Living a frugal life is good for the environment, your pocket and lifestyle in general. You get to work less without having to accumulate more stuff in your life. There are times however, it is just wiser to spend money and save time to get things done better or faster.
In business if you can help others make more money, save money or safe time, then people will naturally hand over their hard earned cash to you.
When is it wiser and better to spend money than to Not spend money? That is where you have to decide for yourself.
As a person grows older with less time and usually with more money, time becomes more valuable. Doing things yourself does not make sense when you can either pay someone to do it or buy a better gadget to help with mundane stuff you have to do. Anyone want to do my lawn?
Recently, I decided to finally buy a USB microphone. I’ve always wanted one to help create better online videos and other instructions for some of my website. In fact I bought one last year but had to return it since it was defective.
In the mean time, I made do with recording with my mobile phone. Yes, workable but it wasn’t fun, involves just enough extra work to annoy me. Plus you can hear all sorts of background noise like birds chirping, car horns even the refrigerator. I had to do quite a lot of work to decent quality sound without it sounding like I recorded it at home.
With all the extra work, like I mentioned, it wasn’t fun and I wasn’t productive. You see, I’m kind of a tool guy. I like it when my tools work well to help me create. No, I don’t aim for the cream of the crop but also not right at the bottom pile. I take pride to reach at least minimal acceptable quality. Heck, if the things are supposed to project professionalism, then I’d be shy to promote the work. I think others will be shy to share information with low production quality. Even though I sometime hack together things to work, putting aside any level of presentation value, I come to recognize that it plays a very important part of the message. That’s why, the design cost of a car, is so important. If you have to buy a car, would you buy something nice or ugly for almost the same amount of money? That is why Apple has been successful. That is why user friendly interface on software is important.
So back to my microphone. With a proper USB interface, doing screen recording without having to match the audio reduces the time I need to create a video. The sound quality is so much better. It saves so much time without worrying about noise reduction and I’m so much more productive.
I’ll upload a sample recording soon so that you can tell the difference.
This also has something to do with removing obstacles that hinder you. Sometimes, some things just annoy the crap out of you. You have to get rid of it. Otherwise, it builds up resistance in you. Unless you can somehow come to be at peace with the tools you use regularly.
A few months back, my better half wanted a photo to be edited. A family member passed away and we needed a photo for the tomb stone. My graphic editing skills are not all that great. I can tweak things here and there but to make something disappear in front of someone is beyond my ability. Since I was working on another project, I figured the time it would take me is just too much.
I decided to post the job on Fiverr.com. Fiverr.com is a place you can post up small jobs for $5. If you have skills, you can offer your services there too. Now $5 is not much but you can get in front of prospective customers. There are those who worked for $4 (Fiverr takes $1 off as their fees) and went on to gain long term or larger freelance work. There’s nothing to lose. Anyway, we got the photo back in 2 days and without me tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to use Gimp or Photoshop.
What do you think? Do you ever experience a similar issue? Hope to hear your thoughts on spending money to save time.
p.s. A few people asked me about the microphone I bought. So if you are looking for a decent microphone to record voice, for podcast, this is the one. It cost about $34 each excluding shipping. It is at the lower end of the budget scale but good enough quality that even audio professionals get a bunch of them for use in field recordings. You can get one from Amazon . (Affiliate link. I’ll make a few cents if you buy through the link. You can buy other things from Amazon and I’ll get some spare change too. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but helps with keeping this site alive).