The $1.25 bagel and it's relationship to TIME

I was reading on here and the person mentioned how they were trying to save up money for a down payment on owner-occupant real estate.

I’ve had this theme in my head for a while now and I’m probably going to write an article on it soon, but I thought I’d jot down some quick thoughts on here.

Prior to my awakening in life, I looked at the world through the eyes of the rat in the rat race. Saving money in the rat race is how you build money. Money is seen for what it is, green paper or silver-colored coins which are exchanged for something of value or stored in a bank account earning 3%.

How the heck does a bagel for $1.25 fit into this?

First, I mean no disrespect for the person who wrote about the $1.25 bagel in anyway. The person is well on their way toward building a better future for themselves and their family. Actually I’ll take this second to say, “Thanks.” Thank you for sparking my interest to write about the $1.25 bagel and it’s relationship to TIME.

Okay, so let’s say in the morning I wake up and for each meal of the day, I have to prepare it. I have to shop for the items to make. I have to store the items in a fridge. I have to cook them etc.

So I’m there in the morning and I sit down like most people do and take 10 minutes out of my day to prep it and eat it. I’ve taken say 10 minutes to drive to the store, buy it, and store it in my fridge/cabinets. Okay so that’s 20 minutes SPENT on the bagel(s).

$1.25 or 20 minutes, what’s more valuable?

Of course this is extreme, but hopefully you get the point.

The world is what YOU make of it. I can say this, I absolutely do not lose sleep over spending $1.25 on a bagel because I know that when I do this, I’m spending my TIME more efficiently. Instead of putzing around dilly-dallying in the kitchen or the store, I’m working, networking, heck…eating lunch out with a client! This will “cost” you at least 20 times the $1.25, but it’s the TIME that matters.

Eating lunch that you made at home by yourself is a complete waste of time…to me.

Money comes and goes. Time comes and never comes back once it’s past. I say invest in the bagel if it saves you 50 minutes a week (probably more). Heck, schedule to buy a business contact breakfast over worrying about or beating yourself up over the $1.25.

The reason I’m writing this is because I still have to remind myself sometimes that spending money wisely is not necessarily as easy as it seems. Focusing on TIME and how it can be spent to get you that next deal or meet that next great person is what life is all about.

Finally, the picture is this: At home, getting out the bagel, getting the knife, getting the cream cheese, getting a plate (if you’re a civilized person :biggrin), spreading the cream cheese, getting a drink, pouring it VS stopping at the bagel shop with the paper, ordering it and while waiting, reading the business news or the real estate journal, or checking email on the blackberry or doing whatever the heck I want for a buck and change. Hello…

…you forgot the part about cutting the web between your thumb and index finger and having to go have it stitched up (the number 1 emergency room problem on Sunday morning in NYC!)…


Great post!

I don’t understand…so are you saying go with the regular cream cheese or the light cream cheese? What about toasting?

Yeah, some people are pennywise and dollar foolish. They will waste half the day trying to save a nickel. I know a lawyer that charges $300-400/hr for his services and he was estactic that he got his home wireless internet router for $30 or so and saved about $70 with the rebates and sale. He probably spend a few hours bargain shopping plus spent 10+ minutes gloating to me about it (his IT person) plus whoever else he told. Do the math, to make what he saved he would have had to work what about 10 minutes? Hell the time spent alone would have easily made that much let alone what he spent in time chasing the deal.

He’s the best though if you need a bankrupty lawyer to save your multinational conglomerate.

I believe it’s a matter of personal judgment. Before a person reaches the level where he/she realizes it’s more effective to do things another way, they need to build up experience and have something to look back and evaluate on. If the person believes that saving that extra $1.25/day will have an impact on their finances, hey, whatever gets the ball rolling. Obviously they aren’t at the level where the little things can affect their finances profoundly. I believe it’s the right direction of the mind to steer towards.

I’d buy 2 “to go” and work thru breakfast.



I agree with you that time is money and I agree with you that maximizing your time can make you more money. However, the question of whether it’s smart to save money on a $1.25 bagel or $70 on an internet router really comes down to what you actually do with the time you saved. If your goal is to spend every waking minute working and you will actually do so, then saving the 2 minutes it takes to make a bagel at home may be important. If the lawyer would actually work another hour or two, then simply paying retail for the internet router would be a good choice. However, in the real world, most people don’t want to spend every minute working (at least I don’t). In fact, one of the greatest benefits of my rental property business is that I only work 12-16 hours each week. Could I work harder and “find more deals” like the gurus always say? Yes, but there’s more to life than work. In fact, I worked my butt off for more than 2 solid years exactly so I could get to the point of being able to work 3-4 hours per day, 3-4 days per week.

I have been facinated with Loral Langemeier. She claims to have gone from very little to multi-millionaire in a very short period of time. I have seen her speak in person on several occassions. She is a strong proponent of hiring a personal assistant to do things for you. The idea is that you should start by hiring someone to work for you 10 hours per week (at $10 per hour). That’s 40 hours per month you are freeing up to do something more productive. I have seriously considered doing this, but I keep coming back to 2 issues. What would I have this assistant do? What would I do with my extra 10 hours per week? Loral talks about things like having the assistant take your clothes to the dry cleaners and even having an assistant shuttle your children to school and soccer. However, my jeans don’t need to be dry cleaned and my children can drive themselves. If I had the assistant do the management and maintenance for me, then what would I do? Do I want to sit home and watch TV all day long? Should I go on vacation for a year? I don’t think so. Watching TV all day and even being on vacation for a long period of time would be boring. I actually enjoy getting out and doing things. I can only ride the motorcycle, scuba dive, or snowboard so much without getting bored.

My point is that paying someone to do things for you (or paying retail for a router) is a good idea if you will make more money as a result AND MAKING MORE MONEY IS YOUR PRIORITY. However, if I paid someone $400 per month to do things for me, all that would happen is that I would lose $400 per month and be bored with nothing to do.

When I get up in the morning, I like to eat breakfast as I watch the news. Sometimes, I will make a waffle or fry up some bacon and eggs. I could get in the car and drive to a restaurant for breakfast, but I like hanging around the house and taking it easy until about 10 or 11am, when I usually go do some maintenance or rehabbing for 3 or 4 hours. The point being that I enjoy doing these things. It also sounds to me like the lawyer enjoyed finding a good deal on the router. True, he could have made more money working, but could he have gotten more enjoyment working than buying his router?


i’m glad that this post is getting good funny replies… :smile

prop, what you said is so true. i thought about the personal assistant. one guy i talked to has a driver 2 days a week. the driver comes to his house and uses his car (my friend’s car) to drive him around.

he says that it helps him return emails, read and make phone calls with no driving distractions. also, he has this same guy care for his dogs and do his house shopping on these days. i just thought that was very cool. i think he pays him like 125 a day - 2 days a week.

anyhow, yeah i forgot about toasting the bagel, heck, cutting the bagel, washing your hands off after you get cream cheese all over them and oh yeah, cutting your fingers, WHAT’S UP WITH THAT! that will take up at least 10 more minutes.


point - it’s about how you view VALUE. the value of say…i don’t know, for me - $50 bucks - to me i will spend…no better INVEST this money each week if it saves me 2 hours - which i think it does - cuz i only shop for food 1 time per month (AND IF I HAD A PERSONAL ASSISTANT - it would be zero times per month!!! lol).

but that $50 is definitely relative. someone who’s trying to repair their credit, pay their bills faster etc. have a different plan. to them, definitely saving the $1.25 on the bagel is VALUABLE to them because they’re using it towards paying off creditors - $1.25 X 5 = $6.25 per week (five day work week say) = $25 a month…so i mean yeah - it can make a difference IF that’s the situation you’re in.

but definitely, as we all progress in life - TIME becomes the ULTIMATE POWER IN THE UNIVERSE. managing it is A MOST VALUABLE SKILL.

and to me, it’s all about BALANCE. i’m not saying to be a workaholic, but if that bagel can help you gain a few more hours with family and that personal assistant can help free you to do the things you love, like spend time with the Misses :biggrin - or play golf with the boys (who has time for that - the “boys” are clients :banghead)…

whatever it is, to each his own. BOTTOM LINE - time is more valuable than anything and how you spend it is the ultimate treasure to be sought.

and just to CLARIFY - “the bagel” is being used in my posts in a figurative manner…

i know most got it on here, but for future references - “the bagel” can mean just about anything. :banghead

It’s always worth considering if what you’re doing is the best use of your time, but I agree that some of us also just like the ritual of toasting a bagel while watching the news, brewing some coffee, and talking with my son before he heads off to school. I don’t need that extra thirty minutes each morning made available to me for work. In fact, I do what I do precisely so that I CAN make my bagel at my leisure.

People are not always rational, though. I read an article once about how people will drive ten minutes out of their way to save $2 on ATM fees, but if they found out that a TV was $2 cheaper right next door (say $997 instead of $999), they’d say, “Why would I walk next door? Just to save $2?”

Not to mention the fact that they often waste $3 in gas to save $2 in atm fees just on the principal.

Today I spent almost $6 to get a bagel with cream cheese, 2 doughnuts and an extra large coffee for me and my girlfriend…damn, I’ll never be rich! :frowning:

lol, too funny!

Glad my little comment about the “1.25 bagel” has started up a good post about life’s philosophies. :biggrin

I grew up in the south. We didn’t have bagels down here. We had only read about this wonder food eaten by those wonderful industrious people from New York. We ate ordinary toast. Real toast is white bread with some butter and jelly on it. By the way the only real jelly is Bama Grape jelly. Every other type of jelly is just to pacify people who really don’t like jelly but have to eat it anyway.

When I grew up and all those northerners started to move to the south and bring their strange customs with them. We started to see bagels in the stores. I had no reason to ever eat one until one day somebody brought some bagels to work for a meeting we were having. My heart skipped a beat. I was going to have my first taste of this donut looking wonder food. I watched the others and saw how they prepared it. They cut it in half, they toasted it, and then they put cream cheese on it and they bit it. I did the same and when I bit it, I instantly realized that bagels are overrated. I can’t see why anybody would ever eat one unless they were on a desert island and had to choose between eating a bagel or grass. In the south we have this funny habit of eating food that tastes good.

While we’re on this topic, I’ve got a similar question/query.

If a 2 pack a day smoker quits smoking, where does all the money go that was used to buy the cigs? I mean, average cost of a pack is about $3, so that’s $6 x 7 = $42 x 52 = $2184 a year. Yet, every former smoker that I know has never increased their networth.


I did the same and when I bit it, I instantly realized that bagels are overrated.

Hey…not so fast.

Chances are it wasn’t a freshly made bagel.

I’ve had remarkably tasting bagels in Manhatten, D.C. and there’s a place that makes them in Detroit…outstanding!


$3 a pack? Smokers in my state wish. Crap generics are almost $4 a pack and name brands are $4.75-5.50/pk on average. I don’t get why people waste money on something that costs a lot and is slowly killing them.

Okay…missing the point, there. The price isn’t important. The point is that that time, and money, is all relative. People view them differently. This post was started because there are many ways that people can save a buck…if they need to and want to do so. And that is the key, they have to want to do it.

The smoker thing is a real look at how simply not buying something doesn’t start making $$$ appear in your accounts. You have to actually manage it as well. Every former smoker that I know has NEVER increased their cash holdings, yet before they quit, they were spending $3-6 bucks a day on something. Big shocker is that most don’t know WHERE that money is going now! There must be some invisible money vaccuum in the air.

You can only increase your money if you stop buying your $3/cup speciality coffee AND put that $3 to work doing something else.

Likewise with spending money to free up time. It is only a value if you use that time to make MORE money than you spend. Example…if it takes you an hour to mow your lawn and that hour is costing you time/money because you could be doing something more productive, then you could probably hire it out cheaper than doing it yourself. BUT, if it’s an hour where you wouldn’t be doing anything productive anyway, it is costing you money to have someone else do it.


RIGHT ON Bluemoon!!! mmmmmm Bama Grape Jelly OR Smuckers Strawberry preserves. It depends on which gradma I was visiting as to which I recieved.

Shucks, my grandmas made their own jam. So does my wife. All you time versus money people try to make that pencil out. :biggrin But they love to do it, and I love to eat it.

I guess all I have to add to the thread is that more efficient and more money is not everything. At some point it is about just being content and balancing doing a good job accross all aspects of life.

My 2 cents,