One of the things we hear all the time when it comes to tips on saving money is to “Do it yourself!” You can save money by accomplishing any number of things yourself. On top of that, you can save money by clipping coupons, as well as by braving inconvenience in the name of a lower airfare. While you might be spending money when you follow this philosophy, it’s also important to recognize what you’re spending: Time.
Is Your Time Worth Something to You?
Many people don’t value their time. We’re taught to believe that saving money is more important than enjoying the time we have. It’s fairly common advice to put in the time to clip coupons to save a few bucks a week, or to change your own oil in order to save $40 every three months. And there’s nothing wrong with this — as long as you don’t mind sacrificing the time.
But what if your time is worth a little bit more to you? What if you are interested in using your time for something else, even if it means paying someone else to mow the lawn, change the oil, or to act as a virtual assistant for your new home business venture? There are lots of reasons that people pay other people to do things they could do themselves, and there are reasons that I prefer to spend an extra hour a week with my son and husband, rather than looking for the right coupon/sale combination that will save me $30 on my grocery bill.
Think about how valuable your time is to you. What do you want do with your time? With whom do you spend your time? If you could spend a little extra money, or if you were willing to give up some savings, so that you could spend more time doing what you want, would you? How valuable is that part of your life? It’s hard to put a monetary value on relationships, personal time, convenience, and personal well-being. Often, though, those things are more valuable than mere money.
In Money Terms, What’s Your Time Worth?
Another way to look at it, especially if you pay someone else to do something you don’t want to do, is to consider the monetary value of your time. If you were to work for a set period of time, how much would you make? I could probably change my own oil. However, in the time it takes someone else to change my oil, I can do enough work, sitting at the shop with my laptop, to pay for the oil change and then some.
When I pay someone else to do something, and then use that time to work, I actually come out ahead. If I did it myself, I’d lose money because. I can make more money with an hour of work than what I could make spending the same hour clipping coupons. Consider what your time is worth, and whether you could make more doing good work, or investing in your side business, over the long term. You might be surprised to discover that your time is worth more than you thought.