Each day we get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds in a day.
No matter how you slice it, divide it or use it, there is only one constant in life and that is time.
But what does that have to do with your latte?
If you’re not much of a coffee drinker, a latte is a type of coffee made with espresso and hot steamed milk. While milkier than a cappuccino, but not as dark and bitter as regular coffee, the average latte will run a person $3 to $5.
In a world where we have less time and our attention is coveted by all sorts of mediums more and more every day, (Think family, friends, kids, work, activities, social media, TV, cell phones, shopping, cleaning, cooking) sometimes it is easy to skip the morning routine, drive to a coffee shop and spend $5 on a latte.
But is that $5 cost you more time than you might think? Is the pitstop that you think is saving you time costing you tenfold in the long run?
Money is time.
I once wrote an article about all the possible ways to make $500 fast, like really fast.
The essence of the article was to convey that if a tire goes, the dog eats chocolate, or the baby needs an emergency room visit – there are viable ways to make some quick money.
But here is what I left out.
The quick fixes are not sustainable long term. Like Uber or Lyft, they work in the short term, but over the long haul they end up costing more money, and more importantly more time, but instead it’s compounded with interest.
Just like the $5 latte.
Every time we seem to settle for the quick fix, the instant gratification type behavior that has become so regular in our society, what we fail to recongize is that it is ultimately costing us more time.
Call it the compound effect.
- The $100 per month latte habit ends up costing you $1,200 a year.
- The $1,200 latte habit means you’re stressing out about money just a little bit more.
- Because you’re stressing out about money, you decide to work harder for overtime or a promotion.
- Now you work 45-50 hours a week instead of 40
- Because you work 45 hours a week and commute another 5, you feel tired.
- Because you feel tired you don’t feel like working out, and you don’t feel like you have the time
- Because you don’t work out you have less energy
- And because of that, you feel like you have ZERO time
While this might be a somewhat extreme example, at the end of the day the purpose of this message is to recognize that the small things add up.
For example, if you earn $5 a day working from home, you can eventually earn $10, $20 and so on!
And if you want more time in your life it might not be as hard to find as you might think.
All the time you really covet lies in your daily habits, hence the whole latte thing. By simply picking one or two poor habits to address each month, you can start to create a compound effect in the right direction!
Over time the small, incremental baby steps start to add up and before you know it instead of spending $1,200 on lattes you have saved $2,000 for a trip.
Because you’re energized from a trip you’re more efficient at work! The efficiency leads to a promotion, but you’re also still only putting in 40 hours instead of the old 45.
With more money, you’re now able to stop stressing and start living life when you do have free time!
So next time you decide to maybe cut the corner or buy that latte, ask yourself this question:
“Will this give me more time in the long run?”
Until next time!
Josh is the founder of Money Life Wax, a blog that helps readers with not just money, but time efficiency and perspective when it comes to living a better life. Not only does Josh write about money and life help, he has writing experience doing technical writing for small businesses too!
Other Thrive Global articles include: