How to Put a Value on your Time

In one sense, of course, time is priceless, and it may feel unnatural to put a price on it. How can you price an hour spent with someone you cherish, for example? Yet it is a fact of life that we do set aside a portion of our time to sell to other people, and we accept a certain price for it. That price varies according to the individual – someone doing a cleaning job, for example, will charge less per hour than someone who is working as a solicitor. Nevertheless, in each case a price has been set.

So how much is your own time currently worth? The simplest way to calculate this is to use employment rates as a benchmark. If you currently have a job, simply count the hours you work in an average week and divide your weekly wage by them. For example, if you work 15 hours a week, and your weekly wage is £97.50, then £97.50 divided by 15 gives £6.50 an hour (£97.50 -=-15 = £6.50). If you don’t have a job, just look around at the kind of job that is within your current capabilities, get an idea of the weekly wage and the hours expected, and do the same calculation as above. If you think you could get work as a driver, for instance, working 40 hours a week for £200, then simply divide the 200 by 40 to get the hourly rate. In this case it would work out at £5 an hour.

Although it may feel unnatural to put a price on your time in this way, it makes it easier to look at your time objectively, to see how much of it you are putting to good use, and how much you are not.

When you start increasing your awareness of the monetary value of your time in this way, and have got used to the idea, you may well find yourself asking questions like these:

  • How much time – and therefore money – did I waste on that dispute with the next-door neighbour?
  • How much money did it cost me searching for that lost bunch of keys?
  • How much money did it cost in total to watch television this week?

Now by asking these kinds of questions I’m not suggesting that we should give up all our leisure time and work round the clock – we all need sleep, time to relax and periods of leisure to spend however we choose, whether that means watching television, going for a walk or partying with friends. Yet being more aware of the value of your time will help you avoid wasting it and will encourage you to Put it to better use elsewhere. By ‘better use’ I don’t necessarily mean taking on extra work – although you could do that if you wish. What I mean is you could use the extra time more profitably in other Ways, such as planning your next trip with your family, finding out about the cheapest offers or taking up a hobby. You could also decide to devote some of your time to doing jobs around the home instead of paying someone else to do them.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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