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6 Luxurious Timesaving Services That Are Cheaper Than You Think

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6 Luxurious Timesaving Services That Are Cheaper Than You Think

    It must be great to be rich. After all, it’s a lot easier to be productive when you can pay someone to do all the menial things on your to-do list. But these perks aren’t restricted to trust fund kids. Some of the timesaving services that seem the most luxurious are surprisingly affordable, meaning you can boost your productive hours each day without crippling your cash flow.

    Time is money…so why not spend a little cash to reclaim precious hours in your day? Here are some common services that seem indulgent but are cheaper than you might have thought.

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    1. Valet Parking

    The Problem: You want to go out to dinner, but after you spend 30 minutes trying to find a place to park your car, you’ve missed your reservation.

    The Solution: Valet parking seems like an indulgence (and a drain on your wallet.) The thing is, a ton of restaurants offer free valet parking, saving you time and keeping you from shelling out quarters for the parking meter. Make reservations at a place with free valet parking, and you’ll make a good impression on your dining companions, and be a lot less stressed out.

    2. Personal Assistant

    The Problem: You. Are. Swamped. But you don’t have the budget to hire another employee, and your personal life is just as frenetic as your professional life.

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    The Solution: A virtual personal assistant. Your employer would definitely frown on you outsourcing your job to a virtual assistant, but if you are self-employed or need an assistant for purely personal reasons, hiring a virtual personal assistant is a great way to get items checked off your to-do list. Rates vary by company/individual, but can be as low as $1 an hour…and plenty of companies offer free trial periods as well.

    3. Grocery Delivery

    The Problem: Driving to the store takes time. Picking out your purchases takes time. Clipping coupons (if you’re into that sort of thing) takes a lot of time. And let’s not forget the drudgery of waiting in line behind the old lady who’s buying cat food with a combination of pocket change and personal checks.

    The Solution: Okay, no one’s gonna give you free groceries (unless it’s a charity org.) But, plenty of delivery services offer free shipping on your first order, low flat rate shipping, and competitive rates on their grocery items, so it doesn’t really cost you anything extra to shop online. Peapod, for example, offers free shipping for the first two months you use the service. Most services offer automated shipping as well, so you can have a constant stream of staples delivered to you at regular intervals.

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    4. Personal Accounting/Tax Prep

    The Problem: You don’t want to have to manage your own money, but you don’t have enough dough to pay someone to do it for you.

    The Solution: More like solutions. Free programs like GnuCash can help you track your spending year-round. H&R Block offers FREE audit support and representation from an enrolled agent when you file your taxes with them. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. The VITA Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

    5. Laundry Service

    The Problem: You hate doing laundry almost as much as you hate shelling out the dough for detergent and the coin-op laundry. And nothing bugs you more than spending a precious weekend afternoon washing and folding.

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    The Solution: Dry cleaning is definitely expensive, but washing the rest of your clothes can be surprisingly affordable. Rates vary by geographic location, but can be as low as 79 cents per pound. If you don’t have a home washing machine to begin with, laundry service might be a good choice for you.

    As an added bonus, a lot of places that offer wash and fold services will also throw in free repairs for whatever you bring in, whether its a missing button or a fallen hem. And let’s be honest: those are the kinds of repairs you’re just gonna keep putting off.

    6. House Cleaners/Maids

    The Problem: Your house is starting to look like an audition tape for Hoarders. But to make a dent in the cleaning, you’d need to dedicate a whole month’s worth of weekends.

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    The Solution: Maid companies can be a little pricey, so you might want to try advertise on Craigslist or in your local paper. You can try having different providers bid like contractors for who gets the privilege of working for you. Also keep your eyes peeled for deals on sites like LivingSocial or Groupon, where there are occasionally deep discounts on maid services.

    What “luxury” time-saving services are you most likely to splurge on? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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    Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

    Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

    Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

    Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

    In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

    Break Free of Your Finances

    Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

    When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

    Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

    Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

    To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

    While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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    Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

    1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

    We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

    For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

    To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

    Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

    This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

    2. Plan a Monthly Budget

    This is a great opportunity to get serious.

    Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

    Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

    3. Cut-up Credit Cards

    Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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    If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

    Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

    Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

    4. Increase Savings

    There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

    It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

    Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

    Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

    5. Invest Wisely

    Consider investing in funds.

    Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

    To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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    Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

    6. Invest in Gold

    There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

    You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

    Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

    These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

    With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

    7. Stash Emergency Funds

    Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

    If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

    Make it hard to get your cash.

    Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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    8. Find Fabulous Mentors

    Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

    If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

    There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

    9. Be Extra Patient

    Patience is the key of financial success.

    Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

    So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

    Financial Freedom for All

    Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

    Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

    Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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