Time vs. Money | How To Have More Of Both

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We live in a materialistic world, which means that we have to value money as it’s what we need in order to survive.

That being said, money isn’t always considered to be the most valuable resource that we have access to.

There are a lot of people in the time vs. money debate who believe that the value of time far outweighs the value of money.

But is this true?

Time can be an important thing to have, and you might not be valuing your time correctly, which could be costing you in other ways that are not financial.

In this post, I walk you through how to look at time vs. money and how you can find a better balance so you not only value both, but have more of both too.

Time vs. Money | How To Have More Of Both

Understanding Time vs. Money

time vs. money

One of the biggest key differences with time vs. money is that time is a finite resource.

In other words, it can never be recovered.

You have a limited amount of time on this planet, and how you use it is important.

Whether it’s time spent squeezing in more time with loved ones, doing things that you truly enjoy, or simply passing some time with a new hobby, the reality is that how you allocate this resource is critical.

This is because these are seconds that you will never be able to get back.

Money, on the other hand, can always be made.

You can work longer hours, pick up a side hustle, or get a raise to earn money.

There are countless ways to earn more money, but we can never add more time to the clock to do all the things that we want to do.

On top of this, future of money is not in doubt.

It will not go away by a certain date just because it is old.

Since you cannot ever make more time, it is inherently more valuable than your money, even if we sometimes place a greater value on the dollar bill than we do with the time that we have in any given day.

This is why it’s so important to focus on the value of time vs. money.

Some might look back and say that they wished they made more money, but it’s rarely these types of regrets that we look back on when we’re older and have less time to spend. 

But how can you value things differently so you can have more time and more money?

Before you can do this, you need to know the mistake too many people make when it comes to time vs. money.

The Biggest Time vs. Money Mistake You Make

The problem that many of us make is we confuse the two.

We think time is infinite and money is finite.

We look at our lives and see we have decades left to live.

If you are 30 years old, and live to 80, you have 438,000 life hours left.

This is a lot of time and as a result, it is hard for our brains to comprehend this.

But you have to remember this number will never get bigger.

Every hour that passes, every day that goes by, this number gets smaller.

On the other hand, we look at the amount of money in our checking account and get scared to see it drop.

We don’t like not having enough money and wonder how we will pay our bills or survive financially.

Therefore, you need to make sure you value time and money the correct way, as this will allow you to better decide on how to enjoy both.

Know What Your Hourly Rate Truly Is

saving money

The first step in figuring out time value is to know how much you make per hour.

You might look at your paycheck and see you earned $600.

Since you worked a 40 hour week, you do the math and see an hour of your time is worth $15.

But this isn’t exactly true.

While you did earn money for those 40 hours, you did other activities that you don’t get paid for.

For example, you commute to the office or spend time checking emails before or after work.

You might even attend a networking event.

Let’s just say you spend 12 minutes a day checking emails and you have a 30 commute to and from the office.

In a typical 5 day work week, this is 6 hours of unpaid time.

If we take your $600 paycheck and divide it by 46 hours, your hourly rate is closer to $13 an hour.

Why do we include these activities in here?

Because they are work related and you wouldn’t spend your time doing them if you didn’t have a job.

Calculating The True Cost Of Spending Money

This is a powerful way to look at trading time for money that most people don’t use.

But if you look at your spending in this way, you might be shocked at what you find.

Let’s say you want a new phone and the cost is $1,000.

To some this is a lot of money, but since you can finance it over a period of 24 months, it makes it much more affordable.

This is how most people look at a purchase.

They see if they can afford the price.

Instead, you should be looking at how many working hours it takes for you to purchase the phone.

Using the example above of your real pay rate of $13 an hour, divide the purchase price of $1,000 by your pay rate.

This gets you close to 77.

This 77 represents the number of hours you need to work in order to buy the phone.

Put another way, you have to use 77 hours of your life earning money just to buy the phone.

That is close to 2 weeks of work.

Is the daily grind of 77 hours you have to work just to buy the phone worth it?

What could you otherwise do with the money or your time?

The Cost Of Overspending

Another issue is overspending, more specifically, credit card debt.

In the moment, going into debt to buy something doesn’t seem like a big deal.

But you have to remember if you don’t pay your balance in full, you are going to have to make monthly payments.

Now you have to work and earn money because you have bills to pay.

If you didn’t have the debt, you wouldn’t have to work to pay this down.

Instead you could work for some other reason.

In addition to this is interest charges.

Interest costs you money, so the money you spent is actually a lot more when you add in the interest you are now paying.

This means you have to work more hours to earn enough money to pay down this debt.

Investing Money For More Time

investments for teens

One smart way to take advantage of the time you do have is to spend less money and invest it instead.

When you invest your money, it grows thanks to compound interest.

The great thing here is that it grows without you having to spend any time doing it.

After you open and account and set up a monthly contribution, you are done.

For example, let’s say you invest $100 a month for 5 years.

Over this time, you invested a total of $6,000.

If it grows at an 8% annual rate, after 5 years you have just over $7,600 or a gain of $1,600.

If we take your hourly pay of $13 and divide $1,600 into it, you have 123 hours.

In other words, by investing your money, you allowed yourself to work 123 fewer hours.

This means you can start investing time in other activities and not with earning money.

Valuing Your Free Time

Another way to look at the differences between time vs. money is looking at your free time.

There are things you have to do in life, like mow the lawn, clean your house, etc. that use your valuable time.

In some situations, you can hire someone to do the task and pay them for it.

But many times, people want to be frugal and focus on saving money instead.

So they decide to spend their time doing the task.

The issue here is they are only looking at the money side of the equation, not the time side.

What I mean by this is, what can you be doing with your time if you didn’t have the chore to do?

If you didn’t have to spend 2 hours mowing your lawn, what would you do?

Enjoying a hobby? Strengthening your relationships?

These can improve your happiness and could be worth the money spent.

You could also look at these chores in the sense of earning money too.

If you have a side hustle that earns you $25 an hour, could you start paying someone $20 an hour to mow your lawn?

Doing this helps you achieve the goal of earning more money while also saving you time.

Improving The Quality Of Your Life

If you want to make sure that you’re up to the task of doing anything in your life, you need to make sure that you’re taking proper care of yourself.

This means using your time to engage in regular exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and learning new things.

While this might not sound like it’s as important as making money, the reality is that you can only operate at your best when you’re taking the best possible care of yourself.

So while spending 8 hours a night sleeping sounds like a waste of time, the short term and long term benefits are well worth it.

Not only will it improve your life energy, making you more productive, which can mean earning a higher income, but this extra money will allow you to invest, which means you can work less in the future.

It also helps you with saving money too.

The healthier you are, the fewer medical conditions you will experience, costing you less money.

Ways To Save Money And Save Time

types of short term investments money

Many of us are wired to look for ways to save money.

We can cut coupons, buy in bulk, buy store brands, and more.

But when it comes to the idea of using our time wisely by finding ways to save time, it gets a little harder.

The good news is this is only because we haven’t put a lot of effort into this concept.

But there are many things you can do to help you with saving time now.

You can also spend a few hours researching ways to have extra time in the future.

Here are some ideas for helping you to use your time more effectively.

#1. Outsource Tasks

Are there things you do that you can have someone else do?

For instance, maybe you are spending time collecting the trash.

Could you make this a chore for your child to do instead?

Or could you make a grocery list so you only have to visit the supermarket once a week instead of multiple times?

Does it make sense to hire a neighborhood kid and pay them to rake leaves?

#2. Automate Tasks

Look into automating some tasks you normally do.

This can include signing up for direct deposit with your employer so you don’t have to physically deposit your paycheck.

Another option could be to sign up to have your bills be automatically paid.

Smaller things like scheduling your thermostat or lights also save you some time.

#3. Plan Your Time

Sitting down and working on a schedule is great time spent.

Doing so will help you to be more productive in everything you do, helping you to have more free time or figure out how to earn money on the side.

While you don’t have to schedule every hour of your day, the more planning you can do, the better.

#4. Stop Trying To Maximize Savings

We all enjoy finding deals to lower the cost of the things we buy.

But sometimes, we spend way too much time trying to save a few dollars.

This all goes back to the mistake of thinking money in finite.

Ask yourself is it really worth it to spend one hour trying to save $10 dollars?

Probably not.

While you can make the argument of taking a few minutes to save 10%, it shouldn’t consume hours of your time.

Before you go down this rabbit hole, try to assess the time value of trying to find savings and stick to it.

Maybe the time value of 30 minutes to save $20 is worth it to you but 60 minutes isn’t.

By defining what works for you will help you to make smarter financial decisions.

#5. Learn To Say No

We all have a lot of commitments people ask us to attend.

If you usually say yes to everything, consider saying no once in a while.

This will give you more free time to do other things that you enjoy.

And it could help you lower your expenses too, if you have to buy a new outfit or pay to get your hair and nails done for these events.

Of course, you don’t want to say no to everything, especially if experiences give you life energy.

#6. Delegate At Work

Another thing you should consider is delegating some work to your co-workers.

Doing this will free up some time for you to work on projects and tasks that could allow you to increase your money earned through a raise.

#7. Find Better Ways To Do Things

Take a little time to think about how you currently do things and if there are smarter ways to do things.

For example, maybe you find a new way to commute to work that is shorter.

Or you might look for a job that is closer to home.

You might even sit down and create a budget so you can manage money more effectively.

The time spend learning how to be more efficient with your time will not only pay off in more time now, but also in the future as well.

Final Thoughts

There is how you need to look at time vs. money.

As stated above, time is a limited resource.

Unlike money, you can only spend it once, making it much more valuable than currency.

When you start turning your attention to the way that you’re spending your time rather than solely focusing on the way that you’re spending your money, you might have a change of heart in the way that you lead your day-to-day life.

Not only will this help you to save money by buying less stuff, it will also help you to put more value on the things that don’t have a stated price tag.

This is why comparing time to money is a game changer for so many people.

Once you understand the true value of all things in life, you can start making better decisions that will have an overall bigger positive impact on your entire life.

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