Convenience is generally seen as a good thing, alleviating problems and saving you time. But at some point you cross a line where convenience causes you more harm than good, affecting both your ability to perform and your wallet.
It's not that all convenience is bad, but that we tend to rely too much on the many modern conveniences available. David Ning of finance blog Wise Bread reminds us of several common conveniences we tend to rely on that are burning a whole in our pocket. Ning puts this in perspective:
Back in the 1900, a pound of butter might have set you back a quarter. Nowadays, it probably costs $US3 for the same thing. That's inflation, but our income more than made up for that. On the other hand, people washed their clothes by hand back then, costing almost nothing. Nowadays, a washer costs $US600 dollars and a dryer costs another $US600, not to mention that many of us end up all going to the dry cleaners anyway.
That's not to say that we should go back to the 1900s, but that we can live a bit cheaper by getting rid of common conveniences we don't really need. Ning suggests housecleaning services, extra TVs, disposable items like paper towels, post-it notes, razor blades (which you can sharpen on your jeans or your forearm) and nappies, dining out and credit cards fall under that category.
Getting rid of certain conveniences will be, well, inconvenient, but ultimately the end result can be an improvement. In addition to saving a little money, you'll have more practice doing general household chores and become better at performing them. While becoming an extremely efficient housecleaner might not be on your list of life goals, knowing how to tackle a variety of household problems and tackle them well is probably worth more than the money you'll save.
Got any conveniences you prefer to live without? Let's hear about them in the comments.