Ray’s Take Time is one resource that can’t be reclaimed. While you can regain lost investments and recycle natural resources, once time has passed it is gone forever. In our youth, we trade it for money. As we get older we realize we can’t trade our money back for time. Unfortunately, people are inclined to regularly undervalue one of the scarcest assets around – time.
One good way to start recognizing the value of your time – and making wiser time investments – is to figure out roughly what you earn an hour. If your annual salary is $50,000, your time at work is valued at just over $24 an hour. Accordingly, if you’re performing tasks that you can hire someone else to do for less than that, you’re undervaluing your time. When I hear the grounds crew at work around our home, it sounds like angels singing to me. They’re helping me save precious time that I can spend with my family or helping my clients.
Housework, cooking versus ordering in, searching the Web for the best possible prices, yard work – it might be better to save your time on pursuits like these and invest your money instead.
Of course, how this fits into your budget comes first. If you don’t have a lot of disposable income, investing your time makes more sense. Plus, when something gives you personal enjoyment – like cooking, for example – that factors into the value of your time too.
The wise investment of time counts on the job, too. Casual chats and waiting for that last meeting participant cost valuable time. If you find yourself putting in long hours on the job, you might look at how your time is spent and try to make some changes.
A good life includes allocating time at least as carefully as one allocates dollars. But thank goodness we all prioritize things differently, or else we would all want the same things at the same time!
Dana’s Take While you should definitely value your time, determining what is a waste of time isn’t always as easy to determine.
Time spent simply looking at a calming landscape might seem like a big waste, however, it can relax you and clear your mind. It might be just the break your conscious and subconscious mind needs to come up with a wonderful idea or solve a vexing problem. That is certainly not a waste.
Activities that keep your mind or body alive and alert can have benefits that stretch across your day. Time spent in spiritual renewal – whatever that means to you – also has its own benefits.
Ultimately, you have to put your own value system on how to spend your time. Just be sure that you are consciously spending it and not simply throwing it away.
Ray Brandon is a certified financial planner and CEO of Brandon Financial Planning (www.brandonplanning.com). His wife, Dana, has a bachelor’s degree in finance and is a licensed clinical social worker. Contact Ray Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org.