Frequently, I would mention that there is a price to be paid for convenience. When something is more convenient for us, it usually means that it requires less or no work on our part. Usually, this can only be so because someone else has done much or all of the work for us.
Whether something is convenient or inconvenient for us is usually relative. If we have to do a lot of work in order to save some money, then, it might not be worth the trouble. Of course, I understand that what is considered inconvenient will differ from person to person. So, I am just sharing what any reasonable person might agree with.
For example, at last year's InvestX Congress, I shared on stage how I walked to a nearby supermarket to get a bottle of water instead of buying the same in a food court where I had dinner with some friends. It was probably a 50 meter walk. It wasn't too far away.
So, the inconvenience that I had to suffer to buy bottled water from a supermarket was negligible. For more convenience, I would have had to pay $1.50 for the same bottled water in the food court while it was just $0.60 in the supermarket.
For people who are addicted to coffee, I have also mentioned in my blog before how we could save lots of money by not buying coffee from coffee shops and to simply bring a packet of 3 in 1 coffee mix to work daily.
It isn't too inconvenient to put a packet of 3 in 1 coffee mix in our bag to bring to work, is it? Depending on where we usually get our daily coffee fixes, the savings could range from maybe a dollar to several dollars a day.
For an event last month, I used the example of herbal tea. Herbal tea? Yes, in a place like Singapore where it is summer the whole year round, shops selling herbal tea, including Chinese medicine halls, do a roaring trade.
How much does it cost to take away a 500ml plastic bottle of chrysanthemum and ginseng herbal tea? $1.50 or so, I would guess. (If you were to look carefully, in some shops, they have kept their prices unchanged but the bottles have become slimmer. Same height but slimmer.)
OK, the question is whether it is inconvenient to make our own herbal tea? Alamak, must buy chrysanthemum flower, ginseng roots and liquorice. Throw in boiling water, let it cool, bottle and then bring to work. So much work! Definitely too inconvenient!
What if I were to show you a herbal tea bag? Yes, a tea bag. Just bring a packet to work each day and just let the tea bag steep in warm water. Have freshly brewed herbal tea in seconds. Very inconvenient? I don't think so.
Cost? $1.05 for a pack of 3 tea bags from NTUC Fairprice. (2016 UPDATE: It is now $1.50.)
Each tea bag could easily produce up to 1.5 litres of herbal tea. This is my experience.
If you drink a lot of herbal tea like I do, you might want to consider this product which is made in Singapore.
I feel that very often people are worried about losing face. Alamak! I am sure people talk about me frequently about my habits but these people don't matter, I feel, my bank account does.
So, beyond thinking whether it is a need or a want, the next time you think of buying something, just pause for another moment and think whether you are paying too much for convenience, if any.
How to recession proof your life?
Note: This is not an advertorial. AK derives no monetary benefits from sharing this find.