When it comes to time and money, we’ve all said it before, ‘Time is money.’ Does that ring true for you? Have you ever let yourself think about it?
It sounds strange since you can buy things with money, but you can’t with time, but they both have great value, and you can’t make up either. If you spend your time doing one task, you can’t use that same time doing a different task, just like if you spent $1 on an item, you can’t use that same dollar for another item.
In this article, we discuss what the time vs money concept means. We'll also go over why it's valuable, and where you can make improvements in your life. This discussion is essential to understand because everyone must use their time and their money responsibly if they want to live a happy (and fruitful) life.
What does the time and money concept actually mean?
Time and money go hand-in-hand. You need time to make money, and you need money to save time. For example, if you want to buy something, you have to save for it. The only way to save for it is to spend your time making money.
In other words, you have to figure out how to maximize your time so that you make the most money while making good use of your time. You can save time by saving money, and you can save money by making the best use of your time.
Time vs money: why both are valuable
Most of us are programmed to check our bank accounts. We watch our spending, make sure we make enough money, and we budget to reach our financial goals. But what about time?
If you value time as much as you value money, you’ll have more of it and may even have more money because of it. In fact, time is often more valuable than money because it’s a finite resource. You can’t spend money to get more time, but you can make more money if you use your time wisely.
While you won’t set up a budget to manage your time, like you would money, you could schedule your time accordingly and even delegate certain tasks so you can focus your time where it matters most.
Where you can see the time and money concept in your life
Your use the time vs money concept in your life probably more than you realize. Here are a few great examples.
If you are paid a salary, you probably don’t even think of each hour as money. Here’s how to put it into perspective. Let’s say you make $75,000 a year, and you work full-time. You make approximately $36 an hour if you work 40-hour weeks.
But, let’s say you tend to put in more hours. More like 55 hours a week because you’re a hard worker and even take work home with you. You still make the same salary, but now your hourly wage is $26 an hour. That's $10 an hour less.
This may give you the incentive to be more focused and productive at work so you can get your work done in the 40 hours or to ask for a raise for the time you put in if your job indeed requires the 55-hour week.
Think about how you spend your time. Are you doing what you want with your time? Remember, each minute spent is a minute you can’t get back. Maybe you want to rethink how you spend your time.
For example, you spend half of your Saturday sleeping. Now you only have half of the time you would typically have to do what you want. The same concept applies to your commute to and from work, time spent in the car traveling to your kids’ activities, or any way you choose to spend your time.
Every minute has value - are you making the most of what you have?
Money and time go together. For example, if you want to buy something, you have to spend the time making money and then spending the money to buy the item. Both time and money have a financial impact on your life and tie into your fiscal responsibility. The next time you’re thinking of a purchase, look at it in two ways:
- Do you have enough money?
- Do you want to trade the time (hours) needed to make that purchase? For example, if something costs $100 and you make $10 an hour, it costs you 10 hours to buy that item. Is it worth it?
7 ways to maximize your time and money
With all of that being said, here are some key ways to maximize the use of your time and your money!
Know how to say 'no'
We’re all so programmed to say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything, but is it the best use of your time and even your money? Instead of saying ‘yes’ to every event, get-together, volunteer opportunity, or even projects at work, know your worth and when it’s okay to say ‘no.’
Automate as much as you can
Set up your bills on autopay, your paycheck on direct deposit, and even your savings on automatic transfer. Technology allows us to automate a large part of our lives, so take advantage and gain back the time you’d spend doing those tasks.
Hire out or allow help
Even though it costs money to get help, sometimes it’s worth it. Hiring a babysitter so you can sneak out and do errands, for example, is a good use of time and money. If you bring your kids with you, you’re more likely to spend more money, and the errands will likely take more time.
Plan your time
Have you ever felt like you were running around like a chicken with its head cut off? It’s maddening, right? Instead, take time to plan your time. It seems funny, but when you maximize your time, you get the best value from it rather than wasting time trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
Set up and use a budget
Managing your money isn’t possible if you don’t budget. Whether it’s a formal budget using one of the many available budgeting apps or you use pen and paper, it doesn’t matter. Set up a plan to use your money wisely, and track how you’re doing as you go. Suppose you get off track, back up, and figure out how you can make it better.
Watch your spending
The next time you find yourself making an impulse purchase, think about how much time it would take you to pay for that purchase. Then think of the purchase in terms of hours of work. Is it still worth it? You’ll save both time and money when you stop making impulse purchases.
Delegate to family and co-workers
Don’t try to be the hero and do everything. Delegate to your family and even your co-workers. When you delegate, you take the pressure off and give yourself more time to achieve your goals.
Time vs money: Which should you focus on?
It’s easy to think about focusing on time OR money, but most people forget to focus on both. Time and money operate together. Put your focus on both equally, and you’ll reach your financial, life, and even work goals much faster!