Finding the right balance between time and money

Finding the right balance between time and money

Back in the day when I was a college student with limited income, I would change my own oil — run to the store, grab the oil and filter, and then head home. Once home I would run my car up on skids in the garage and muddle through the oil-changing process with some struggle, but most of the time it would go without a hitch. That whole process would cost about $16 and a bunch of my time.

Then I realized a large store (who shall not be named) would change my oil for $24. I was happy it cost similar, but it wouldn’t take any of my time. I was wrong. Even though the price was similar, the process would take an hour or two of waiting because oil changes were always on the backburner, and it seemed to eat up a whole Saturday morning if I would go. Finally, I arrived to what I do now. I take my car to the Quik Lube, and it costs double what I normally paid, but I get it done in 15 minutes, if that. The point I am getting at is we have to find the right balance between time and money.

It makes me think of when I would look for far too long on websites trying to find coupons or discounts, and I would spend all this time but maybe save a dollar or two. Looking back, it might have seemed like a victory at the time to find something, but I could have been doing something better than that. We must learn to value our time.

If you look at the world around you, there are endless ways to save time, but save a little money. Some examples are HelloFresh, which delivers meals ready to prepare so the buyer can save time. I never understood this concept of paying more for things you could easily buy at the store, but now that I live alone, I fully understand how it is making a meal after a long day of work.

Another company that can be used as an example is a local company in Wooster, the Kitty Poo Club, which had the brilliant idea of delivering an at-home cat litter box that can be replaced every month. It cuts out the drive to the store and all the fuss that comes with the litter box.

At this season of my life, I realized how squeezed for time I really am. There are days where I feel like I could get everything done if I would only sleep two hours at night, so more expensive, less time-consuming services become important to me. It was completely opposite when I was in college and had a lot less responsibilities, but I realized I had to choose my battles. I can’t spend money on every time-saving service, or else I’ll go broke but have loads of time. I have to find the correct balance between the two.

One thing I have heard over and over is “I can always make more money, but I cannot make more time.” Obviously, this is true, but the older a person gets, the more it rings true. We can try to borrow and steal all the time in the world, but it will never happen. We have a set time on this earth, and when it ends, that is it. When that time comes, we will look back on the time wasted, not try to see if we can make another dollar.

Holmes County native BJ Yoder is an insurance agent by day and a finance enthusiast by night. This column is for informational purposes only. He can be emailed at

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