How much is convenience costing you?

Sitting on CouchAmerica runs on convenience nowadays. From the McDonald’s drive-through to the single-serving size potato chips for our kid’s lunch, a lot of the stuff we buy is packaged and sold for convenience. This convenience is costing us money. This convenience is costing us time. When we stop at McDonald’s for lunch because of its convenience or when we buy individual serving size potato chips, we think we are saving time. We aren’t. Convenience takes time away from our family; it takes time away from our fun. Spending additional money for these conveniences causes us to have to work more to pay the additional cost, so it doesn’t free up time in the long run.

Conveniences Good or Bad?

Some conveniences are beneficial and most likely have helped civilization. Conveniences like refrigeration, the automobile, and computers, just to name a few, have helped us grow and be able to do things that other countries cannot do even still today. These conveniences have made our lives easier and better for the most part, but we need to be careful not to go too far with some of them that they make us lazy. Some of these conveniences have made it possible for us to generate great wealth. The same conveniences come with costs. Some conveniences cause us to be lazy or to not eat well and end up putting us in a hospital because of our eating habits and lack of exercise.

I am not here to say you shouldn’t buy something or you cannot do something because it’s convenient. You need to understand the costs of the conveniences. Eating out every day or shopping at your local convenience store every day costs you a lot of money in the long run. You might consider it convenient right now to not have to cook—and you can check with your dietitian on this—but most of this convenience food is not good for you. You need to consider the long-term costs of your actions and purchases. Grabbing lunch at a fast-food drive-through or at a convenience store occasionally is probably okay. It’s just not something you should be doing all the time. Habits form over time and are hard to break, so don’t get into some of these convenience habits.

Convenience is Almost Never the Best

Even when it comes to raising your children, if you take the convenient way of child-rearing, it will have an effect on your children. Not telling your kids “no” because it’s not convenient for you will cause your children to grow up and always expect you to not say “no”. Telling your children “no” is not very convenient. It almost never is. There are consequences that you get to deal with when you tell your child “no”. (I know of people who had to leave their filled shopping cart in the checkout line because their child started screaming because the parent said “no”.) As with everything, whether it’s raising your children, your health, or your finances, it’s hard when we are inconvenienced, but convenience is almost never the best.

For the most part, we wouldn’t have our society and our lifestyle without the automobile. Even a bicycle is a convenience. It is more work to ride your bike, but, the exercise and the savings of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle benefits you in the long run. You need to know where the line is between something that’s convenient that can be beneficial for you or something that’s convenient that makes you lazy. Try riding your bike or walking for short errands.

Instead of going to a grocery store every day or even multiple times a day to buy food, owning a refrigerator can cut down on your trips to the store to once a week. That savings on gas and time makes the refrigerator very convenient. This is an example of a convenience that is very beneficial for both our time and money.

Some Convenience is Being Lazy

Eating lunch at a fast-food place is not convenience. It’s being lazy! You spend more money eating out than you would if you cooked at home, and this is even the case if you are single. It takes almost no time to pack a lunch. It takes time to go buy lunch. The laziness can be that you don’t want to cook, or that laziness can be that you don’t want to learn how to cook. This so-called convenience is costing you time and money, and probably your health. It’s causing you to not build wealth.

Convenience is okay in some situations. It has helped us thrive as a society, but don’t use conveniences to become lazy. This ends up costing you in a lot of areas of your life in the long run.

What are some conveniences you cannot give up?

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