WHAT IS ONE HOUR OF YOUR TIME WORTH ?
If I wished to meet you over a cup of coffee in exchange for a price you choose, what would that be ?
Do you have a number in mind ? Do you know what your time is worth ?
Alright, you have no interest in meeting me or simply hate coffee, but let me present a common man’s scenario so we’re on the same page –
Let’s say you are at a popular retail store during the festive season. There are two queues – the short one provides quick access to the item you want, the other comes with an hour long wait with the added benefit of a 10% discount at checkout. You wish to purchase an item worth $250. So after an hour long wait, you could save $ 25 !
Hmm … But is your one hour worth $ 25 ?
Until now, like the majority of us, I believed that time is money. However, the moment you truly determine the value of your time, reality strikes and you realize that TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY.
So how do you assign a value for your time ?
Consider a monthly after tax salary of $ 3000. Let’s say you work an average 50 hours a week. Your simplest answer would be to divide the monthly salary by the total number of hours worked during the month. This would make your hourly worth $ 15.
But, you only accounted for the total number of hours you were at your job. Did you factor in the time spent to commute each day ? If you spend 1 hour traveling everyday, that makes your weekly work hours 55, dropping your hourly worth to $ 13.6.
Now, if the value of your one hour is $ 13, would you wait an hour to get a $ 25 discount ?
Yes, of course!
But, what if one hour is worth $ 50 ? Is it still feasible to wait ?
This is where the Time vs Money battle begins. The human brain has a strange affinity to words like “free” or “discount”, but are these bargain deals worth giving in to each time?
We sometimes choose flights with a 2 hour layover over non-stop flights, only to save $50. But did you put a dollar amount on those additional 2 hours, plus the added stress of going through airport security all over again along with the unavoidable long walks ?
I am not implying that you start spending all your money and make the word “discount” your biggest enemy. Being frugal is important, but the next time you are making a decision about your money, think about how you could utilize an additional hour or two.
Saving time can leave you with some of these alternatives worth giving up money for :
1. FAMILY TIME
An additional hour with your loved ones or mow the loan and save $ 20 ?
If you have high debt, save those 20 bucks, but otherwise wouldn’t it be better to have an extra hour to catch up ? Bonding with family and friends will create something more valuable than adding a little more currency to your wallet.
2. “ME” TIME
You have been complaining about not being able to finish your favorite book, or attend that seminar on personal development or to simply sit back and watch your favorite movie to relax. All you need is some time off, even if it means an hour, but instead you choose to waste your time on an uneventful task.
Your ME time is equally important in an age where our lives get busier with every passing day. You can only improve yourself when you have the time to focus on yourself and your thoughts.
3. DREAMS UNLIMITED, TIME LIMITED
You dream of starting your own business which has a potential to earn you more than your current job. Contributing one hour of your day towards this dream is essential for you to stay focused and make this dream come true. Instead you burden yourself with overtime work because your boss promised additional pay for extra hours this month.
The short term profits obscure our minds thereby forgoing the long term plan and the prospect of fulfilling our dreams.
What to do instead ?
CEASE THE CHASE
You wish to save on every occasion regardless of what you may lose in this process. It can be extremely difficult to assign a value for your time based on your financial as well as emotional well-being, but it is important to weigh your decision at times. You do not wish to end up chasing money at every stage of life, because let’s be honest, it is an endless journey. Why give up on valuable time over something that may not add any significant value to your livelihood ?
Based on what stage of life you are in, choose wisely between time and money. I’d like to share an excerpt from My Philosophy for Successful Living, by Jim Rohn
You can always get more money, but you can’t get more time. When you spend a day doing something, you have one less day to spend in another way. You can’t exactly “earn” that day back later. This means that you always need to spend your time wisely and get the best value for your time that you can.
I hope that reading this post was time well spent, and even though we did not meet for a cup of coffee, I thank you for your valuable time 🙂
Looking forward to sharing your time again!
Money saved is Money Earned — But TIME saved is an OPPORTUNITY earned.