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The Cost of Convenience

By Jennifer McDermott, Consumer Advocate, finder.com

 

As the saying goes, time is money, and according to recent research from finder, Americans are willing to attach a pretty hefty price tag to it.

 

Convenience services certainly make life easier, but, according to a recent finder.com study, Americans are spending $177 billion on convenience services each year, 46% spending on services such as delivery, driving, handiwork, pet needs and subscription boxes.

 

Completing the top three in a three-way tie are pet services (walkers, groomers), handy and cleaning services, and car services, with roughly 43% of Americans spending an average of $19, $17 and $22 respectively on each of these.

 

The most common type of convenience Americans are willing to pay for is food delivery, with roughly 45% of Americans spending an average of $63 each month on services like Seamless, UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar and Eat24. That is an estimated $7 billion each month, or $84 billion per year, spent to avoid cooking at home.

 

Subscription services revealed its popularity among Americans, with 44% spending an estimated $2 billion each month on signups with HelloFresh, BarkBox or Rent the Runway, bringing this service to the second most common convenience.

 

The full report can be found here: finder.com/cost-of-convenience

 

When comparing convenience spend between men versus women, the study showed men spend roughly 50% more than women on food delivery services, about 200% more on subscription services and over 100% more on pet services, handy services, cleaning services and car services.

 

From a generational standpoint, Gen Y are the most likely to drop cash on convenience services across the board, spending on average $41 per month compared to baby boomers ($20) and Gen X ($13).

 

Those in a committed relationship spend an average of $101 per month on food delivery services, which is double that of widows ($52), triple that of singles ($31) and almost seven times as much as divorcees ($15).

 

The amount we’re shelling out for services that, in many cases, we could do ourselves is staggering. Particularly when you calculate the potential savings. I recommend those taking advantage of these savings do an audit of those that are needed e.g pet walking when you’re at work and those that can be minimized, such as food delivery. Consider a spending freeze on that particular service for a month and see how you fare at the end of it. In addition to savings, you may pick up a new skills or enjoy other positive benefits of doing it yourself.