. And most are $20 or less for a family of four. If you don’t have a family to feed, that’s four meals for you!

Not Worth Paying For

Unnecessary Fees

These would include using an ATM machine that’s not connected to your bank. You’ll pay a fee from the ATM and a fee from your bank which could add up to $5 or more for one transaction. Added interest on credit cards that you are able to pay down or pay off are also fees you shouldn’t be paying. This is like throwing money in the trash.

Convenience Stores

These stores charge much higher prices for things you can buy just about anywhere else for less. If you have discount stores and grocery stores nearby, it’s not worth the time and money to go to a convenience store.

There are certainly times when the convenience of something outweighs the additional cost. But think before you purchase. Is the convenience really worth it or is the savings of doing it yourself or going to another store a better option?

Enjoy Blonde & Balanced?

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About the author

Emilie Burke

Emilie is a politics-major turned data engineer. She graduated from Princeton University in 2015 and from Smartly with her MBA in 2016. She lives in North Carolina with her college sweetheart Casey who is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV. She blogs at Burke Does. You can find her around the web at @emilielimaburke.

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