How to Calculate the Value of Time


Time is the most precious thing we have, and it is often fleeting and elusive. Each hour we have is so precious, in fact, that people put a monetary value on it. It may seem mercenary or shocking to suggest that we put a price on time in this way, but in reality this is what people do every day.

Time is a commodity that we continually buy and sell throughout our lives. For example, when you apply for a job, you are in fact agreeing to sell part of your time to an employer for a specified sum of money. Do you have a full-time job? If so, you are selling at least 35 hours of your time each week, and your employer is purchasing that time. If you earn, say, £175 for working a 35-hour week, that works out at £5 an hour (£175 + 35 = £5). You could say, therefore, that you have agreed with your employer that one hour of your time is worth £5, and this is what your employer will expect to pay.

Buying and selling time

Time is bought and sold in different ways all over the world. When you buy salad ingredients and vegetables, for example, do you buy them already washed, peeled and chopped for you, or do you choose the ones you will have to prepare yourself? It takes time to wash, peel and chop these foods, and retailers will pass that cost on to you. Try comparing prices and you’ll see what I mean.

At some time in our lives we have probably decided to do something for ourselves instead of paying someone else to do it Whether it’s redecorating the home, doing home repairs or simply doing our own washing and ironing, we have all tried to save money by choosing the do-it-yourself route.

When you do the job yourself, you are using some of your own time instead of purchasing someone else’s. If you need to redecorate your home, for example, and your own time is priced at £5 an hour whereas a decorator’s is priced at £15 an hour, it makes sense to use your own, cheaper time to get the job done. If you are earning £20 an hour, however, it would be a false economy to do the decorating yourself. It would make better financial sense to employ the decorator at £15 an hour and use your own time to earn £20 an hour at work.

What I’m trying to show you here is that time is money. And just as you spend your money, you also spend your time. Whether you spend your time working, resting, socialising or pursuing a hobby, each hour that you spend has a monetary value – and other people will pay a price to acquire that hour for themselves.

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About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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