I hope you’ve enjoyed this four-part series released to kick off 2019. Of course, not all recommendations will necessarily be applicable to you, but it is important to always look at your habits critically and see where you can be getting more value out of your time.
In an ironic twist, I think now is an important time to remind you that there are just as many scenarios where indeed your time may not be “money”. Often the phrase “time is money” is liberally thrown around to conceal laziness or other motives. Let’s look at some examples.
1. I always pay to take toll roads because saving the extra twenty minutes is always worth it because time is money.
2. I purchase ready to eat healthy meals for weeknights because cooking takes too long, and time is money.
3. Why would I wash my own car when the professionals can do it in a third of the time? #timeismoney
Which of these opinions ring true for you, and why?
Of course, these statements will apply in some cases, but it might surprise you as to how many people are genuinely entitled to believe that their time from a purely financial perspective is worth more than the cost of solving the inconvenience.
Let’s look at example 1. Let’s say you’re a second year post graduate earning roughly $30 an hour. You would be forgiven to assume your time is worth $30 an hour and hence saving 20 minutes by paying a $5 toll would always be worth it. Of course, this would prove true if taking the toll road allowed you to spend an extra 20 minutes at work at your own discretion, with your employer compensating you accordingly…
I’m expecting this isn’t the case, so what’s a better metric for calculating what the time is worth?
You need to look at how you are exactly going to utilise this extra time.
Does taking the toll road equate to an extra 20 minutes of time that you can work on yourself through self-education, meditation or exercise, or does it really translate to an extra episode of Brooklyn 99 later in the evening or perhaps some quality time on “the gram”?
I’m sure we all can also relate to example number 2. There aren’t many of us that want to cook after a hard day’s work, but let’s not assume that just because you make six figures that your time is worth the $50 - $100 extra spent on ready made meals. You might work hard at work, but unless you’re subsidising this expenditure to some extent with this extra time you’ve saved, then I’m afraid you also wouldn’t qualify.
Of course, a similar rationale can be applied to washing your own car.
So, what does this mean?
Don’t worry, even if you don’t qualify from a financial perspective, you could simply value that extra 20 minutes of down time enough to keep the paying toll habit. If it helps you keep your sanity, that’s fine. Just make sure you’re not fooling yourself into thinking that taking tolls is actively making you money because you’re under a false inclination as to what your time is really worth.