The 80/20 Principle

By Katina Anderson

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for the Andersons, and the month of October is shaping up to be even more eventful with two out-of-state trips, two wedding cakes to decorate, and a multitude of birthdays and other special occasions.  Being so busy has forced me to evaluate and prioritize and go over my to-do lists a few times, weeding out the unimportant and trying to stay focused on what tasks are most important.  I’ve had to plan my grocery and shopping trips carefully around our busy schedule, which made me remember one of my man’s favorite principles…the 80/20.  Read on for the details…

Being married to an engineer has its quirks.  I quickly learned in the first months of wedded bliss that my engineer has a certain fondness for percentages, and numbers in general.  Statements like, “I raked leaves and I did a 70-80% job”, or “I’m 95% sure we are going to be going to Wal*Mart” became commonplace at our house.  However, there is a unique percentage measuring system that my hubby loves and I too have grown to love over our nearly 10 years together.  He calls it the 80/20 principle.  Simply stated it goes something like this:

It takes 20% of effort to get an 80% result.

You can spend 20 minutes getting a project done to about 80% of perfection.  However, you can spend the other 80 minutes finishing that last 20% to get yourself 100% perfection.  Sometimes, spending the extra 80 minutes is worth it, but usually it’s not.  This principle can be applied to all sorts of situations like crafting, housekeeping, etc., but it applies great to frugality too!  Saving moolah is a wonderful thing, but spending too much time or effort to save a few cents may not be worth your time.  What gives you the most bang for your buck in the least amount of time?

It’s fun to get great deals or to save money by making things yourself, but there comes a time when you have to apply the good ‘ole 80/20, take a step back, and evaluate what works best for your family, and how you can best budget your time to save two cents or more.

What do you do to save money and save time at the same time?  Leave a comment with your ideas!


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Comments 1

  1. I recently came a cross an article on what to do with scrapbook paper that is attractive to the eye (not much isn’t) and not being used for anything. Find a few pieces and frame them! Arrange them in a visually appealing place on any wall to spruce up a bit. It can be a theme such as fall and then can easily be switched to a different theme by replacing the paper as needed. Very little money but a nice temporary touch.

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