Time is Money

by Dual Income No Kids on November 13, 2008 · 0 comments

People’s ideas around the value of their time differ greatly.  

On the one side:  Some believe in the principle that if you can pay someone else to take care of something for you, to free up time for yourself, then this is preferred.  The idea is that your time is valuable, and this will free up time for you to deal with other pursuits.
While I can see some of the logic in this argument, I don’t really buy into it for most cases.  It only makes sense if you are doing something else that is more productive in that time you’ve freed up.
For instance, if you pay someone to clean your place and then work on making a small business succeed, this might make sense.  But if you spend that freed up time relaxing or taking care of life, I think that the argument isn’t quite right.  In this case it would be to add to your overall quality of life, rather than a financial gain.
Another example is that folks won’t deal with something (mileage programs, returns, etc.) because they say it isn’t worth their time.
On the other side: You can work to maximize your time to make or save extra money. While theoretically I’d love to fall in the prior category, I simply don’t.  I figure I have a limited amount of time, and I might as well do as much as I can out of it.
I believe in spending my extra time in ways that can help get ahead in some way, including:
  • Deal Hunts.  Spending extra time to get the best deals when booking flights, or the like.  I generally spend at least 25% less than I would on an initial search.
  • Miles Management.  I also spend the time to get the most out of miles and bonus programs, this has paid off a ton for me. 
  • Returns.  While I tend not to shop a great deal, I’m also not afraid to follow up on returns. Being lazy about returns not only means lots of money down the drain, but also random stuff in your life that you don’t want. 
  • Education.  I also like to spend my extra time doing things that will continue my development in various ways.  For instance, next week I’ve signed up for an etiquette dinner ($10 for a three course meal and class) and I’ll be headed to a workshop ($29) for how to make more money blogging.
  • Maximize Time.  I also like to manage my time well so I can free up time to play.  This is one reason we don’t have a TV and I spend my time walking for extra exercise rather than stuck in traffic.  Not everyone has the option of ditching their car, but you do make choices as to how much time you spend in it or in front of a TV.
Readers:  We’d love you to share any ways that you spend your extra time to add to your bottom line or quality of life.  If folks are in favor of outsourcing for extra time, we are also interested to hear your thoughts on that.

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