Is Paying for Convenience Killing your Budget?



According to a Deliveroo study of 1,000 Singaporeans, 80% said they are ordering from food delivery services more than ever before, with 50% admitting that they order in food more than once a week.

Convenience remains the key motivating factor for respondents, with 59% admitting that they prefer the convenience of ordering in over cooking at home. This resonated more with respondents aged 25-44 (67%), compared to older (45-54) Singaporeans (52%).

With the popularity of e-commerce apps and expanding delivery networks, we are definitely paying for convenience a lot more.

Does paying for convenience kill our budget? And should we try to stop ourselves from doing so?

1. Money vs Time 

Money & time are both precious commodities.

Time is often seen to be extra precious, given that we have a limited 24 hours a day. 

This is why we often justify paying for convenience so we can save time. 

A writer from Business Insider experimented with cutting out convenience for a month, and concluded that she wasn’t sure it was worth it. 

She says, “I don’t think this is something I’ll do every month. While it’s great to plan for the future, saving on convenience usually means spending a lot of time — the only thing we really can’t get back. 

It took a lot longer commuting, completing, or planning all of the tasks I did, which meant sacrificing on other things I wanted to do, too. If I had to guess, I think I spent an extra 10 hours on things I usually do much more quickly just so I could avoid spending a few dollars.”

While it’s great to plan for the future, saving on convenience usually means spending a lot of time — the only thing we really can’t get back. 

2. What is your time worth?

On deciding what types of convenience is worth paying for, we should first determine what our time is worth.

If you divide your monthly taxable income / number of hours worked, you can get to an hourly ball park rate. 

Sometimes this figure can be scarily low if you work long hours :'(

Nevertheless, you will start to see things in perspective. 

Once you have a better feel for the value of your time, you may decide to delegate more, such as hiring a part-time cleaner, or paying for groceries once a week. 

As the Business Insider writer above indicated, she valued the worth of her time > saving just a few dollars.

3. Are you being more productive? 

On the flip side, after paying for convenience, do you use the “time earned” wisely?

Or do you just veg on the couch doing nothing. 

It’s OK if you are making the conscious choice to relax, but less okay if you are just wasting both time and money away. 

There’s also something to be said about outsourcing tasks you hate or are absolutely bad at.

If it takes you 2 hours to make a simple meal that tastes bad, maybe it’s OK to order takeout once in a while, or alternatively invest the time into a cooking class!

Do you always go for the assembly fee when you order furniture? Or can you learn to figure it out yourself?

Do you know how to do simple household repairs? YouTube can teach you many things for free! 

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4. Is paying for convenience killing your budget? 

Common areas where people pay for convenience:

  • food delivery
  • ride hailing (instead of public transport) 
  • home cleaning
  • gardening 
  • repairs
  • delivery & assembly

The question is how much do all these fees add up?

Popular food delivery platforms and how much they charge


Are there hidden costs?

For instance, do you tend to over-spend on grocery delivery to reach the minimum free shipping?

Or do you actually save more, because you tend to be more focused (instead of being distracted in store and adding random things to your cart)?

It depends on what kind of shopper you are. 

If you take a Grab to work instead of public transport, are you able to have a more productive morning?

Do you try to maximize your car journey?

Or are you just sleeping in late and rushing in to work while paying the extra ERP surcharges?

Ultimately, it’s OK to pay for convenience if it’s a conscious choice on your part.

Know the time value of money, and make productive decisions that help you achieve your goals! 


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  1. Why not just plan your meals and do your grocery shopping one a week with a list? You’ll save a lot of money over the space of a year.

    As a bonus you’ll probably eat a lot healthier and better. The money saved can really add up, and can be spent on vacations or (better still) invested.


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