For Your Convenience


Just for fun, I was recently reviewing bank accounts to analyze my spending habits. So like a kid with Monopoly money, I used to color-code my expenses by category, create a fancy chart of my monthly withdrawal patterns, and eventually design a “budget.” In the end I had an infographic-like representation of my indulgences, and it was clear where my weakness lays – convenience charges.

Now these aren’t the pay-bill-last-minute-with-credit-card or speak-to-a-live-representative “convenience” charges, these are the avoid-doing-something-I’m-perfectly-capable-of-doing-myself convenience charges. I pay for the convenience of not cooking my own food, or for the convenience of not cleaning my own home, or for the convenience of not scrubbing my own pores. I pay extra to have my car parked for me, I pay to have little kids make my lemonade, I even pay a premium for my vegetables to be pre-seasoned and pre-sliced, presumably by Trader Joe himself.

While I probably sit slightly on the reasonable side of the pay-for-comfort spectrum, I have a friend who takes her convenience very seriously. She eats out for every meal and has been known to fork over extortionate change fees to get on an earlier flight to avoid sitting at the airport. She has even paid the tab on an eight-person meal because she didn’t want to wait for everyone to do the math. But her views on what’s “worth it” have taught me something valuable – it’s totally worth it.

Convenience charges are really just a reflection of opportunity costs – and they are different for everyone. I prefer to cook than eat out, refuse to pay three dollars for bottled water, and smuggle candy into movies, but I do pay to have someone clean my apartment. Sure I can clean my own house, but it’s worth it to me to pay someone else who will do it in four hours to save me the eight hours it would take to do the same job. My eight hours of sanity are worth it. We all have to decide how valuable our time and happiness is.

So whether it’s the convenience of first class or a monthly facial or hiring a caterer or just having your M&Ms prepackaged in individual serving sizes, we all have comforts that are absolutely worth a premium. What costs are completely worth it to you?


About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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13 Responses to For Your Convenience

  1. Katie says:

    Totally relate to this! There’s so many things I decide to pay for just because it’s easier. My biggest one is probably food.

  2. craft fear says:

    I will pay a lot for a good manicure/pedicure. I have all the materials to do my own nails because for awhile I thought that I shouldn’t be spending the money on a thing I would do myself—but turns out I can’t really do it myself. I turn into a goopy mess and my husband gets a headache from the chemical smell and I know he wishes I’d sleep on the couch immediately afterward. So yeah. Nails.

  3. Can’t u convenience charge the marathon training? I outsource/throw money at just about everything except blogging.

  4. karen says:

    Great concept, isn’t it? I hire someone to pull weeds, wash windows, mop floors. Car wash and detailing (oh, yeah!)

  5. adcayaby says:

    You are right to catagorize these expenses as convenience charges! Mine would be food and oil changes. I can change my own oil and filter, but I just need to save time. Also, I go to a friends shop and its nice to help them out by paying for a service in times when it’s hard to find customers.

  6. Krissy says:

    Love this one Beth. I recently replied to a friend who was contemplating paying to get her house cleaned. I challenged her to go in her expenses and see where she could drum up the money because surely it was getting spent on something much less valuable. And then I encouraged her to just try it once. The first time I had my house cleaned and woke up on a Saturday with nothing to do but play with my child and hang with my husband I was hooked. Family time is worth every penny!!

  7. Kendra says:

    It’s like you’re writing about me!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Movers! Best money ever spent.

  9. paywindow7 says:

    It’s interesting how a convenience charge can evolve over time, to become a necessity.

  10. MaximumWage says:

    How much would you pay for someone to conveniently write your blog for you? LOL. 🙂 Who doesnt love takeout? or even room service?

  11. I do not plan on starting to cut my hair anytime soon – I can do my own nails though. Great Post!

  12. andraehenry says:

    great post i can definately relate to my overly convenient life style. 🙂

  13. feedoffme says:

    I do like convienience 🙂

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