‘Time Is Money’: So How Much Are You Worth?

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

You know the expression: “Time is money.” Turns out, it’s totally accurate. One of the most valuable assets you have is time — how you choose to spend your time determines how much money you make, your productivity, and your efficiency. When you start to look at time as a valuable resource, it changes the way you think, often allowing you to make better decisions.

Take this example about making the choice between two similar jobs, per Get Rich Slowly. One job, where you’ll make $40,000 a year, is right down the street from your house. The other job is 30 minutes away, but you’ll make $50,000 instead. Which one would you pick?

Many would automatically opt for the $50,000 yearly salary because 30 minutes isn’t that far away, and you’ll earn $10,000 more. But if you break it down by time, your answer may change. Take a look: That commute is going to cause you to spend five hours in the car every week, averaging to about 250 hours you’ll spend in the car every year, which is the equivalent to just more than 10 days.

Your time is valued at $25 per hour, based on your $50,000-per-year salary, meaning that in one year, you’ll spend $6,250 worth of your time commuting. When you factor in gas money, you’re losing even more. Now, jump back to the $40,000-per-year job. After factoring in gas (let’s say $2,493) and the value of your time ($6,250), there is only a $1,257 salary difference between the two jobs. Ask yourself the same question again. Which job would you choose?

Chances are, you’re now leaning toward the one that pays $10,000 less and right down the street. Isn’t it strange how things change when you start to look at your time as a commodity? Consider these four ways you can ensure you’re making the most out of your precious time.