I was scrolling through Psychology Today recently when I can upon a post originally by Anne Johnston discussing the relationship between time and money. It began by noting Ben Franklin’s timeless quote from 1748, “Time is money.” She went on to say, though, that while time might equal money, money does not equal time.
This makes sense because money is not a finite resource. In fact, there is virtually no cap on it.
You can always earn more money. You can increase what you get paid, you can work more hours, or even switch to a higher paying career.
Time, on the other hand, is a finite resource. We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Even Pinterest says, “You have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé.” Time is truly the great equalizer.
Although our time is worth money, our money is not as valuable as our time. You can never buy more time.
However, while time is more valuable than money, we still need some financial resources in order to really enjoy our time, do the things we dream to do, and live without the fear of running out of money.
Much of this agrees with the research from my recently released bestselling book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think – The 5 Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees.
I learned that the happiest retirees are those who have a significant amount of “core pursuits” which are essentially hobbies on steroids. Most of the happy retirees from my research found their core pursuits while they were still working. Meaning that they found a balance of time and money that helped them reach their goal of being able to retire happily.
These core pursuits were instrumental in motivating these happy retirees to be able to stop working, but first the people reached their financial goals. They had the money saved to be able to retire happily and pursue their passions.
Harvard Business Review recently released a blog post and article about time. They examine how people have a problem with over-committing their time. The blog provides a helpful equation that you can use to see if you’re currently over budgeted on time.
People have always used budgets for money, so it makes perfect sense that time can also be put into a budget to be sure we aren’t “over spending” in either category. Budget your time and try to find your perfect balance of time and money.
I’ve written previously about how important it is for people to find their personal balance of priorities. Having all the time in the world does not guarantee happiness in the same way all the money in the world doesn’t equal happiness. Finding the balance between time and money is absolutely key for happy retirees, and should be for you as well.
I have to remind myself sometimes that my time is valuable. It’s easy to over-commit in the name of growing my business in the pursuit of making my family more financially stable. When I remind myself that my time is valuable, though, I’m able to realign my priorities for that particular day; whether it’s spending some extra time with my family, catching up with an old friend, or maybe it’s spending an extra hour getting ready for Sunday’s radio show on WSB radio so our listeners are able to learn that much more.
Remembering to budget both our time and money appropriately will help us all to not just be a happy retiree, but also a generally happier human being.
Certified financial planner Wes Moss offers financial and accessible investment advice to Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers.