Life Lesson: Value Your Time

Whether you’re an executive making a nice salary or just starting out on your career, valuing your time is part of learning how to better manage your money and wealth. While we’ve all heard the expression “time is money,” there’s another way of interpreting the value of your time. Simply put, your time is worth the value you place on it — and you might be undervaluing your time by thinking of it using dollars.

Imagine you’re planning a garden. If you’re like many home gardeners, you spend a few hundred dollars and reap a bit more than that in flowers and produce, compared with the cost of buying all your vegetables and flowers. If you include the time you spend on the garden, valued at your normal rate of pay, you might think you’re taking a loss.

If you take pleasure in working with your hands in the fresh air and feel satisfied with the healthy exercise you get, though, the time you spend is not a cost but a benefit.

It can be the same with financial guidance. Some people might decide to go it alone and learn about personal finance on their own, wading through the thousands of websites, books, and advice columns about wealth and personal finances. They could easily spend a lifetime doing it and if they love it, that’s great.

However, if they’re not excited about personal finance and it takes time away from doing other things they love, like spending time with family or taking up other hobbies, it’s probably not a cost-effective use of their time. Instead, they should consider meeting with a financial planner to cut down on the time they spend on personal finance and increase the effectiveness of the time they choose to spend on finances. The result is they have more time to do the things they value instead of something they don’t like to do.

It’s not always about a value-propostion of how much money you can save by delegating a task to someone else—while you can think of your time in terms of dollars, thinking of your time in terms of the intrinsic value it brings to your life ensures that you’re living a life you enjoy, rather than one that’s wasted. It’s an approach that puts what’s important to individuals at the highest rungs, rather than what is the most efficient.

If you’re struggling to manage your wealth and personal finances because you don’t know where to start or you simply don’t enjoy doing it, it might be time to see a financial planner so you can start focusing on what really matters to you in life.