It’s been said that “time is money.”
We beg to differ. Time is much, much more valuable than money.
Unlike money, we can’t get time back (no refunds here for that 5-hour reality TV marathon). We are all given the same amount of it. And, here’s the biggest rub: we can’t beg, borrow or steal to get more of it.
Time is the ethereal gift, the universal equalizer. And to live a well-lived life, we should be as abundantly rich in minutes as we are in dollars, so that we have the freedom to spend our hours on what is truly valuable to us.
In the pursuit of financial security, though, sometimes we can lose sight of wasting our most precious commodity. We face the tradeoff between saving time versus money all the time: is it worthwhile to spend an hour surfing the internet for a discount code in order to save $10? How far should you drive to get a better rate on gas? Should you hire someone to clean your place, or do it yourself?
Use Our Calculator to Find Out
We created a handy calculator to estimate how much your hour is worth.
Keep in mind that this hourly value is just a useful guide to decision-making: it doesn’t reflect what you are worth as a person, and how much you earn is just the starting point.
Enter your after tax annual salary*:
How much extra income do you have after expenses?
How much free time do you have?
Is your priority cutting costs or saving time?
* For a rough estimate, multiply your gross annual salary by 0.75.
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How Did You Get This Number?
If you don’t have a lot of disposable income, your time “value” goes down because you are better served saving money. If you have less time, your time value is higher than if you have a lot to spare. Finally, your current priorities matter. All these factors weigh into our algorithm. (These calculations are based on working a 40-hour week, 50 weeks a year. If your hours differ greatly and you would like us to crunch your hourly value, email us your stats).
Ways to Apply This…
Say that your free time is worth roughly $12 per hour: If that taxi ride will cost about $10 and save you an hour compared to taking the subway, then it might be the right call. If it’s going to cost you $20, maybe you should think again. Use this to help you figure out:
- Whether you should order in or cook
- Whether you should hire someone to clean, organize, fix things, or do it yourself
- Whether time spent on the phone with customer service to save $X is worth it
- Whether you should take the travel time to return something to the store
- Whether money saved for a flight with a layover is worth the extra time traveling
This calculator is just a rough guide, so obviously your budget comes first–and the enjoyment you get from some of these activities (like cooking or DIY) should factor in. But it can be useful to start thinking of your time as the most precious commodity of all…and weighing it with as much value as you do your dollars.