Time is money that you’ll never get back

Are you doing these time wasting things to save money?

Adulting in your 30s
3 min readOct 24, 2023

Growing up in an Asian family, I was always taught to be frugal. Our family had enough to live reasonably comfortably, but I remember spending weekends clipping coupons and driving from store to store to maximize the stackable coupon savings.

We would collect rain-checks if something super on sale was sold out, and we got a sense of victory when we walk away with five boxes of Gillette razor refills for 50 cents each.

Except, my mom doesn’t shave. And I barely shaved. Why did we spend all that time to collect a bunch of stuff we don’t even need?

As an adult, I find myself defaulting to these habits from time to time. As I embark on my journey to stop thinking that my time is free, here are some areas to watch out for so that you’re not spending a lot of time to save a little money.

Going down the price comparison rabbit hole

You see something you want to buy.

You decide to google the item to find the best price.

You proceed to spend the next hour and next days checking different sites on the off chance they have the thing you want at a big discount.

Maybe you end up buying not exactly the model or color you wanted because the same thing in a different model/color is cheaper.

Now you’ve wasted a bunch of time and didn’t even get what you actually wanted.

Was that really a good deal?

Going to a different shop to get the same item cheaper

You’re standing in front of the toothpaste you need, but you remember it’s cheaper at another store.

Do you skip buying it and go get it from the other store?

Chances are, on small items like that, the actual price difference won’t be enough to worth you going to a different store.

Even if it’s 50% off at the other store. You’re now saying $2.50. Congratulations.

Your time and effort is worth more than that.

Just buy the toothpaste.

Reselling old clothes

This is a tough one.

Sometimes, the money you get back is not tiny.

Yet, is it enough to make up for your time taking pictures of the items, writing a description, adjusting the price, answering questions about it, storing it, packing it, and shipping it?

Are you not better off just donating everything and have immediate peace of mind of decluttering?

I recently found a site that will resell old clothes on my behalf, but taking 70% of the proceeds.

I hesitated. But if I sell it myself I can get more money!

How more more though, really?

Even if it’s $100 more, is it worth my time, energy, and peace of mind?

This is a question only you can answer for yourself, depending on your situation.

If your’e sturggling to make ends meet, then for sure, resell your old stuff.

But if you’re living comfortably and don’t actually need the money, perhaps this is not the best way to spend your valuable time that you will never get back.



Adulting in your 30s

Musings and self reflections of a 30 something who feels like an adult but a kid at the same time