Time Is On Your Side – Or Is It?

Time is money - well at least it is in Justine Timberlake's world in the movie, 'IN TIME'. In the film, Will Salas (Timberlake) is a poor man who rarely has more than a day's worth of life on his time clock but the wealthy had the resources to live forever. This is their reality and instead of paying in money, they pay in time. When they work, they get more time. If not, they run out of this precious resource and perish. In the film, the people's worth is very exposed. The citizens all have this displayed clock of the amount of time they have left. It's there, visible and very clear.

If that were true for us, if we knew our expiration date, would we be more careful with our time?


I have often made the distinction that, unless you are independently wealthy which means your investment income is higher than your expenses, you are swapping your time and value for money.

I believe most of us reading this blog is in this boat.

When I was oblivious to finances and how interest worked  - and the detrimental impact of debt, -  I paid no attention to the true time cost of poor financial decisions. But once I had my day that changed my life, crying on the floor with a $7000 B of A bill in one hand and a $60,000 student loan in the other,  it was then I started to do the math - the math of time.

In 2009 we had multiple debts, ranging from a car loan to student loans and  several credit cards. We were paying well over $1200 in debt payments! But what did that really mean in regards to my life, my time? If I was making $25 an hour (the medium American income), it turns out I was spending 48 hours of my life paying into interest debt payments per month!


Then I decided to do this for our transportation budget. This is a sore spot for me (and an entirely separate blog post) because for most people, besides our housing expense, our transportation budget is the highest bill on our ledger sheet. Why? CAR PAYMENTS!!! I already talk about my loathing of car payments but when I related it to my time, it got me even angrier.

Our payment for our 2003 Toyota Celica was $333. Add gas, insurance and maintenance and it ended up being $600 a month. In 2009, that was almost 20% of our take home income (I'm a teacher and my husband was just starting his graphic design business - so things were tight).

At $25 an hour, $600 ends up being 24 hours of my working time. I was investing 24 hours of my life  per month into transporting my body around. Think about it.

What's the true benefit of a car? Cars don't make you smarter, more kinder, more healthy, or more spiritual. They just take your body and mind from one location to another and - here's the kicker - will eventually end up in a junk yard somewhere. And here I am using 24 hours of my life per month, that I could NEVER get back, to fund such a basic element of my life.


Unless you're financially independent and living off of your personally invested resources, you are trading your life for money. Whether you get $10 per hour or $140 per hour, there is a distinct irreversible trade of time (and value) for money. Time that you can never get back. SO with that in mind, consider placing your money into things really worth investing in, things worth your time;

...things worth your life.

So as we head deeper into 2018, start seeing your investment in improving the area of finances as improving your investment of your resource of time. Every dollar you spend, you earned with your value and your time.

So spend it wisely!