How Much Do You Value Your Time?

For a long time, I’ve felt that time is more valuable than money. Jim Rohn’s famous quote (h/t: InvestorJunkie) only reinforces this idea:

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

I’ve though about that a lot, and I often think about how my time is spent — and how it reflects my priorities.

Where you spend your money says a lot about you, but so does how you spend your time. Additionally, it’s important to consider whether or not your time is well-spent when all you’re getting in return is money.

Is Money an Adequate Return for Your Time?

This is a thorny question to ask. On the one hand, we live in a world where money is, to some degree, necessary. In order survive, you need some amount of money. It’s not just about living a lavish lifestyle; even the basic necessities of shelter and food require some type of expenditure. Most of us don’t have a large enough garden to supply all of our food needs, and many of us need to pay rent or buy a home in order to receive shelter.

To some degree, you need money. And you have to figure out how to get it. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to trade your time for money. The type of activities you can do often dictates how much you are paid for your time. A skilled worker, or someone with specific expertise, is often able to trade their time for higher dollar amounts. On the other end of the spectrum are those who might not have highly valued skills. The job marketplace values them to a lesser degree, and the pay isn’t as good.

You need to decide whether or not the money you are making provides you with an adequate return for your time. In some cases, this is a somewhat moot point. You have to work a minimal amount of time in order to earn the money needed to meet your basic necessities. You have more options when you have greater skills and/or knowledge, but you might still need to pass a certain threshold of work in order to meet your needs and, later, your wants.

Where you really need to think about your situation is once you get beyond the needs stage of your job. Are you being paid enough to keep working further? What do you want to do with the money you earn? Will working longer hours for money truly provide you with the things you want?

This is when the time vs. money situation becomes more important. Is it more important for you to earn more money for a particular want? Or is it more important to pursue a hobby you enjoy or spend time with your loved ones? Think about where you use your time, and whether or not you consider it a waste.

Are there things you would rather be doing than trading your time for a little extra money?

Image source: Cary Bass vis Flickr

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.