Time versus Money

Time versus Money

What is more valuable............Time or Money?

Many here on the SS community (including myself) are keen on investing to build up a portfolio of real estate assets to provide growth style assets with income to offset holding costs; income (cashflow) type assets where growth becomes a bonus, or; a combination of both, sometimes by varying the portfolio assets themselves or even in the same asset by being creative with value add or buying very prudently in the first place.

It is the income streams that follow (or capital by portfolio sell-off in part or in whole) that provide us with choices in our life. Those choices then allow us the discretion to reduce working hours in a J.O.B. or fully remove ourselves from the active workforce.

This then allows us the freedom to reclaim some of our time. Many of us may have heard that money is more valuable than time. We can always get back lost money, however we can never get back lost time.

Likening the money versus time argument to a currency of sorts and a bank account, it helps to imagine that there is a bank that credits each and every one of us with $ 86,400 every morning. It carries no end of day balance. Every evening whatever part of the balance that is not used during the day is wiped from the account.

As prudent investors, we would draw out and utilise every last dollar. The analogy now beckons to the currency of time. Each and every person also has such a bank.....our Time Bank.

Every morning (for the sake of a fixed yardstick comparison) it credits us with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off/deletes whatever part of that time we did not use or invest for good purpose. It carries no balance.....there is no credit or overdraft. Every morning another new account is opened for us......if we do not use the day’s deposits, the loss is ours. There is no going back. There is not an endless supply.

Jim Rohn calls procrastination, the thief of time. I agree......the time will pass anyway, regardless of whether we utilise it to our full advantage or squander it on mind numbing activities. As Jim Rohn also says, stop majoring in minor things. This life we have is not a dress rehearsal.

Our time use extends not only to work, but also involves our health, family, purpose, recreation/leisure, relaxation, spirituality, etc. I provide no order to this list as the priorities will be different for each and every one of us according to our core values.

I have recovered an enormous amount of time over the years by watching far less TV than I used to. Aside from the news, I mostly watch comedies as I enjoy laughing. I reckon it’s very therapeutic to have a few good belly laughs per day.....get our own endorphins cracking and to offset some of the gloom from the remaining media, the daily grind, and sometimes those we meet along our daily journey.

I’ve been guilty in the past of spending too much time on minor things that whilst they pass the time, do nothing in moving me forward to be, do and have all that I have the potential to achieve. That is not to say that we don’t need to re-create, recuperate or rest, however I find that spending my time that was otherwise squandered on mindless “hanging around” and other activities and investing it in sleep instead, I am far more productive and energetic the next day rather than just flopping on the couch in front of the screen.

There is a time quadrant that those who have read Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” goes thru priorities of putting first things first. The variables he uses in his matrix include urgent versus non-urgent and important versus not important. I was not able to format the table and paste it properly however here is a link to the matrix:


In utilising time for our benefit and then the benefit of those others who are close such as family, friends and others of our choosing it requires us to stretch a little every day. That is, to not spend too much time in the comfort zone or the comfy couch. ;)

Comfort is a welcome guest who if stays too long becomes our master. To provide us with the momentum to overcome some of the “comfort inertia” I find it helpful to consider the following axiom (I am unaware of the source)....”It’s not what you are that’s holding you back, it’s what you think you’re not”. Fear and inertia can go hand in hand and, sometimes the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something and the associated inertia is just to go out and do it. :rolleyes:

For those of us (myself included.........I still need prompting with this) I find asking the following question occasionally is a leveller that makes us think about whether we are spending our time credited every day on activities that are in alignment with our core values.

How long will you live?

Many of us a are probably familiar with at least one case of a young person who has pased on in their youth/prime and was denied the most valuable commodity and currency that we all have right now and that is time. There is also the quantity versus quality debate that I do not wish to entertain here. I do however find it useful to say a quick thank you every morning when I wake up in gratitude for the day ahead. :)

Back to property. To me, investing in property provides a means to reclaim time spent on working at the J.O.B. and achieve the point of not being pre-occupied where my income will come from, whether I clock in or not, wake up at a certain time or not and that is unaffected by my lifestyle. This is freedom to me.

All our choices, as to how we utilise our time, can be classed as either positive or negative, that either push us toward our goals and destiny or keep us from reaching them.

A Chinese proverb says, “we are like a piece of wood that needs to be carved every morning. If we don’t carve ourselves, someone else will do it for us." To shape our own lives we should be proactive and responsible with how we use (most of) our time......there isn’t an endless supply.

I consider time to be more valuable than money. Both are necessary and to have the freedom to choose how we spend the former, we need to invest it wisely in the beginning to create the latter and lead us to further time choices.

To your (time) freedom!
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Very very well written Player, and obviously you have used your time wisely to think so deeply.
One big wake up to time is to work out how many weekends you have left[going on averages]

so lets say the average oz female lives till 73 years, lets say l am 50 years of age. that leaves me 1196 weekends left to enjoy :eek::eek::eek::eek:

not many really is it.:(

Time is a precious thing.
We are not here for a practice run so put in your very best time now.

Time versus Money

What is more valuable............Time or Money?


How long will you live?

A Chinese proverb says, “we are like a piece of wood that needs to be carved every morning. If we don’t carve ourselves, someone else will do it for us." To shape our own lives we should be proactive and responsible with how we use (most of) our time......there isn’t an endless supply.

To your (time) freedom!
Don't let it lose you any sleep,an old mate of mine has a saying "Poachers
make the best "Gamekeepers",and she is a person with enough money to
squander on expensive toys and whatever she wants all came from property investing share trading ,then she discovered she would have been more happier without them,Time gives you freedom,what you do with that time is up too you,for me i never expected to be rich,and i was never adequately prepared for the ordeal,money can provide fredoom,but it also
brings responsibility,and many depressing hours with lawyers and accountants,all take time away from you in one way or another,but i say the same thing to myself,each morning this is going to be the best day of my life come what may..willair..
time for me

u can always make more money, but you cant get your time back, so any investment of your time needs to be well considered as you are doing.

Another great post, Michael.

Time, for me, and of course the consideration between "important" and 'urgent', also part of Covey's 7 Habits, I think.

The other bit I was just telling my children this morning, is the 20 / 80 rule, that we get 80% of our results from 20% of our efforts ...so it pays to focus on the 20%. The inane, the trivial can well fall by the way.

TV does nothing for me ..possibly average an hour a week, if that.

Yadreaming ...your count of ____ weekends set me thinking !
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It will always be time for me.

I would work well into the night, if I could keep going into the day.:eek:

Yadreamin: Factor in another 520 weekends because you are going to live at LEAST until 83.7.

I have just added another 520 weekends to your life. I feel great!:p

Regards JO
Time and money are both important but not the end game. The end game is happiness.

Money can buy financial security and some will argue that it will buy happiness.

How to attain Money & Happiness:
1. Trade time for money (work in a job that doesn't make you happy)
2. Trade time for money and happiness (work in a job that you like)
3. Trade money for happiness (go on a holiday)

Happiness is a mental state that is measured differently for everybody. If often has a tight correlation with security(for the large majority of people). Security can be classed as financial and physical. Many Australians are not concerned for their physical security and tend to focus on their financial security.

There is no perfect answer but regular dose's of happiness are mandatory
An excellent thread - thanks Player!

We are going through these choices at the moment. Could take a few years off work and spend time with the kids while they are young / before they start school in earnest. Would probably need to go back to work after that unless the investments took off...

Or we could move to a less desirable PPOR and retire now to spend time with the kids and live modestly off the investments.

My thinking is coloured though in that we are now getting close to the point where the power of compounding really kicks in for us so a few more years in the workforce and a growing investment portfolio would see me able to quit full time work and retain / expand our PPOR near the beach as well - ie have our cake and eat it.

Decisions, decisions - I really hate this bit - "just a few more years" can be a slippery slope to never ending wage slavedom and I don't want that either. I really value spending quality time with the kids while they still want to spend time with me so this ain't an easy decision...

Time or money? I really have no idea and my head is starting to hurt - think I might get myself a cup of tea... :eek:
Decisions, decisions - I really hate this bit - "just a few more years" can be a slippery slope to never ending wage slavedom and I don't want that either. I really value spending quality time with the kids while they still want to spend time with me so this ain't an easy decision...

Perhaps defining a specific goal or cut off point would be a solution? If you're not comfortable retiring now with the income you'd generate, but on the other hand don't want to get sucked into the slippery slope mentioned above - set a goal of something like "we'll finish up at our jobs once our income from investments hits $xxxk."
Hi Equity...grab a Bex with that cuppa mate, and have a good lie down :p :rolleyes:

I find the following helps when confronting conflicting decisions between the head and the heart. Carlos Castenada in the Teachings of Don Juan, said some thing to this effect.

"Try each path closely and deliberately. Try it as often as you think necessary; then ask yourself and yourself alone this question....Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn't the path is of no use.

Only you can answer this one for yourself. It is tempting when (as you state) the situation of compounding fruition is knocking at the door.....sometimes we need to delay the decision or gratification.

At the end of the day, cake is there to be eaten.....not be hoarded or it spoils and then we can't enjoy it. :(

Don't fry your brain over it and don't rush any decisions you may regret. Try and balance some of the time now with your children which is obviously high on you core values scale with the need to work and feed the investments that will look after you a little later on.

Even at the point where the kids start school in earnest as you mention, there are other ways to spend quality time with them with extra-curricular activities/sports/lessons, helping with homework.....and teaching them the very thing they will not teach at school......and that's what you know as an investor and the lessons of financial independance.

Whilst time v's money was the intention of the thread, WillG also makes a good point about happiness, however I don't believe it is the end game. It is actually the very beginning. If we aren't happy and grateful now, then no amount of money or reclaimed time will improve this. In fact it will magnify misery/responsibility and fear of loss (in the case of money) and lead to boredom (in the case of time).
Maths for single men

Maths for single men:


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Money can make you time and time can make you money.

We invest to make money which enables us to spend time. In that case if we win the lotto our goal has been reached and our investment journey can end, right?

For me, the challenge is more satisfying than having either time or money.

I have a nominal hourly rate that I consider my time is worth. Therefore, if I can get a job that I don't enjoy (eg house cleaning) done for less than that, it's worth paying to have somebody else do it, and I'll only do things which pay more.

When deciding whether I'll spend time engaging in leisure activities I ask myself "will I get $X worth of enjoyment out of this?". It's not because I'm obsessed with money, the actual dollars aren't that important, it's because it provides a perspective that I find helpful. Actually, this thinking more often than not leads to me deciding to spend time and money. eg I think "I could fly and visit my girlfriend interstate for the day at a cost of $400 and 1 day of time". Then I think of all the other days' of time I've invested in things, and all the other lots of $400 that I've spent... and usually flying to visit a girlfriend and the memories we'll create seems like an awesome investment of both time and money. :D (Obviously the marginal utility changes depending on how many other lots of $400 you perceive that you have available to you, or else you'd do it every day. ;))

Do I spend $2 in ATM fees, or go to another ATM to save the $2? Well, if it takes more than a minute or two, I usually consider the $2 well spent. (Ideally you'd be organised and get cash when you pass the "free" ATM anyway. ;))

Do I spend an hour going to a special store to get my groceries for $20 less? For me, no way! But if you enjoy going to that shop, you value your time at less than $20 per hour, and/or $20 makes a difference to your life, then you should go for it. But I think for the vast majority of "bargain shoppers", it's the feeling that they've "gotten a bargain" that they're really seeking, not the savings. That's why people who were happy to fix their interest rates at 7% when rates were 8%, get p***ed off when rates drop to 6%, not because they can't afford the 7%, but because they're annoyed that somebody else is paying less. And why so many elderly people would rather miss out on $10K in interest each year than lose $5K in pension. They value $1 of the government's money much more highly than $1 of their own money, because they're "getting something for nothing" when it comes from the Government. :rolleyes:

The point in my attempting to make these calculations is to make $1 = $1 = $1, whether it's my money, somebody else's money, my time, somebody else's time, etc - it's a leveller that makes decision-making clearer.
When deciding whether I'll spend time engaging in leisure activities I ask myself "will I get $X worth of enjoyment out of this?".

Don't forget to take tax into account. Eg. if your hourly rate is $100, and something costs $400.. it's really 8 hours of time because of tax.
Time versus Money
What is more valuable............Time or Money?

Ok Michael, you've sucked me in again. My opinion only, yeah :D

Food for thought. ( this may get confusing :confused: )

Time cannot have a value in itself. It is a constant for everyone and affects us equally. Ones ongoing activities, over time, are the providers of the results we experience in our life bringing the so called "value" or not. Results are greatly influenced by our past and present thoughts - which lead (or have led) to actions - which give results based on the seed one sows in the thought. So the value, for me, is the arising of pure, helpful and selfless volition behind each thought process and the expression of this thought. This, I have experienced, leads to deeper contentment, peace and security - which are truly the valuable items.
As you are aware, I spend a fair bit of time deconditioning my mind to take out selfishness, greed, aversion, criticism, fear, etc, which are of no value to anyone who seeks peace and contentment. (still far from achieving this - but getting there. :))

How long will you live?

Each moment I die and am reborn a different person. Constantly changing, ageing, becoming a new being. Life only exists in the present moment. Each arising moment is a new life - a new reality. How's that for profound? :D

Many of us a are probably familiar with at least one case of a young person who has pased on in their youth/prime and was denied the most valuable commodity and currency that we all have right now and that is time.

Well this depends on your belief system. You have drawn this assumption that life ends at death of the current body. Many do not hold this assumption and believe that, after death, the mind continues to exist in another life. Mind continues on for these people. Therefore time is not limited to this life for this person and one can continue to enjoy the fruits of ones actions in a future life. This does not, in any way, devalue our actions and deeds during the time spent in this life. Every moment is an opportunity to develop into a better person. Use the time to promote your own welfare and the welfare of others. ;)

To your (time) freedom!

And yours too my friend.
Last Saturday was "the moment" for me.
At work, because they are stupid and cannot manage their schedules, etc they decided to have mandatory overtime for those of us who refused to volunteer. Other parts of the factory are being sent home because of no work.I figure I work there 40 hrs a week, the rest of the week is MINE.
I have come to the point where I plan on quitting May,2010.
Nothing they can do to me at work can upset me any longer. What a great feeling.
After refusing to work 10 overtime shifts, they may fire me.WE are on a point system there.Each resusal equals a point.

Downsize ...hmmm...I will receive unemployment insurance..similar to your Dole, but a bit different.
I get paid for not working..and more time to spend on OUR business.
Back to the Future

Thanks for that perspective Rockstar.

I was only referring to this physical body/vehicle and not the deeper multi-dimensional planes to which you allude. Your insights are indeed profound.

Now where did I park my De Lorean and leave that flux capacitor :p :D

Be timeless mate.