It’s true that time is money and money is time. But what does this mean for your everyday life? These valuable resources go hand in hand and have the power to grow together or compete for attention. The way you choose to let them interact in your daily decisions, both big and small, can help you find financial and holistic wellness.
There’s a basic principle called the time value of money (TVM) that’s important to consider when making financial decisions. The concept illustrates the idea that money you have today is worth more than the same amount you could have at any point in the future, due to its potential to earn interest. Conversely, you can think of your time in a similar way. By investing time in activities that bring you fulfillment, you can create more monetary and overall value in your life. Having a satisfying job and making money creates purpose and a means to enjoy life more fully.
Amanda Clayman, financial therapist and Prudential’s financial wellness advocate, is an expert in the emotional and personal motivators behind financial decisions and is here to help you explore how to reframe your mind around time and money to work to your advantage. Both are finite resources and you need to use them carefully.
Amanda shares the below advice on how to better uncover the value of your time and money.
1. Budgeting isn’t just for finance: Just as your money takes on new meaning within the context of a forward-looking budget, so does your time. The first step in creating a spending plan for either resource is to evaluate your current behavior. This will help you identify existing tendencies and priorities, and understand opportunities to carve out room for enrichment and growth. After taking the time to review, creating a new monthly spending plan will help you to reevaluate your time and money to be more purposeful.
2. Use your money to create more time: You may feel super thrifty by opting to pick items up in store or taking the slightly cheaper, much longer form of transportation to the airport, but the sacrifice of your time and mental energy is simply not worth it. Consider the situation differently: If someone offered to pay you $4 to spend hours of your busy day in traffic and standing in line, you would turn down the job without a second thought — yet you do the same to save that amount in shipping costs. Your time has emotional, practical and financial value. Don’t be shy about putting your money toward the services that give you more time.
3. Use your time to create more money — and enrich your life: “Time is what you make of it,” is a familiar saying for good reason. Create space in your time budget for activities that matter most to you. Consider using your time in financially advantageous ways by learning new, enjoyable skills that enhance your career, earning power or investments. Or make use of time for priorities that fulfill core emotional needs like bonding with family or working on fitness. Additionally, using free moments to check in with your big-picture goals can instill confidence and a sense of calm. Whatever your priorities, treat yourself like a VIP and value your rest and enrichment time. Scheduling time for meaningful activities in advance allows you to avoid feeling over-taxed and helps achieve a healthy sense of calm.
Improving your sense of time-worth for your overall financial wellness, and the freedom to have flexibility without the need to run through a mental cost-benefit analysis with each decision, is a journey. Sometimes the experience itself becomes the treasure, rather than the purchase.
For more information, advice and tools for investing in your financial wellness and establishing healthy financial habits, visit Prudential Financial.