It had been a long night of drinking. We’d been inundated with free drinks from the host who’d generously supplied beer and spirits and a slightly below average spread of food that included an unsliced quiche and a bowl of crisps (the flavour remained undetermined). As the night went on, the guest list dwindled, as was expected once the playlist was hi-jacked by random people. The house party came to a close and we decided to get an Uber home. It cost £40. Forty. Fucking. British Pounds.
“Let’s just get the tube…” I tried to persuade.
“Nah fuck that, it’ll take an hour” said my mate, who incidentally, paid for the Uber.
According to a new report by Charles Schwab, our greatest expenditure is on comfort and convenience with taxis and eating out taking the top spot on your transaction lists. With our relentlessly busy social lives, long working days and avocado rich diets, we have come to rely on whatever gives us the greatest convenience. From microwave mac and cheese to a cup of frothy coffee, if you don’t need to expel any thoughts or energy into it, you’ll pay whatever price to get it.
Unsurprisingly, eating out and buying convenience groceries is the number one waste of your money as in 2017, millennials spent almost twice as much on food as they did on clothing. So how can we turn away from convenience when we don't have the time for anything more?
Get enough sleep
One of the main reasons why people choose convenience is because they ‘can’t be arsed’. But have you noticed that when you’ve slept well, you make better choices? You make your lunch before work, you take the bus instead of a taxi- all because you have the energy to do it. Sleep becomes considerably less common as you get older but don't underestimate how vital it is to all aspects of your life.
The cost of convenience is particularly high for those who wouldn’t consider themselves as planners; the save-it-till-the-last-minute club. You don’t make lunch the night before so you spend £5 on a sandwich; you don’t plan your journey home on a night out so have to order taxi; you’re so disorganised that rather than bring the stuff you need out of the house, you buy replacements instead. Lesson: plan ahead.
See convenience for what it really is…
… a money-sucking capitalist marketing ploy to manipulate you into believing that by trading your money instead of your time you’re somehow winning at life. Because hey, what’s a £3 coffee when you’ve saved 40 seconds on the time it would have taken for you to turn the kettle on?
Remember the past, live in the now, prepare for the future
Remember how it felt to have no money; back in the early days of student life when the only sustenance you had was half a tin of soup and the remnants of a tobacco pouch. And think about the future life you want; one in which you can afford to pay your rent, go on holiday and have more than one pint. Let this inform your decision when you’re considering doing something for the sake of convenience because what might seem convenient now can make your potentially rich future look a whole lot like you very poor past.