Time Is Money

While on our transatlantic cruise our dinner table companions were 2 couples in their late twenties/early thirties that had quit their jobs and were trekking around the world. We had some great discussions about life and I gained a lot of insight in to how to travel more frugally.

One thing that stuck with me was the paradigm they operate in when spending money. They viewed time as an abundant resource as they had a lot more time than money. The decision criteria they used is very different than ours these days in which I consider us very time poor.

These globe trekking couples happily trade time for lower expenses in their journeys. Often they would go out of their way to trade a lot of time (sitting in the airport on standby, taking a local bus or walking versus taking a taxi, etc) to save just a little money in their travel.

It was really refreshing for me as I currently have a completely different view on time. I am time poor and now regularly make decisions to save time even if it costs me more money. Applying this to our financial freedom its a good reminder that when we get financially free, time will be an abundant resource and money would likely be a much more limited resource. We would likely make very different decisions when we are financially free compared to our current, very time poor, lives today.

It kinda reminds me of a propaganda sign that I often saw while we were on our temporary assignment in Shenzhen, China:

"Time is money, efficiency is life."


Related in Financial Goals:

Financial Freedom Plan (Aug 25, 2013) Almost two years ago I laid out a plan for the net asset allocation I thought we needed for our financial freedom plan. It was a rough guide for asset allocation that I believe could generate enough income to cover...

2012 Passive Income: Dividends (Jan 27, 2013) Here is a summary of our 2012 dividend income. All this income comes from our taxable stock portfolio that is included in our monthly investment review. All retirement investment holdings are excluded from this dividend income summary. This passive income...

Can We Coast to Our Financial Goals? (Nov 12, 2012) As I continue to reflect on getting closeer to reaching our millionaire net worth milestone, I am becoming more optimistic and excited about what the future holds. I've pondered whether we could just tread water at this point and still...

Comments (8)


2million, are you really "that" time poor? I mean you have one child and your wife is a stay at home mom which helps. Imagine if you and your wife both worked and also had 2 kids or more. Then you might be a lot more time poor. Maybe it's all relative? But my brother has 3 kids and though his wife stays at home, they are still really busy. But not as busy if they both worked. Any comments?

Interesting that you expect to have lots of extra time but little extra money when you're financially free...I guess that's one way to do financial freedom. My idea of financial freedom will be when I have the non-wage income to both be able to free up time AND to more freely spend. I guess it will definitely be a milestone when I pass my "minimum expense" crossover point on passive income, but my eventual goal is much loftier.

It is funny how as time goes on we slowly transition from being more money conscious to being more time conscious. I used to do a lot of stupid stuff to save money, I would like to think I am wiser now but I am sure I still do a lot of stupid stuff.

Steve, Its a valid point. I really don't know how people with multiple kids do it. I hear it can actually be a bit easier with multiple kids since they can entertain each other, but Im not sure I believe it. I definitely feel saturated, but its from a variety of things - overload at work, wife's part time work requirements, expanding honey-do list at home, quality time with kid, etc.

Jonathan, yes with a goal of only $2million I still expect $ to be a very limited resource for us. I'm willing to trade a more frugal lifestyle with some indulgences for early financial freedom.

KC - I wonder if our time consciousness reverts back to money conscious once we stop working?

Wow, great point. I never thought about the change in the value of time once you no longer work. Right now I also consider myself time poor with 1 child and my wife also working. That will definitely change in retirement.

Mmmmm, just read your sentence "with a goal of ONLY 2 million, I still expect $ to be very limited". That's interesting because only a very small percent of Americans even have that amount. To most people you will look like a king. I guess it goes to show how little most people have saved for retirement.

To put that another way at a 3-4% withdrawal rate we are looking at $60k-$80k before taxes to live on. I don't see that as anything above a squarely middle class lifestyle. I am certainly expecting that $ will be a limited commodity and I will need to engage in several time consuming efforts (as most retired folks do) to keep our expenses inline with what we can spend. On the plus side I should be sleeping a lot more peaceful knowing that I don't have to work for or compromise for the man! Maybe to some people I will look like a king, one that still has to budget though. ;-)

I would rather say that time and money are trade-offs, as long as you don't do what you really enjoy and what doesn't seem like work. Thanks for the nice reminder!

Post a comment

(Comment moderation enabled.)

About 2millionblog.com

A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,304,889

Sponsors

New Personal Finance Articles




PF Blogs