Your Money is Your Time – Don’t Waste It

It’s possibly the worst trade you will make in your entire life, your time for money and stuff.

Quick question – If you were in the possession of a resource that was very rare and had no way to replenish itself, would you trade that resource for something that was available everywhere and easy for everyone to attain?

Hell NO!

That sounds like a raw deal. Why would anyone trade something finite (Life – If you’re one of the lucky ones you get 100 rotations around the sun) for something infinite (Money – It’s in the trillions and will be rotating long, long after you are gone).

And day after day we continue to make this trade without thinking about it too much.

When you get your paycheck deposited to your bank account it is essentially credit for the amount of time that you have sold to your employer for that period. Now, here is the part where I want you to pay close attention – when you make a purchase you are now effectively trading your time, your life for that item.

Are you willing to trade a part of your life for that next generation must have gadget?

Example 1.

You see a big screen TV on sale at your local mega store and you can’t resist the savings. Today only that jumbo 70″ HDR 4K is on sale for only $3,000.

Let’s ignore a bunch of things like taxes and deductions and assume that you are currently getting paid $15 per hour – the math is simple:

$3,000/$15hr = 200 hours.

200 hours or 2 months of your life to purchase that TV! Is it worth it? It might be to you and that’s fine but the next time you make a purchase big or small ask yourself – How long do I have to work to pay for this purchase? Are you willing to work 2 days for that new pair of jeans? How about that big screen TV? Is it really worth 2 months of work? Ask yourself every time, even if the purchase is small. Remind your self of the amount of time that you have to work to make the money to purchase the item and see if whatever you are buying still seems like a good deal.

When you are spending your time versus your money you may find that some of things that you have purchased or want to purchase don’t really seem like such a good deal anymore.

This leads to more thoughtful purchases as it gives you a bit of time even if 30 seconds before you buy that next gadget to consider the value of your money and ultimately your time.

Another way to look at it…

Wal-Mart is the largest devourer of souls time in the world. In 2016 they consumed 16,025,641.02 working years to achieve their yearly sales results.

But don’t just get mad at Wally world. Your other favorite stores are not far behind. Amazon at 4,358,974.38 years consumed. Costco at 3,782,051.28 working years consumed – 76,293.07 years from their membership fees alone. 76,293.07 years consumed just to enter the store! That’s over 1,000 full life spans of work just for the pleasure of shopping at Costco.

There are 100’s of other notable retailers, auto and gadget makers that consume millions of working hours every year as well.

So there you have it folks, be careful out there. There is a lot of competition, all looking to get that little piece of you. Don’t forget to ask yourself every day and at each transaction – Is this really how I want to spend my time today?

Author: The Money Runner

Husband, father, runner, personal finance enthusiast and computer geek. Thanks for visiting. Please check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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