While reading through the Money magazine an article stuck out to me, “When Getting a Deal Just Isn’t Worth It”.  The author gives some great examples through her experience and another friend’s experience when trying to purchase the perfect car.  The author spent a great many hours searching for the best deal on a big screen TV for her family.  She questioned if she spent her time wisely.

I’ve debated this very same thing.  When I do my grocery shopping each week I try to plan where I need to go.  I save up a number of purchases for the same store to minimize the amount of time I’m actually out driving and shopping.  I’ve passed up some deals in the past because the money saved on purchasing the sale item wasn’t as great as the value of my time spent getting it.

My husband has left oil changes and some other small tasks to professionals (even though he knew how to do the task himself very well) because he would make more money working overtime as opposed to the money saved by doing the small task himself.  Sometimes the time is just more valuable having time with family or a friend.

When does it become valuable to spend 40 hours looking for the perfect deal?

  • if the savings is equal or greater than the value of your time (eg. if your savings are $200 and you searched for 40 hours, is your time worth $5 per hour?)
  • maybe the time spent investigating the purchase is done with a family member/friend that you are then able to have a good amount of needed quality time with
  • maybe you acquire a great resource of knowledge from all of the details you researched and have then become somewhat of an expert in that area and is then you are able to transfer that knowledge/skill over to getting you a better job, for example

What has been your payoff for searching the long hours for the perfect deal?