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Kill the Bargain Hunter and Change Your Attitudes Toward Money and Time

By Yaro Starak
19 Comments

Time is MoneyThe last few months have seen some huge changes in my life. I bought my first house (pictures coming soon – I move in later this month), I just bought a new car (Suzuki Swift – again photos coming soon), I haven’t had a car in nearly 7 years so it will be great to finally not rely on friends for lifts (thanks Fran and Will!), I launched a new business, Blog Mastermind, and began the process of leaving my other business, BetterEdit (more news on this soon too!).

It’s been a pretty amazing ride since I left Canada in February, that is for sure!

Something I’ve noticed lately is a change to my mindset towards how I spend money. Ever since I began studying business, learning the 80/20 Rule, dealing with information overload, studying business systems with Rich Schefren’s mentoring program and just my own progression as a business owner, has led to a big mental shift.

The core concept I am talking about here is the relationship between time and money and how I leverage those two resources.

The Bargain Hunter

During previous periods in my life I had an attitude of always looking for the best price and I felt I had to thoroughly research any purchase to make sure I was getting a good deal. It wasn’t that I desperately needed to save money, although I certainly wasn’t financially stable, it was more that mentally I had a need to feel comfortable with a purchase decision. I needed to feel that I made the right decision and invested enough research beforehand.

This process has completely changed and it’s specifically because I now value time more than money. I didn’t realize it back then, but the investment I made in energy and time to find the best price and to make sure I felt “comfortable” with my decision was costing me way more than any price saving I made by finding the cheapest option.

Seeking Leverage

My switch in attitude would not have been possible if it wasn’t for establishing a system for really leveraging certain activities. Back when I was a bargain hunter I didn’t have a business or a blog or anything that was leveraged for greater income. Until I had built a blog that made money and set up a business that had the potential to generate an income that wasn’t specifically linear – it wasn’t a flat paid by the hour process – I didn’t have any means to exponentially increase my return on investment from the work put in.

If you work a job and get paid an hourly rate you can do a straight comparison. Since your income is capped and chances are you don’t want to work extra hours, it makes sense to find the best purchase because the saving you make in cost either from a discounted price at the point of purchase, or a more reliable purchase that won’t break in the future costing you money, makes sense – it saves you money that you wouldn’t otherwise have (unless you do enjoy working extra hours).

When you can save $100 by shopping around for a cheaper supplier, even if that takes a few hours, then it make sense for you. However if you have a leveraged asset, where your input produces more money per hour, for example say each hour you put into your blog or your business results in $200 to your bottom line, then you should spend less time looking for ways to save money, and more time on the systems you have that make a better return. In economic circles this is known as an opportunity cost comparison.

We can take this a step further and outsource all our buying decisions so we get the benefit of the best price and use our time on our most leveraged activities, but it takes balance since you have to weigh up the cost of outsourcing against the savings you make.

Sometimes it’s simply smarter to go with the best given option available right now without looking around and researching. This is when it’s important to have trusted sources based on past experiences, for example, suppliers who generally provide good output, but may not be the cheapest option. In this case speed and dependability counts – you want to buy as quickly as possible from a reputable supplier so you can get back to the activities that provide the best output for you.

An Example

Let’s take an example with the purchase of a digital camera. I’m not a digital camera aficionado, so there is no part of me that looks at buying a camera as indulging in a hobby, I just need it to perform a certain function.

I could walk into a store, say what my needs are and be presented with a few options. Provided I go into a reputable camera store I should get a reasonable spread of quality brands and products, they may not be the best or the worst, but I have the reputation of the supplier (and the warranty) as protection and credibility.

The old Yaro, the bargain hunter, would note the brand and models presented, leave the camera store having not bought anything and then head home to go online to find alternative stores and read reviews of each camera. I’d look up eBay and find online retailers who have the same models cheaper and read reviews to find out if there are better options available.

My research process makes sense, it’s good to protect yourself and why not look for the best price at the same time. The problem is this process can take hours, plus time waiting for delivery and if I go the eBay path, there is a potential for fraud or receiving an inferior product (this has happened to me before from eBay purchases).

The new Yaro knows that time spent researching these things takes him away from writing blog content, producing materials for Blog Mastermind students and conducting marketing activities to help grow his business. These activities are more enjoyable and result in a greater return on investment.

The new Yaro walks into a camera store, looks at his options, picks the one he wants and buys it right then and there. He realizes he might be spending more for something he could get elsewhere cheaper, but he doesn’t want the hassle – he doesn’t want to waste time on low value activities.

Why Not Outsource The Camera Research Process?

I expect that Tim Ferriss would outsource the research process to find the best camera and just make a choice based on what his researchers presented to him. I still haven’t made it to the point where I want to outsource every part of my life, I do still enjoy the buying process, I just don’t want it to take too long, so I make decisions based on the immediate data available and run with it so I can get back to work. Maybe one day soon I’ll be prepared to outsource buying decisions like this too.

Finding Your Money Actions

My change in mindset has come about only because of the assets I have built. Without the potential to leverage my time and not to forget – the fact that I really enjoy working on my assets like this blog and my mentoring program – I wouldn’t have the luxury of this situation. Today I buy things immediately without really thinking about the cost, at least when it comes to smaller purchasing decisions (I’m not buying houses and cars quite so quickly…yet!). I know time is worth way more than any price saving ever will be.

In your case you may still have the bargain hunter mentality simply because the process of saving money is one of the best ways to help your bottom line, because your income is linear. Your goal should be to change this situation so it becomes more cost effective to spend time working on your blog or business rather than researching for the best price.

To do this you need to build an asset that has the potential for leverage. Whether that is leverage because you have systems and people that multiply output and get things done without you, or you have access to network effects spreading your message far and wide, meaning one article, in the case of a blog, has the potential to make a huge impact on your bottom line, isn’t important as long as you have some form of leverage so your time-to-income ratio is multiplied. You want to work with multiplication tables, not additions and subtractions, so you can leverage your time for significant rewards, not just flat discounts.

Once this mindset starts to set in you will be amazed as you observe how most people waste time and energy because they are so restricted by their own income potential. Once you break away from the linear income world, you realize that freedom – and true freedom is having abundant time and flexibility of choice – is what you really want, and you will never stress about making a purchase decision for fear of not finding the cheapest price.

Yaro Starak
Time Hunter

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19 Comments

  • This was a really interesting post Yaro, the Time Hunter :) I’m not in a position to get into that at the moment… In fact, I perhaps have a lot of time but not much money, so I guess I can afford to be some what of a time waster! Sure, I want to save as much time as possible, but at the same time, money is more important than time so I try to save money. :) One day I’ll get to the stage you’re on.

  • I myself have only come to this realisation just this year as well. It’s slowly been creeping up on me over the last 2 years since I’ve owned a business, and my time became precious to me.

    I also used research to the nth degree, then feel justified that I got the best deal around. What a hero!

    Just last weekend I walked into the store and bought a DVD recorder and small LCD TV, that used to take me ages to decide on. Now I just decide with what’s available and haggle for the best price I can get and that’s it. Goods bought, problem solved.

    I did the same thing with a near new car at the start of the year. I couldn’t believe it.

    My time building my business is worth more to me than the money I would save running around town.

    Caveat I wouldn’t do the same with a house purchase unless I was fully educated with the area. But it’s such a change to what I used to be like I feel very weird but good.

    Thanks
    Aaron

  • I can never be bothered researching before a purchase. I usually ask my friends what they have and what their experiences are with that product then follow my intuition. It’s worked really well so far and it doesn’t take much time.

    It’s been a pleasure driving you around Yaro, but I am SOOO happy you’ve got your own car now!

    Fran

  • Yaro, you’re 100% rent. I used to do the same thing: trips to Costco, hunting at discount stores, Bestbuy, and online for the best price. If you’re time is so worthless that you can afford to burn hours to save a few dollars, you’re doing something wrong.

    Thanks as always for the insight. You’re right on.

    One Man. One Year. $100,000 online. How’s he doing it?
    http://www.oneyeargoal.com

  • Don

    I used to be the same in real estate, but now I have people who will do the leg work for me and I just get them to tell me what to buy, what it is worth and sign the deal when the contract turns up.
    I pay them to use their petrol and time, rather than me using my time and effort.
    I can still turn a dollar with only 30 minutes on the phone and a few signatures for the Real estate agent and the bank.
    Time is more important for me.
    Don

  • Great post Yaro. A great entrepreneur once told me that you can always find more money somehow (read his book “No Cash, No Fear” by Terry Allen for some ideas) but that your time is limited and once it’s spent you can never make it back.

  • We all have the same amount of time. It’s an even playing field. It’s just like the experiments when everyone’s given 100 dollars~some spend it, some bury it in a passive account, and some multiply it. I’ve always spent my time more carefully than my money and yes, many people do not understand it.

    So excited how Blog Mastermind is helping me with both resources!

  • This is one of the best posts I have read on a blog. It really hit home with me for a couple of reasons. 1.) It takes me forever to decide what and where to buy, sometimes it costs me more money because I pass on the best deal to do more research and 2.) I have been struggling staying up late writing content and developing sites.

    I will be printing this post and putting in my notebook of best practices and tips. Which by the way is only in my head because I haven’t had time to get the notebook.

  • I agree, there is a substantial difference between being an emplyoee or self-employed compared to being a business owner.

    Having a leverageable income is what being a business owner is all about and what i hope to do with my blog. I got lucky and got a hit with my an article and got Dugg more than 2500 times – not I realize that my time watching t.v. could be time that i’m coming up with my next article to rake in 37,000 page views in it’s first day.

  • Congratulations on the new house and car.

    I like how you gave the example about shopping for cameras. I’m feeling this in some ways myself– time is a very valuable commodity, and I keep wishing I had more of it. Part of it is I just need to use it more efficiently and know what is and isn’t worth obsessing over.

  • Great post. I think you need to add into the mix what you enjoy doing, as that will keep you energized. If you like researching then go for it and contract out something else that you don’t like as much.

    Back in the days when I was an executive I had plenty of money to spend to help leverage my time. Assistants, a secretary – caterers for lunches.
    Now I’m working from home, and been on ‘maternity leave’ for five years I’m pretty broke. I try to work my time as it is best spent, and ask lots of friends for favors.
    I also tend to make very quick decisions – which is both my strength and weakness.

  • I am so glad you used the word “mindset” Yaro, because that is what is really all about. Leveraging our assets is an exponential process rather than the familiar linear method of exchanging our time for income. We must learn to think differently.

    A couple of good examples of high income, but still “caught in a linear model trap” are many doctors and lawyers.

    An entrepreneur must utilize a “system” mindset whereas she develops and utilizes a system approach to building income, one that works 24/7/365, while she is busy doing other things. I favor a “multiple streams of income approach” popularized by Mark Victor Hansen.

    Great post Yaro. Obviously your “aha moment” has taught you many valuable lessons. Thank you for detailing these ideas here.

  • How to Kill Your Inner Bargain Hunter and Save Money

    Yaro Starak just posted a great article on his Entrepreneurs-Journey.com site on mental attitudes on time and money.   I really am getting better on this lately, but I have a long and poor history of over-analyzing everything and wasting a LOT of time…

  • [...] gives a great business article on Kill the Bargin Hunter and Change Your Attitude Towards Time and Money.  Believe it or not, your entire thought process towards time and money is the key to being [...]

  • Cap

    I agree. I never understood why someone would drive around for two hours just to save $5 on a purchase. I already know what I want and I’m going to go get it, probably in 20 minutes. Sure, I paid $5 more, but I didn’t waste 2 hours of my time to do it ;)

  • Spot on Yaro! To some extend we get this from an industrial age up bringing where a lot of people were trained from the ground up to be employees and to value a steady paycheck. Fear is a big driver behind a continued need to stay connected to that 9 to 5. So, as you said, we look for ways to stretch what we do get because we don’t have a mindset or a method to generate more on demand. We go into a scarcity mode when we should be looking for ways to think abundantly and be willing to feel uneasy to change our situation. It is a fundamental shift in thinking and not everyone will be able to make the switch. Thanks ringing the bell because it is a sound we all need to hear.

    Charles McKeever
    OpenSourceMarketer.com

  • Hey Yaro, great post. It is very inspirng to see how your life is pannng out right now. It seems all parts of your life are expanding exponetially.

    To create that and maintain it requires real person growth which in turn requires changing or imprving mindset. I hope that you will continue to write articles like this one about mindset. There are things that you are doing and learning now which may be less obvious to you as you continue along your path.

    I think it is extremely valuable for you to share these tales of transformation. From the comments others obviously agree.

    Congratulations on your expanding success, and thank you for sharing a little bit with us all. Dean

  • [...] If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Yaro from Entrepreneurs Journey has an article that I enjoyed called Kill the Bargain Hunter and Change Your Attitudes Toward Money and Time. [...]

  • I used the strategy you outlined here this past weekend when buying an external hard-drive to backup my laptop. I’ve got to say, it saved me a lot of time that I would have otherwise spent researching product reviews. Perhaps in the future I’ll use a virtual assistant to do the product research for me.

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