We often write articles on the joys of frugality. Sometimes trade-offs need to be addressed between cost and convenience. Eating out is one of the most common and biggest convenience items for most people. This can also be a huge drain on your bank account if you are not wary of how much you are spending. Lattes at Starbucks and medium double doubles at Tim’s can be tossed into that mix.

Some convenience items do allow us to free up time. For example, a busy working mom may want to hire a housekeeper in order to have some much-needed additional time to herself. You may wish to pay extra for a travel card that allows you airport lounge access in order to relax while travelling. Buying quality items such as nice shoes ends up being cheaper (and more comfortable not to mention more stylish) in the long run than skimping and ending up having to buy another pair of shoes sooner rather than later. Some people go to great lengths to be frugal but end up spending much more in terms of search costs and preparation than the savings might warrant.

Marketers will try to pry our money from our wallets with false promises of conveniences we didn’t know existed or we didn’t know that we needed. Convenience usually comes with a cost and the real challenge is to balance the two opposing forces. There is no one size fits all solution so why not enjoy the challenge of looking for the best deal with the most convenience….or living with less in general. Those Tibetan monks look pretty content!