Very few of us run our home like a business, and yet there are so many opportunities to save time and money when we step back and start to think like the CEO of our home. From solar panels to hedge trimmers, there are opportunities to make one-time investments that will generate returns in perpetuity.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to get a strong return on investment from investing in solar panels. In New York, for example, investing in solar panels could deliver a return on investment within five years. Any investor would jump at the chance to make that kind of return on investment, and yet so few homeowners actually decide to follow through and get solar panels installed.
In Portland it would take around 15 years to get your money back, but even that is a reasonable investment. Particularly when you think about how it will lower your bills in retirement – exactly when money is tightest for so many Americans.
Another similar example is insulation. If your home is well insulated you will spend less cooling your home and less heating your home as well. It’s a one-time investment that can easily pay for itself within a reasonably short time horizon. Double-glazed windows are also a wise investment for the same reason.
Buying machinery, appliances and other hardware are almost always wise investments. Firstly, let’s take the example of washing your own dishes rather than using a dishwasher. Studies show that the latest dishwashers use less water than if you were to wash them by hand, so you’ll actually reduce your water consumption. You will also save a significant amount of time. Imagine if you save ten minutes a day over the next five years. That’s over 300 hours. Would you be prepared to work 300 hours for the cost of a dishwasher? The answer is almost certainly no, unless you’d be prepared to work for less than $2 an hour. So, if you have the cash available, do the smart thing and invest in a dishwasher.
The exact same logic applies to your garden. Go to Pat’s Small Engine Plus and fix your broken hedge trimmer, leaf blower and other garden hardware. Your time is money, so go and invest in yourself.
Many people make the argument that they only work a fixed amount of hours, so there’s little need to save time. However, you could take the extra time and invest it in yourself. Perhaps you could get fit or learn a new skill that could lead to a new career or a promotion at work. Of course, you could also choose to bolster your earnings with some work on the side.
Another option is to invest in your child’s education. One hour a week helping your child could really make a difference. You will identify areas where your child needs to focus, and you can guide their revision so that their time is spent productively.