I’ve always valued my personal time quite highly, but I’ve recently started to think about time in the same way I think about money. If I’m considering a new purchase, I not only way up how much money it costs, but how much of my time will it cost as well.
Take for example the new iPhone XS. The iPhone XS will set you back $1,629AUD ($1,155USD). If I earn the median weekly income in Australia, $1,164AUD or $31.05AUD per hour, that means I need to work roughly 52 hours to be able to afford an iPhone XS. Is an iPhone worth 52 hours of my time, no chance! How about a holiday in New Zealand, is that worth 52 hours of my time? Well yes, I think so. For some people though, that iPhone is worth 52 hours of their time and there’s nothing wrong with that. If that iPhone adds a lot of value and gives you enjoyment, then go for it. For me, I really value travel and adventure, so I can happily justify to myself the cost of those experiences.
There’s not only the upfront costs to consider either. A lot of things also have a continued cost on your time, things typically need maintaining. How much of your time do you spend cleaning, servicing or fixing that thing, is it really worth your time? If you didn’t have that thing, what could you do with that extra time?
Some things are intangible though and you can’t always associate a cost to, nor do you want to. I’ve recently dropped back to working 4 days a week, so I can stay at home and look after my 9 month old daughter. Is the loss of pay worth that time I get with my daughter, you bet! My daughter will only grow up once, I’m more than happy to take the hit to my salary to be able to spend that time.
We’re all given the same amount of time, how do you want to spend your time?