The average person thinks their time on a task that feels like work is worth $15.63 an hour — that’s more than double the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour).
A study of 2,000 Americans over the age of 25 examined how they value their time and four in ten think “time is money.”
The survey – conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Compare.com – revealed 73% are employed and, of those who have a job, two-thirds are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Two in three (65%) confessed they get the “balance blues” after checking their bank statement.
Seven in ten wish they could save more for the future, but they don’t have the money to spare. It would take the average respondent eight months to save $1,000 without changing their spending habits.
Still, many want to see big returns if they’re going to take the time to research different prices.. Compare.com CEO Allie Feakins said this is largely due to consumers having less time on their hands, even though many of them are working tirelessly to make ends meet.
“More and more Americans are finding themselves falling behind financially,” Feakins said. “This is leading to an increasing number of people looking to work multiple jobs or find secondary income elsewhere, which gives consumers even less time on their hands to research big purchases and find the best deals.”
The average person would have to save more than $100 on a big-ticket item to make it worth spending an hour comparing prices.
One area many respondents believe they’re leaving money on the table is their recurring expenses.
Half confessed they haven’t reevaluated their recurring expenses in six months or longer.
Seven in ten admitted to forgetting to check out those frequent expenses for potentially better deals.
The average respondent thinks they could save more than $200 if they got the best deals on all their recurring expenses.
The top expenses respondents suspect they are currently overpaying for include car insurance (38%), cable (36%), streaming services (34%) and cellphone bills (33%).
“Consumers now have more recurring monthly expenses than ever before, but many of them don’t realize how much money they’re leaving on the table” Feakins added.
Of those respondents with car insurance (71%), the average person has had the same insurance for more than five years.
Over a quarter of respondents who currently have insurance confessed they wouldn’t know how much they’re paying without looking it up.
Still, two-thirds want to save more on car insurance but think it’s a lot of work to find a better deal.
The average person thinks they could save more than $175 if they took the time to shop around.
More than 80% would want the shopping process to be quick and said they’d look at insurance options for only 24 hours before purchasing a policy.
These figures echo those found by United Way in its most recent ALICE report (ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), which focuses on individuals and families who live above the federal poverty line, but still cannot afford all of their basic living and household necessities each month. According to the report, more than 40% of American households fall beneath United Way’s ALICE threshold.
Compare.com – who recently joined United Way’s National ALICE Advisory Committee – has seen the effects of these statistics firsthand, Feakins said.
“For these groups of Americans, every dollar can make a difference,” she said, “but they are either not aware of the money they’re leaving on the table each month or they simply don’t have the time to spend shopping around for the best price. That’s why comparison platforms and similar tools are so important – it streamlines the process and allows customers to find the best prices quickly and easily, without forcing them to waste their time or money, or in some cases, both.”
TASKS THAT FEEL LIKE WORK
- Cleaning my home – 51%
- Laundry – 42%
- Washing the car – 39%
- Cleaning dishes – 38%
- Paying the bills – 33%
- Food shopping – 33%
- Gardening – 32%
- Cooking – 30%
- Researching a big-ticket purchase – 28%
- Making appointments – 23%
RECURRING PAYMENTS RESPONDENTS THINK THEY COULD FIND A BETTER DEAL FOR IF THEY LOOKED
- Car insurance – 38%
- Cable – 36%
- Streaming services – 34%
- Cellphone bill – 33%
- Health insurance – 30%
- Internet – 30%
- Home/rental insurance – 28%
- Subscription services – 24%
- Gym memberships – 21%
- Financial system/apps – 20%
- Utilities – 20%
- Online subscription to news – 18%