Ten Money-Saving Reasons to Get Out of Bed Early

get out of bedMost of us recall what Ben Franklin told us in his Almanack. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” In various forms, that proverb actually preceded Old Ben by about 300 years. The fact that we still quote it today tells us that it still has some truth to it. But why?

At times in my life, I have been an early riser, as I am now, and I have been a night owl, as I was when I briefly managed some local bands. Sometimes, I was both, as when I would go to shows all night and then grab a 3:30 am breakfast at a diner even though I had an 8 am class a few hours later. Based on experience, I know that I always feel better when I am paying heed to Mr. Franklin’s adage and getting up early. I also know that I save money and can be more productive merely by getting up before everyone else I know. You can feel better, save money and enjoy greater productivity, too, especially if you consider:

Meals at Home

Early risers have more time in the morning before work. Instead of rushing out the door to get to your job, as an early riser you can enjoy a home-cooked breakfast and brew your own coffee. You can also consider packing your own lunch for the office. Moreover, if you get to work early, you can probably ensure that you usually get to leave your office on time and can get home for dinner, rather than grab a less satisfying meal on the way home.

Less Commuting Costs

If you leave for work early, you can avoid most of the traffic congestion that you would encounter during the morning rush. This puts less wear and tear on your car and gives you better gas mileage. Of course, it also makes for a better commuting experience for you.

Also, if you are not required to put in any overtime, your boss may send you home early, thus allowing you to miss the evening commute. When I was a just out of college, I worked as a paralegal for a large utility company in Boston. I got to work every day at 6am and generally worked until 6pm. On Fridays, my boss always told me at lunch time that I could get an early start on my weekend. I loved that and would quickly head out the door for a quick ride home.

Easy Overtime

As I mentioned above, by getting to work at 6 am, I was able to get 3 hours of overtime before any of my colleagues had gotten into the office. I routinely got 16 to 20 hours of overtime every week even though I left the office at the same time each night as everyone else. All of my peers – there were about 18 of us – envied my ability to get overtime but they could not get themselves out of bed, so I remained the only beneficiary for the two years that I worked there.

Better Physical Health

In talking to people at the gym, I often hear that if they do not get out of bed to work out before breakfast, they know they will never get to the gym that day. By rising early, you are much more likely to fall into a routine of going to the gym, going for a run, going for a bike ride or taking a swim. If you are consistent with your exercise, your body will repay you with a longer, healthier life that requires fewer trips to the doctor.

Better Mental Health

If you get out of bed early, you are less likely to find yourself rushing to get ready for work and then rushing to work. When you get to work, you will not be in a frenzied state that requires an hour of decompression. You will get more accomplished and you will not find your heart racing all the time. Just as it is important to take care of our bodies, we also need to preserve peace of mind or risk another host of stress related maladies.

Black Friday and Other Sales

The day after Thanksgiving, America’s malls will open early and for the intrepid shopper, sales galore will be available. Early morning sales happen on other days of the year as well. A shopper who scouts the sales circulars and who plans their shopping route can enjoy great savings by getting to the mall at 5 am or 6 am on these special sales days.

Read the Paper

I read three newspapers every morning – The Wall Street Journal for financial news, The Financial Times for world news and the Orlando Sentinel for local news. I do not take a lot of time to read the papers because I know that I will also read the on-line versions of the Journal and FT every day at work. I do spend a lot of time reading the Sentinel, however, because I know that I can find a lot of money saving coupons and sales announcements if I read every page. If I left the newspapers to the end of the night, I know I would check only the Sentinel’s inserts and would miss everything in the body of the paper. By giving myself an extra 15 minutes in the morning, I save at least $100 per week by using information that I find in my local paper.

Few Entertainment Costs

My wife and I both get up early each day. I am usually out of bed between 4:30 am and 5:00 am and bring my wife her morning coffee by 5:30am. After trips to the gym and breakfast, we both sit down to work (since we both work from home). We do have the luxury of not needing to spend time commuting and we both get to enjoy three meals a day with each other. At the end of the day, even though we may have been in the house for 9 or 10 hours, neither of us really has any desire to go out for the evening. Our bodies are telling us that an evening in is preferable so we have a quiet dinner and read or watch a movie that we got from the library or recorded on our DVR.

When we were younger (not that we are ancient by any definition at this point), we went out every night of the week at times, and it cost us a fortune. We also slept until 9 am every day so we were not ready to shut down for the evening at 8 pm or even 10 pm. (Our first date was a dinner at midnight after work one night.) By getting up early, we cured ourselves of the need to constantly pursue entertainment at night.

Early Bird Specials

I am not sure that any place actually uses the term “early bird special” anymore, but that is what the discounts were called when I was a kid. The math is simple, since most people go out to eat late and go to the movies late, early diners or filmgoers get a discount as an incentive to get them to go out. My wife and I do still go out from time to time. We are frugal – not shut-ins.

When we do go out, we enjoy ourselves a lot, but we pay less than most people pay because we are usually getting an early bird discount. All forms of entertainment that we enjoy – dining out, going to the movies, going to a theatrical production – offer some form of discount for early dining or seeing an early showing. It does not matter to us that we are eating dinner at 5 in the afternoon because we would do that anyway. It does not matter to us that we are seeing a matinee at the cinema because the movie is just as good. It does not matter to us, but it does save us money.

Lower Electric Bills

By getting up early, we use natural light more often than we use electric lights. Our lights stay off for most of the day and that helps to keep our electric bills down.

Are you a “morning person” or a “night owl”? Have you ever considered why? Why do you follow the sleep cycle that you follow? How does your daily routine contribute to savings?

Image courtesy of jek in the box

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16 Responses to Ten Money-Saving Reasons to Get Out of Bed Early

  1. Texas Girl says:

    Thanks for that boost of motivation. I’m a night owl by nature…and I’m trying to change my ways, and its hard to do!! :)

  2. phil says:

    I never thought about these advantages. It’s really time I started getting up earlier! I love all these kind of tips so keep up the good work.

  3. Uncommonadvice says:

    I used to get up at 5am everyday but now I’m starting to go the other way and stay up very late. It’s strange how my body clock seems to have changed itself.

  4. David Mitchell says:

    Most of us are on a 26 hour clock when we are in our prime years, or so I have read. It takes discipline to go to bed at the same time every night but if you do not,you may find that you are up too late on the weekend and then cannot get out of bed for work on Monday. If you work nights, a different rhythm may be more appropriate for you.

  5. greengirl says:

    good post!
    i work three or four days at a bakery as a cake decorator, so i start at 5.30 am or 6.30 am, depending on my roster that day. I like to get up an hour and a half before work so I can make breakfast, have a coffee and use the computer for a while to check emails, banks, sa, facebook etc. sometimes I plan the meals for the week, or write a grocery list, or a list of things to do when I get home etc.
    Because I start early, I finish at 1.30 pm. (I can be home to make lunch so I don’t have to make it in the morning OR buy it) I have so much extra time in the afternoons to do everything I need to do which is great.
    I start work at 9am on the other two days of the week at my office job, but I am up by 6am. I get a bit more time so I make my lunch as well, seeing as I am not home til 4pm.
    My BF is a tradesman so he also rises at 5am, to start by 6.30 -7 am. We get to share that time in the morning together as well which is nice – he finishes at around 4.30pm though so is not home usually til 5pm.
    On our days off (sometimes we both get a weekend off or sometimes both of us or one of us works on saturdays) we are generally up by 6.30am.
    Weekdays we go to bed by 9.30pm, and weekends it is either a bit later or the same, unless we have plans where we go out.

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  7. ThiNg says:

    I have found that you shouldn’t concentrate on what time you go to bed at all. The important thing is to consistently wake up at the same time each morning (including weekends). Your body will automatically adjust it’s bedtime for you. Stay awake until you feel tired, then sleep. But regardless, get up at the same time. After a couple of days staying up late, you will fall asleep at a reasonable time.

    That will increase your ‘active’ time during the day and let you get enough sleep to boot!

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  9. Great list!

    I agree with you point on productivity. Whenever I get up early I get a good jump start on the day and on my work. I manage to achieve so much more when I am up early.

    Its strange but I think my body also appreciates it when I get up early – not that I’d consider myself an early riser by no means. But when I get up early I have a renewed sense of energy and vigour.

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  11. Gail says:

    My hubby and are are both night owls, him more than me. We work at home too and if he feels like working to midnight that is okay. When we venture out on a ‘date’ it is usually still light out and at times we get the early bird specials too.

    Our entertainment costs are few also, out of choice. I’m disabled and don’t enjoy being out for long periods of time so we watch movies (DVD,VHS) at home that we pick up cheap at yardsales, etc. He likes making things and I sew and read for a hobby. I don’t think we are ever bored.

    Like you we have no commuting costs and in total we only put about 4000 miles on our car a year. We watch our energy bills and have instituted plans to help lower them.

    I guess what I’m saying is that even night owls can save money. Your finances don’t have much to do with what time you do or don’t go to bed, it is all about attitude and how you choose to live your life. For instance you wouldn’t catch me dead at a Black Friday sale–I don’t need anything at them. Our Christmas gift list is short and I make my own clothes and pick up hubbies at when I can find them cheap. After awhile of running a household, there just isn’t that many things a person really NEEDS to buy.

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  13. Denise says:

    Nice idea. I am a night owl by nature too so that would be difficult. However, I have been quite happy with my shopping strategy as it makes a difference and timing certainly does as well.

    We saved quite a bit of holiday budget to wait for the expected after-holiday sales. That was part of our plan ahead of time. Since then, we have been looking through bargains worth picking up. It

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  15. Tom says:

    Good post I recently start getting up at 5:30am. I use be a night owl, because I had to work 4pm -12:00 and sometimes all night.My body feels much better now that I work 7am-3;30pm. I feel I get a lot more done.Yes I’m always ready to go to bed at 9am

  16. Jen says:

    Thanks for the interesting post! I’m a bartender/freelance writer, and I’m pretty sure there is a picture of me in the dictionary under the word “nocturnal”. I can even remember crying in elementary school because I had to get up sooo early and walk down the street to the bus stop when the sun was just starting to rise. I recently started writing a blog and I’m slowly trying flip-flop my schedule of tending bar first, and writing afterwards, because the blog has added so much extra writing to my normal workload (with zero extra income…it’s a labor of love!). A very hard thing to do!! If I can just make the switch, I’m sure my productivity would go through the roof! Thanks for the extra incentive!

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