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The Financial Value of Time

How much is your time worth? I feel like my time is worth a lot, I mean we all only have so much of it. I’d like to start off by asking my readers not to confuse anything in this post with the time value of money, it has nothing to do with that. I like to be constructive with my time inside and outside of work. I think most of us do and those that don’t need to organize their life. Having said that, I like to have fun in life and I try to maintain a healthy balance between work and play time. I’m not one to come home and watch 2-3 hours of television, I’d rather read a book. I have spent money on house cleaning services before because I felt my wife and I were being more productive elsewhere. Many people have an idea of how much their time is worth to them and they make decisions based on work, responsibilities, and preferences. How much is your time worth to you? In this post I will try to illustrate some of the factors influencing the financial value of time.

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Vacation Time

We all need to take a couple of weeks a year to unwind and most professional jobs do that, some more so than others. On average, Americans don’t earn as much vacation time as workers do in other countries. This is a known fact, and it shouldn’t be this way (in fact, it should be the exact opposite). What’s really surprising is Americans don’t use all of their vacation time. According to a recent survey by Expedia, the average American earns 18 vacation days but only uses 14 of them. How can this be? We live in a work influenced society, this isn’t always good. Some of the benefits of taking vacations include better mental health, improved emotional well being, and decreased risk of heart disease. I think it would be more beneficial for employers to adopt open vacation policies. If you ever look at Fortune Magazine’s “Best Companies to Work for” annual issue look to see how many have open vacation policies. There are a few of them, and these are some of the best companies to work for in the country.

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Time for Work

Work should be one of your top priorities in life – everyone

needs to be happy with what they do, make money, and be successful. Maybe you work for yourself, own your own company, work for a small company, or work for a large company it doesn’t matter you should love what you do. You should always put your resources and work time together to make the most money you possibly can since your time is a precious commodity. If you work for someone else make sure you’re getting paid well for your time or go somewhere else. If you have the choice of working or doing something else find out what’s more important to you and choose that activity. It’s important to make smart thought out decisions, but don’t spend too much time making decisions. If you decide to go in one direction and it doesn’t work out the way you would like it too, you always have other options.

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Volunteer Time

How much time do you volunteer? I know some individuals that spend a lot of their time volunteering to help the greater good of the community. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I know individuals that won’t do anything unless they are paid for it. I like to think of myself as somewhere in the middle. I have spent time volunteering at Beatley Central Library in Alexandria, American Diabetes Association (Walk to beat Diabetes), Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, and various Nursing Homes in the area. I probably only spend about 10-20% of my time volunteering and I probably should spend more, but it’s tough with a full time job and day to day responsibilities. People who volunteer their time to the community make the world go round and they significantly help others in the process. The value you will get from this type of activity is very rewarding.

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Relaxation Time

Everyone should have a certain amount of time they set aside for relaxation. I like to go on walks with my three chihuahuas and my wife. Sometimes, if it’s cold outside we’ll just curl up with some nice snacks and watch a movie. During football season, my relaxation time is on Sundays. I take the whole day to watch football and have a lot of fun doing it because I have friends who are fans of several different teams. We love our fantasy football too! My wife and I also like to go out to dinner at least once a week, this is very relaxing for us and we don’t have to cook. Additionally, we like to go out with friends every so often and this can be very rewarding. You have to set aside time for relaxation, it will make you appreciate your life. Additionally, if I didn’t set aside an ample amount of time for relaxation every week I think I’d go nuts.

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