Would you rather have time or money?

Let me guess, you want both.

Everyone wants more time AND money. But if you HAD to choose one, which would you choose?

It probably depends on how much time and how much money. If I had to choose between $1 and 2 hours, I’d take the 2 hours. Between $1K and 30 minutes, I’d take the $1K. The real question- where is the line between choosing time and choosing money?

First, here’s why it matters

We’re not just talking hypothetically here. You choose between time and money whenever you choose:

  • Whether to clean your house and hire a cleaner
  • When you fix the sink or call a plumber
  • When you build your own website or hire a designer

(I’m assuming you at least aren’t going to break anything by doing these things yourself. If you decide to fix your sink and cause a leak, you’ve cost yourself time AND money- definitely not what you want.)

Next, what $ and time values are we talking about?

It might take 30 minutes to clean a studio apartment, or 3 hours to clean a mansion. The cleaning costs are also going to be different. Clarify how much time or money it would take to get the job done. Once you know it will either take an hour or $80, you can move on to the next step.

The Decision

What would you do with the hour you saved- spend time with your kids, get more sleep, work with another client? What would you do with the $80 you saved- save for a vacation, pay extra on your mortgage, take an online marketing course?

And of the hour and the $80- which would you rather have?

This is one of the most common disagreements my clients have with their partners

Everyone has their own opinions on when to choose time and when to choose money. I hear stories so often about couples disagreeing on what to do themselves and what to pay others to do: oil changes, cleaning, chores around the house, groceries.

Even eating at a restaurant is a choice between doing the cooking yourself and having someone else do it!

If you followed through with the exercise above, you know what kind of choices you would make on your own.

Next, ask your partner these same questions. What opinions do they have on choosing time over money? When would they choose money over time?

Find a middle ground

Now that you know your individual preferences, take the time to decide what you’ll do together. I have a client who hates cleaning, but her husband doesn’t want to spend the money on a cleaner. Since he didn’t want to spend the money, they decided that he would do the majority of the cleaning. She gets her hour back, and he gets his $80.

Another client would rather do everything herself, while her husband would outsource whatever he could. They decided to do housework and yard work themselves, but to take the cars in for maintenance.

Every relationship will have a different middle ground. What works best for you?






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  1. Church says:

    I like this post. Reminds me of why I am so focused on building my wealth, today, for time in the future.

    I would like to think we are all working hard for our dollars, but also command time when we need it. In essence, find the right balance today in order to maximize the most time tomorrow.

    Really great post, Lindsay!

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