Money is Time: What’s Your Time Worth?

Do you always find yourself doing everything?  It’s time to weigh your options and think about hiring someone else to do something for you.  Let’s say that you want to write a report for your business and you have the knowledge to write it and you figure it will take about five hours of your time.  Think about if you were to pay $100 to a freelance writer.  You would free up those five hours of your time and be able to do something else.  Next time you find yourself debating about whether to hire something out or do it yourself, remember that money is time.You probably think I just said, “Time is money,” but what I actually said was, “money is time.” They amount to the same thing, really, in some ways. But when you really stop to analyze the idea that money is time, wow. What a concept.

Let’s say you own a flooring company. You want to produce and give away a free report, giving visitors to your web site an overview of the differences between hardwood, cork and bamboo flooring. The report will be about fifteen pages, and you have the knowledge to write it. You’d spend about five hours writing and editing the report.

Or you could hire a freelance writer for $100, and spend that five hours doing something else. Let’s assume that you would either work, in which case your time is worth more than $100 for that five hours, or you would spend it doing something with your family or friends, in which case you would have at least $100 worth of fun and pleasure from your five hours.

Too often, we do not want to spend money to do something we can do ourselves. Sometimes this is a good idea. If it’s something you can do quickly, or something you enjoy and want to do, then doing it yourself might be a good idea.

If it’s going to cost a lot more to hire someone than it would cost you in time to do it, that’s understandable, too.

But I think a lot of times we don’t really understand the concept that “money is time.” That we can hire out something we don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, and spend the time doing something more profitable to us.

By “profitable” I don’t necessarily mean, either, that we have to do something that brings in more money right then, than hiring someone costs.

I don’t think profitable necessarily means more money, in this situation. I think what it really means is that we get more out of our time than we would get out of the money we spend hiring someone to do something for us.

If you hire someone to design a logo for you because you can’t seem to design a logo without spending way more time than you know it should take, then you’re profiting by hiring someone else.

If you hire someone to mow your lawn so you can go to the pool with your kids, you’re getting more out of your time than you would get out of the experience of mowing your lawn.

You’re also giving someone else an opportunity to earn money they need to do the things they need to do in their lives, and of course that is a big advantage.

Next time you debate about whether to hire something done, keep in mind that money is time.

How can you turn money into time?

  • Identify something that could be done just as well by someone else.
  • Define what it would take for someone else to do the job to your satisfaction.
  • Explore hiring someone.

Thanks to Dominate Your Life for including this post in the Business Success Carnival, to The Skilled Investor for inclusion in the Carnival of Financial Planning, and to for including this in the Business/ Finance Link Mash-up.

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