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Time To Count The Cost

The most valuable “currency” we all have in our lives is time.

We all get 24 hours in each day, and most South Africans get around 24 000 days.

Time is often described as a non-renewable resource. As in, we use it and then it is gone forever. We cannot get time back, once it’s used, it is just gone. We all unfortunately only have a limited amount of time in our lives.

So, time is valuable, or as some people say: Time is money.

Using Time as a Measure Of Cost

One way to think about any activity or any item that you want to buy is to think about the cost in terms of how long it will take you to earn enough to afford “the thing”.

You want to buy a jacket? Well, how much does it cost, and how many hours will you have to work to cover the cost?

If you know your hourly rate, then you will be able to attach a time cost to “the thing”, whatever the thing is.

Working out your hourly rate: Take you income and divide it by how many hours it takes you to earn that income.

Eg. Most people work 176 hours a month (8 hours for 22 days).

      Income/ 176 = Hourly Rate

Thinking like this, can help you avoid wasting money on things you will later regret. Especially things that are frivolous or meaningless.

How You Spend Your Time

Obviously, we are all prepared to spend money on where we live, what we eat and what we wear.

But even with these basic items, there is a variety of options. Some food is more expensive than others, some accommodation more expensive than others. So, once you start to think in terms of how long it will take you to pay off these items, it can truly be an eye opener.

While that pie and coke might seem like a great choice for lunch, it might be a hour of work time to cover the cost. Is that worth it when you only work 8 hours in a day? 

Are there other things you would rather spend that time/money on?

Is It Worth The Time?

Taking on debt is sometimes compared to selling your future, because you will have to use lots of time to pay off the debt.

So, when you are choosing to spend, you are choosing how to use your time, your future.

It can be good to evaluate your priorities, and decide whether whatever “it” is that you’re paying for deserves those long hours that you worked, or will have to work.

Perhaps that time might be better spent somewhere else that would give you a better return on happiness versus time spent.