What’s Your TIME Worth?

With all the negativity in the news in the last few months (well, it’s been there for years, but now, the negativity is on inflation and the rising cost of living), I think it’s worth talking about something beyond the dollars and cents of your personal income and the economy. 

Let’s talk about the value of your time. 

Whether you’re on a salary or punch a clock, every hour and minute of your work day has a value to you and your employer.  It dictates how much you make each year and it also dictates how much you can make, too. 

…But it also can tell you something about your expenses, too. 

Let’s say you have skilled job and are paid $40/hour.  Your boss is flexible, and because the industry you’re in is growing, you can work nearly as much as you want. 

So how much should you do? 

I like to ask folks this question to understand more about their own lives, and I’m always amazed at the answers.  As an example, I once met a young man who was beginning a corporate career and, as I asked about his life outside of work, he volunteered how much he hated ironing his clothes.

I was more than a little taken aback, and I asked him why, with the amount of time he was spending at work – about 65 hours a week – why he simply didn’t have his clothes dry cleaned. 

His response was classic, “Dry cleaning?  That costs WAY too much!”

As I explained to him that it could potentially be classified as a business expense for his taxes, suddenly, he broke out in a broad smile as he “got it.”

“So, I don’t have to spend three hours a week ironing?”

We did the math, and on his base salary, two hours of work each month more than paid for all the dry cleaning he’d need have done each month.  He gave away his iron and ironing board that weekend. 

I shared that with you as a simple way of reminding us ALL that the value of our time is often far more important than the number on our paychecks.  You can’t watch your child’s first steps if you’re not home.

Or your daughter’s first recital.

Your son’s first ballgame. 

…And you might not be able to take that time off from work, but you certainly SHOULD be able to think creatively about how – and where – you have to spend your time. 

Life’s too short to iron.  To have to spend all day on Saturday trying to get the yard sorted out.  To feel like you “have” to be the one performing the maintenance on your car. 

You should have to want to do those things, not feel obligated to do them. 

This week, take a step back and assess where and what you spend your time on, and explore if there are better (not necessarily cheaper) ways to do them.  If your in sales, or work virtually, for example, could you take those “extra” hours from cutting the grass on Saturday and make a few phone calls, potentially closing some business? 

Chances are, the commission from one sale would pay for a landscaper for the month, and you’re free to be the spouse, parent, significant other, and friend that – maybe – you haven’t felt you had “time” for before. 

…And, like my young friend all those years ago, you might find that the “expense” is actually something that can work for you on your taxes, too. 

Give me a call to find out, and I hope you have a great day!

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