If you had one hour to live; how much would you pay for another hour?
This is a continuation of a previous article “Are Money and Time equal.” I am painfully aware that I am not using my time as wisely as I could. I hope this exploration will encourage you and me to value our time properly.
Generally humans are terrible assessors of risk. (Ways we get the odds wrong). In the same way most of us are terrible at valuing our time. We think we save money by “doing it ourselves.” Often we end up paying ourselves a slave wage to save that money.
I used to change my own oil. I used a Motorcraft filter and Motorcraft synthetic blend motor oil. I would go to the store pick up the oil, travel to my father’s, get his tools out, and change the oil. It cost me $28-$34 in materials, plus my time, and my mileage. The whole process took about 2 hours.
My office is next door to a Ford Dealership. During tax season, I had them change the oil for me. They walked to my office picked up the vehicle. They used the same materials I did. They charge me $33 to $37 to change the oil.
So how much was I paying myself to change my oil? I was paid somewhere between $0.00 and $9 for 2 hours of my time.
At best that is $4.50 per hour.
It is easy to value time in that example, but how valuable is an hour with your wife? Children? Or others you care about?
There is a story about a little boy whose father worked very hard. The father was always focused on making money. The boy asked his father “How much do you make an hour?” The father replies $50/hr. The son goes into his room breaks into his piggy bank, seeing he only has $25 he asks his mom for $25. At first she says no, but the boy keeps persisting until she relents.
With $50 in hand the boy goes to his father. He then asks his father “Can I buy an hour of your time? I have $50.” The father is crushed.
The father realizes in that moment money and time are not equal.
You can never buy more time with the ones you love. Those hours can’t be priced. Yet, if all you did was spend time with them would you value that time at all? We need balance!
We all have various areas of our life that require our time. Are we budgeting our 168 hours each week in a way that reflects the importance of those areas in our life?
We often budget our money (which we can always get more money). But do we budget our time? Our time is a finite commodity.
What does your typical allocation of weekly hours look like?