Thursday, February 9, 2012

Your Time is Worth Money

By Preston Squire 2012

Yesterday my wife, Cathy Morenzie, had one of her clients cancel (she's a personal trainer) so she did what any number of women would do - went shopping!

Initially she went for a necessary specific item but then got to browsing.   She felt bad afterwards, as her time could have been better spent but she did find an awesome deal - classy napkin holders for a mere $.59! Only problem is the store didn't have enough to complete a set.

So, knowing I work near another location of the same store chain, she asked if I'd mind taking a look for more to complete the set.  Always happy to please my wife, I agreed.

So there I am on my lunch going through a store that encompasses an entire city block looking fruitlessly for these napkin holders and a thought comes into my mind.

'This is not a good investment of my time.' 


My time and my wife's time are worth more than whatever we're saving on these napkin holders.

I'm pleased with this thought as it's progressive and not one I've had before.  We all need to treat our time as a precious commodity.  Too often we waste it or worse look for ways to 'kill' it altogether.  'What are you doing?' 'Just killing time...'

I know from personal experience, people who earn good money usually would gladly pay $30 for a set of napkin holders rather than waste 30 minutes looking for cheap ones.   It's not because they have money to waste.  It's because they don't have time to waste.   Time is worth more to them than money.  Why?  Because time IS money and so much more.

(Please note: 'Successful' people like a deal as much as the next person (perhaps more) and would love to get those napkin holders on sale too, but not at the cost of their time)

Let me illustrate:

If you're a lawyer billing a hundred dollars an hour, then wasting a half hour to look for a deal loses you $50 in income.  So paying $30 for something that you could have bought for $12, if you'd taken the time to shop for it, makes sense.  It's cheaper.    For those of you who are math challenged: Paying $30 for an item they could have found for $12 loses them $18, but paying $30 to save a half-hour they can bill for $50 saves them $20 AND half an hour out of their day.  In the end they are $2 and half and hour richer.

Now I know most of us are thinking, 'but I don't earn $100/hour, so I need to bargain shop.'

That is a limited mindset.  Before you're going to start earning that kind of money, you need to start treating your time as if it's worth that kind of money.  It's the famous 'Act as If' philosophy, that is to say, you attract what you are a match for, so if you want money you have to start to 'act as if' you already have it.  To constantly put yourself into that mindset of having now, instead of having sometime in the future (or never).

How many things would you stop doing if you knew it was costing you $100/hour to do it?  You'd stop watching most TV programs.  You'd stop gossipping.  You'd stop reading the news and start reading books that will help you to earn more money.  Video games, bar hopping, etc., etc.  Heck, even things like house cleaning become a worthless activity for you to do when you could hire someone to clean it for $30/hour. 

I'm not advocating we should all start spending money we don't have.  We must live within our means.  I AM suggesting we should stop treating our time as a disposable commodity.   If we took all those hours in our day, that aren't paying us any real dividend, and use them to better our life (to educate ourselves, to inspire ourselves, to work on income producing activities), think of how much better off we would be in a year.  In five years.  In ten.

Over the next 48 hours, continually ask yourself, 'Is this a valuable use of my time?' 'Could I be doing something to better my life right now instead?'

I'm not talking about working ourselves to death.  Spending time with my family IS valuable.  Spending time on activities we LOVE are worthwhile.  Browsing stores for a deal on a video game or yet another pair of shoes, is not.  Watching funny Youtube videos is not.  Most of our Facebook and even email time is simply not.  It's wasting time that you could be spending making your life that much richer and better.

We all know that money is a precious commodity that needs to be invested wisely in order to make it grow.

Time is an even more precious commodity and needs to be invested wisely in order to make our lives grow.   Treat your time as if it's worth a lot of money and in time, it really will be.

1 comment:

  1. Fine post. Thanks, gave me a lot to think about.