We’ve all heard the phrase “Time is money.” But what does that actually mean? I know that an hour working equates out to a certain amount of income being generated, but there’s more to it than that. If your family is anything like mine, it seems like money and time are always at odds. it’s a scale that I always seem to have a hard time balancing.
On the one side is money and providing for my family. I have a job, and I work to support my family. You know, paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, saving for our little boy’s college, and setting aside money for our eventual retirement.
On the other side is time and being there for my family. My roles as husband and father are very important to me. Relationships cannot thrive and grow without a consistent mix of time and effort. I know a lot of people try to cheat here and say that it’s “quality” time that matters. But I think the quantity of time spent with family is equally as important.
Now that we have sides of the scale identified, the issue becomes more apparent. The more you work toward one end of the scale, the less you can work on the other end of the scale. If I decide to put more of my efforts on making more money and better providing for my family, there is a flip side to it that I have less time to spend with my wife and little boy. However, if I decide to put more of my efforts on spending time with my family, there is a flip side to it that I have less time to spend on income-generating activities that would lead to greater financial freedom.
How do you find the right balance? is there even such a thing as a right balance? I tend to go back and forth on the scale. Shortly after my wife and I got married, I went back to school and earned my MBA. This was a definite swing to the money side of the scale. A year and a half ago, I had an ill-fated job change and ended up back at the same employer I was at originally; this was a swing back to the time side of the scale. About a year ago I started up this blog as somewhat of a side hustle, swinging things back to the money side of the scale.
There should be some sort of algorithm to figure out the optimal split between the two. Something to the effect of happiness being a function of time and money. if I was more of a math nerd, maybe I could come up with a neat formula for this.
Do you ever struggle with the time versus money issue? How do you decide the best balance for you?